April 28 – May 05, 2019
Hello Esb Lodge Anglers & Fans,
Another great week has flown by here at Esb Lodge. We have been busy showing the lodge and fishery to a new group of eight guests. Experience was across the board, with a few guests being veteran saltwater fly fishing anglers and others new to the wide range of species Espiritu Santo Bay has to offer. Windy conditions persisted through the entire week, but the group had a great attitude towards the weather and fished hard through it. Chef Felipe presented fantastic cuisine, while the house staff ensured the guests were comfortable during their stay.
Dane and Chiara have left the lodge to enjoy some much deserved time off and prepare for the upcoming season. There is a lot to do here to ensure our guests have an incredible stay, and myself, Mia and Faustino are honored to be part of the team.
Last week’s fishing was difficult due to the hard winds coming from the east, southeast and northeast. Partly cloudy conditions during a few of the days contributed to difficult sight fishing. The guides worked hard to place anglers in wind protected areas where casting was tolerable. Lengthy boat rides were necessary some days to find protected waters, while other days the flats close to the starting location fished well.
Despite the windy conditions, anglers landed large numbers of bonefish and some high quality permit. The weather restricted us to certain areas of the bay, allowing the anglers to only capitalize on 30% of what we normally offer. The sun was shining with light winds on arrival day, and guests Alan Bauer and Dave Powell rigged up quickly to take advantage of this. After walking the beach north of the lodge and not seeing much, the duo stumbled across a large school of bonefish. They were able to land 18 bonefish between the 2 of them! This was Dave Powell’s first time catching bonefish, and he proceeded to catch his first permit on Tuesday with guide Jorge. Chris Lalli was fishing with guide Alejandro midway through the week, experiencing multiple permit follows but denied his fly. Alex suggested a new leader with no knots in it, and the next permit they came across inhaled the fly and was landed. This is an important lesson with permit fishing; make sure your leader is in perfect condition, your knots are tied precisely and your fly looks good. Rob Lewis landed two permit during the week, and Joe Deatherage was able to land one. The sun came out on Thursday and Alan Bauer was able to land a large 20 lb. permit. Multiple other permit encounters were had throughout the week, with some fish following and denying and others breaking off.
Collectively the group landed 6 permit with 8 guests. This brings our total to 142 permit with 96 guests!
As normal, the bonefish were out in full force eating just about every fly they came in contact with. Robert Bovine enjoyed large numbers of tailing bonefish in shallow water he encountered during the week. Mark Simmons was happy to get out of the wind and into some protected areas where bonefish were plentiful.
Tarpon fishing was tough this week with the mixture of tides and winds. Some nice schools were located, but the juvenile fish demonstrated strange behavior – chasing flies but not committing. One juvenile tarpon was landed during the week, with a few others jumped. We believe the larger tarpon are in the bay, but the calm glassy conditions to locate these fish were not experienced this week.
A few snook were casted too early in the week, with the same results and behavior as the tarpon. With guide Fernando, Rob Lewis and Ken Ewing were able to land 20 snook on their final day of fishing Espiritu Santo Bay. Most of the fish were in the 4 – 8 lb. range, with a couple fish over 10 lbs. A great way to end the week for Rob and Ken!
A strong wind out of the east, southeast and northeast remained for the duration of the week, causing difficult conditions. High tide was in the morning, and gradually fell until about 2 pm. The strong winds were responsible for a larger amount of water in the bay than normal. Our falling tide would move slowly, while the incoming tide would rise rapidly. Partly cloudy conditions were experienced during the week, with a good amount of sun in the afternoons.
The #2 Tan Squimp was the most productive for permit. A spawning shrimp variation was also effective for permit during the week. Natural EP Baitfish patterns contributed to our landed snook, in olive/white, chartreuse/white and grey/white. Black/purple and chartreuse baitfish and tarpon toad patterns caught and jumped tarpon. A wide range of size #4 – #8 shrimp and crab patterns were used for bonefish.
Chef Felipe delivered excellent meals in beautiful presentations to our guests. Emanuel and the rest of the house staff were readily available to accommodate any request.
We are excited for the upcoming week and return of some long time friends of ESBL. Ron and Penny Zega joined Dane and Chiara during their first year of operation. The lodge was still under construction during their visit, so we are thrilled to show them all of the progress that has been made! Five other guests will join us, most of which are new to the famed waters of Espiritu Santo Bay.
We hope everyone has a great week, and please make sure to check in with our friends at The Fly Shop® to ask about this incredible operation. We would love to see you down here!
From a very special place in the Yucatan,
Saludos desde el Caribe Mexicana