April 21 – 28, 2019
Hello Esb Lodge Anglers & Fans,
Another great week was enjoyed by a new group of guests here at Esb Lodge. This was their first time to visit the lodge and experience the incredible fishery that is Espiritu Santo Bay. Windy conditions provided a challenge a few days in, but we were fortunate to have calm days on the water in the beginning and end of the week. Chef Felipe and Sous Chef Ivan presented incredible cuisine at the dinner table, while the rest of the staff worked hard to provide comfortable conditions for the guests during their stay. The guides worked the bay hard daily, delivering ample opportunities to connect with fish. As mentioned in last week’s report, there are a few new faces around the lodge. Myself (Sam Gigliotti), Mia DeTomaso and Faustino Lagun are very excited to be part of the incredible operation that Dane and Chiara have built.
We were fortunate to start the week off with some great conditions in terms of wind and sun. The first two days were cloudless, with light winds coming out of the southeast. This proved to be favorable conditions for chasing permit throughout the day. The wind picked up considerably the next two days, but died off towards the end of the week. The first two days resulted in the majority of our permit landed. With the dominating wind direction coming from the southeast, we were able to focus on permit flats located on the south side of the bay. Over half of the guests were able to land their first permit on the fly. Joe Bonner experienced the heartbreak of losing a permit from the beach in front of the lodge upon the day of arrival. Joe redeemed himself on Monday along with guide Alejandro and succeeded, landed his first and second permit. Joe has spent many days chasing permit on previous fishing trips, so he was very pleased to get a few beautiful fish to hand. Marty and Janet Downey were two other experienced saltwater anglers that came to Esb Lodge in hopes of landing their first permit. They headed out with guide Luis and both were able to land permit. Later in the week they were able to land additional permit with Luis. Tom Westbrook and Charlie Gamer headed out on their first day were able to land first permit. It is truly amazing how many anglers have caught their first permit here at ESBL.
Our total for the week was 9 permit landed with 8 guests. This brings our season total to 136 permit landed with 88 guests.
Permit fishing was the main focus for the group, so less time was spent chasing snook and tarpon. Marty Downey was able to land a 15 pound snook midway through the week, and many were spotted by Tim Hennessy the last day. Tarpon fishing was a bit tough this week, as the fish were quite evasive. A few tarpon were jumped mid-week, but none landed. A few anglers found a couple nice schools of smaller juveniles. These fish did not cooperate regardless of multiple fly changes. The bonefish were out in full force this week, and readily ate most flies presented to them. Some of the anglers dedicated part of the day to wading for bonefish in the shallow waters of our river systems and flats located close to the launch. Big schools were found, and singles were picked off one after another. One boat was able to land more than 50 bonefish in a single day of wading. It is always a great idea to dedicate some hours out of your week chasing bonefish on foot. It is spectacular to encounter singles or schools of bonefish tailing in the shallow waters of our backcountry. It never fails to impress an angler how quick these 3 – 4 pound fish accelerate across the flats ripping yards of backing out in seconds flat. The group this week was excited to cast to the countless barracuda that you encounter during a day in the bay. We even had a smaller 12 inch barracuda get annihilated by a large barracuda pushing 4 feet.
Weather for the week was fair for the most part. Light winds started the week off with strong winds mid-week and finishing with light breezes from the southeast. There was only one day later in the week with visibility proving to be difficult. The other days were clear skies and sunny conditions.
Tides for the week started of higher in the morning, and gradually fell till about 2 p.m. Only one tide swing was experienced while on the water.
Once again, the size #2 Tan Squimp dominated for permit, with a couple fish tagged on white #2 Raghead crabs in shallow water. Snook were landed on natural baitfish color combinations, such as white/tan, white/pearl and white/chartreuse. Bonefish readily ate any smaller shrimp patterns in sizes #4-#8.
Chef Felipe and Sous Chef Ivan provided another week with excellent cuisine for our guests. Compliments were high, as the kitchen worked hard to present delicious meals with beautiful presentations. The house staff excelled to ensure everything was in order with the lodge, while meeting all of the requested needs of our guests.
We are excited for the arrival of eight new guests this upcoming week. They all have yet to experience the incredible fishery of Espiritu Santo Bay. I was fortune enough to fish with two of the upcoming week’s guests Ken Ewing and Mark Simmons during my season guiding trout in Chilean Patagonia. It is exciting to see the flies on their rods change from large beetle and stonefly patterns to shrimp and crab patterns. Let’s hope they can change from a trout set to a strip set during their days on the flats! We continue to donate products for the dog rescue operation south of the lodge, and appreciate all of the items the guests have brought down in the previous weeks.
Make sure to stop in or give our friends at The Fly Shop a call to check in or inquire about this special operation and the incredible fishery. Enjoy your week and stay tuned for next week’s report!
From a very special place in the Yucatan,
Saludos desde el Caribe Mexicana