Fishing Report #15
May 08 – 15, 2022

Man with large permit at ESB Lodge

Welcome to the Caribbean!!

What an amazing week! The weather has been exceptional this week with very little wind for most of it, some annoying clouds were present but the rains are still not visiting us, but the high temperatures are here. It seems that summer is in a hurry to arrive.

This week we were visited by Walt Nakamura who we meet for the first time and Roger Ney, Richie Gruber, Jimmy Montesi, Mike Scott, Larry Jones who will be with us for two weeks!

The first day of the week was the windiest of the week, but without strong winds, the only thing that the forecast could not anticipate was the amount of scattered clouds that were very uncomfortable to see the fish in advance, but Larry still kicked off his week with a beautiful permit, led by Victor.

Guy holding permit at ESB LodgeThe next day the clouds cleared and good fishing conditions returned, but the elusive permits weren’t too cooperative, but Larry and his magical hands managed to trick one more and add it to their record for the week, guided by Alex.

The third day was excellent for all our anglers who managed to land a total of 9 permits in total. To begin the detailed account of the actors of this feat, let me highlight Walt who achieved the first of his life together with Roger who achieved two more, accompanied by Alex, then there are Jimmy and Richie who landed 2 and 4 respectively, under the watchful eye of Victor. As a day like this cannot miss its finishing touch, we must add the three excellent Tarpon that Mike achieved together with our guide Fernando. If you, like me, are a fishing fanatic, you will understand that dream days like this without those who make us wake up with a smile.

Rodger with a Jack Trevally at ESB LodgeThe fishing week was really good and in the following days more Permit were caught, tarpons between 40 and 50 lbs, unfortunately one or two large migratory fish of more than 100lbs were lost, Rodger landed a beautiful Jack Trevally with the help of Fernando, Mike was the king of the Barracudas, Lorenzo achieved a Grand Slam as well as Fernando, Richie was amazed at the power of the Triggerfish with Pepe, Walt had a dream afternoon fishing barracudas from the beach, Blue runners and Snappers, Rodger had an “encounter close of the third type” when nailing a large barracuda it ran towards the boat and when jumping hit the rail very close to where he was standing, in summary a true week full of adventures and great experiences for our guests.

The variety of species that our fishermen managed to count this week really shows the excellent state of the bay, the quantity and quality of its inhabitants!

Large tarpon at ESB Lodge

We close the week with a total of 19 permits with 6 anglers, which brings our season numbers to 267 permits with 110 guests!

Guest Bonefish Tarpon Snook Barracuda Permit
Mike Scott X X X X (2)
Larry Jones X X X X (5)
Richie Gruber X X (5)
Jimmy Montesi X X (3)
Rodger Ney X X X (3)
Walt Nakamura X X X (1)
Total Permit this season: 267 Total Guests: 110

Taking advantage of the low winds and high tides in the mornings, this week the guides did not hesitate to visit areas that had been fished little or not at all for months, such as the main entrance channels to the bay and the island that separates them, with very good results.

Angler holding large permit at ESB Lodge

Permit were observed in almost all the points that our guides visited, but the one that showed the greatest concentration of them was the Red Buoy area.

We had excellent weather this week with moderate to light winds that started from the east and then rotated to the northeast, with temperatures that varied between 25ºC (77F) to 32ºC(90F) inside the bay.

Thanks to the low wind, the tides behaved in a more normal and predictable way.

Angler and guide with a beautiful permit at ESB LodgeFlies
Fishermen and readers of these lines, during the last few weeks I have received many questions about this or that fly, if it no longer works or if the new variant with iridescent legs is more effective than the previous version with white legs.

Let me tell you one thing regardless of my personal opinion or that of the guides, the fish always have the last word.

In my short experience of fishing in salt water, but more than 35 years fishing and guiding in fresh water (trout, dorado and peacock bass) I have noticed a pattern in all these species, although it is totally true that the silhouette, size and color of a fly are factors to take into account, the way you make it work and the strategy you use to do it (moment, place, situation of the fish) are the factors that will really make the difference when collecting your catches, then I allow myself to suggest that you look for the selection of flies that we make together with our friends from The Fly Shop® and above all that you talk to your guide when using them because the ways of working with them will vary depending on the conditions of the flats (an example is the state of the tides, if the water is going down they tend to come out generating currents that will make our fly move faster or slower depending on the direction of our shot, therefore our strip should not be the same in one or another situation so that our flie seems natural), the fish to which you intend to deceive, the time in which you are using them, the type of ground, etc.,

Bird nesting on anglers hat at ESB LodgeIf you can think of it at this time, Martin wrote 284 words to tell us nothing more than to listen to the guides and is right, listen a person who spends more than 200 days a year in the same waters day after day and knows them in all their variants, in my opinion, is the key to success.

Now, since fishing is not an exact science and you either tie your own versions of the classics or a friend of yours presents you with the bonefish, permit or tarpon “serial killer” fly that he used on a remote atoll in French Polynesia, bring it and tell your guide that you want to try it because as I told you at the beginning the fish always have the last word.

This week it was the turn of Emanuel and our guide Marcos to take a few very days off, while Freddy and Pancho continue to give 110% to make our guests comfortable.

Our chef Carlos and sous chef Luis continue to receive standing ovations for their dishes, I must confess that I have become addicted to the “Cochinita Pibil”, a typical dish of Yucatecan cuisine that consists of pork cooked slowly and marinated with “achiote” paste, served on a banana leaf and accompanied by homemade tortillas and a cactus, onion and tomato salad.

Angler raising permit towards the heavens at ESB LodgeI know! Don’t tell me anything, they made you want to try it if you don’t know it or to eat it again if you’ve already visited us, it’s something worthy of  “8 or 9 Michelin stars”.

The resources and knowledge that Isabel and Carlo manage to save situations of product shortages in our usual suppliers are almost “super powers.”

I’ll wait for you next week with a new report and the adventures of our next seven guests and their exciting adventures, that’s what the ESBL experience is all about, because, as my grandfather said “fishing is not just catching fish.”

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 language Maya)

Group from the week at ESB Lodge

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