Fishing Report
May 07 – 14, 2023

man with esb tarpon

Welcome to the Caribbean!

We have had a very good week in terms of fishing and experiences with our guests, not so much with the weather, at the end of the week the Mayan gods Kukulkan (God of the storms) and Ehecatl (God of the wind) had a fight and uncomfortable winds along with dense clouds were present, it is said in the bay that the fight between the gods was related to the fact that one started to wear the other’s shirts and you know how family fights are, a simple exchange of opinions or an irrelevant fact in two seconds can turn into a pitched battle.

You know how family fights are, a simple exchange of opinions or an irrelevant fact in two seconds can turn into a pitched battle.

This week we were visited by John Bishop, Bob and Chris Inversen, who visit us every year, Jon Wheat on his second visit this season, Mike Scott who will be with us for two weeks and Dave Doucet who visited us for the first time.

man with esb barracuda

The start of the week was exceptional, during the first day JoHn Bishop signed a Grand Slam on his scorecard, Jon Wheat landed half a dozen Permit, Bob a large barracuda and Mike met the Woolly Bugger (WB) challenge.

During Sunday, as they tuned up their gear, Mike showed me the WBs he had tied specially to meet this challenge, which we christened the ESB WB, a tan chenille marbled with darker brown, some rubber legs and marabou feathers to match the colors of the chenille.

They were on the north side of the bay looking for big tarpon when in the shallow waters offshore our guide spotted a school of bonefish, Mike didn’t hesitate to try the WB. A quick change of rod, an accurate shot and two strips later he was given the first battle with a bonefish that without any fear or distrust accepted the WB’s lure as the hungriest of the rainbows in the Patagonian rivers.

After the obligatory photos to record the epic moment Mike suggested to his fishing partner Dave to make a shot with the WB to the same school that was still hanging around the shore, another well executed shot, a couple of strips and fish on! Second bonefish for the ESB WB.

man with esb bonefish

The joy was almost overflowing, two shots, two bonefish, it seems that the attacks on the ESB WB were not just a mistake or confusion of the ghosts of the Caribbean, to clear all doubts and certify that it really must be a fly to consider for this emblematic species, our guide Victor, urged by Mike, made another shot and BOMMMM!!! Another bonefish!

Not only can we declare Mike Scott the undisputed winner of the Woolly Bugger Challenge, but I will add this fly to the recommendations for bonefish fishing in the bay.

With all these emotions experienced on the first day of fishing, the dawn of Tuesday awoke great expectations and did not disappoint, Jon Wheat added a few more Permit to his personal tally and Bob a grand slam!

On Wednesday the weather began to change, scattered but thicker clouds began to appear on the horizon and the wind began to increase its intensity, even so, Chris managed to connect with two Permit that proved to be masters in the art of escapism denying the victory to our angler.

On Thursday morning, the wind had increased its intensity a little more and the clouds made the fishing conditions more difficult, despite this, the barracuda, bonefish and jacks gave brought our guests a lot of joy.

man with esb permit

Friday had a clear protagonist, Dave not only landed the first permit of his life, but how he did it puts him in a very select group of permit fishermen.

Together with his fishing partner Mike and our guide they chased for a long time a school of permit that systematically rejected or ignored the accurate shots with the flies that were always a guarantee of success in the bay, without giving up our guide suggested him to try a Shrimp Gurgler, they were excited to tell us how they saw one of the permit come up and take the fly on the surface – aggressively. That night we welcomed Dave to the permit fishing club with the traditional tequila shot ceremony.

On the last day of fishing and under less than comfortable weather conditions Chris took advantage of the repaired spots in the bay and the gaps in the clouds to get his revenge for Wednesday and landed a few permits to cap off his week. Dave continued his winning streak and had a tough battle with a snook that hovered around 20 lbs.

As you can see it was a very good week and I didn’t mention the giant tripletails that were found raiding the mangroves.

man with esb permit

The last three days the wind was between 15 and 23 mph, always coming from the east with the presence of high and medium nines that occasionally let in direct sunlight.

The constant tides at the beginning of the week became unpredictable with the onset of the wind, but our guides’ great knowledge of these waters in all weather conditions ensured our guests’ chances on their fishing trips.

As you may have read above, with permit the classics still work (ESB Yellow Eyes Raghead and Casa Blanca flies), but it’s always good to have something out of the ordinary to surprise them.

Files to their predatory nature, tarpon do not resist streamers in a wide variety of colors, where black and purple are the most used. Mike Scott not only tied a WB to tempt the bonefish, but he also did it to try the Tarpons, we will see if he manages to achieve another feat in his second week.

For the bonefish I am very happy to suggest tying some woolly buggers if you like to try new things and if you prefer something more classic the shrimp and crabs on 6-8 hooks are the best option.

man with esb bonefish

Our Staff is still the base of everything here at ESB and as I like to say, “a lodge is excellent, not because of the quality of its facilities that simply makes it good, the added value of the human quality of its staff is what makes it excellent” and believe me when I tell you that our staff is excellent.

The icing on the cake is the delicious dishes prepared by our Chef Luis and Sous-chef Angel, responsible for our guests to take as a “souvenir” a few extra pounds at the end of their trip.

See you next week with a new report and do not hesitate to contact our friends at The Fly Shop® so they can tell you first-hand what life is like in Espiritu Santo Bay, the Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve (which means “Where the sky begins”, in the Mayan language).

Taak ulak k’iin and Ka xi’ik teech utsil!!(See you later and good luck! in Mayan language)
Martin Ferreyra González and the entire ESB family.



man with esb hat


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