Fishing Report #17
May 19 – 26, 2024

ESB Angler & Guide with BIG Tarpon

Welcome to the Caribbean!

In ancient times, when the gods walked among men, in the vast Mayan jungle lived Ixchel, a young woman of pure heart and restless spirit. Ixchel, despite her kindness, was impatient and often complained about the difficulties she encountered on her way. Whenever the rains delayed, or when the harvest was not abundant, Ixchel raised her voice to the sky, complaining to the gods.

One day, while walking through the jungle in search of medicinal plants, Ixchel encountered a majestic golden jaguar. The animal, with its bright, piercing eyes, stared at her and spoke to her in a deep, serene voice.

-Ixchel, I have heard your cries,” said the jaguar. The gods have also heard them and have sent me to teach you a valuable lesson.

ESB Father & Son with Permit

Surprised and frightened, Ixchel tried to apologize, but the jaguar interrupted her.
– Don’t be afraid,” continued the jaguar. Come with me and you will see what the gods wish to show you.

The jaguar led Ixchel to a clearing in the jungle where an ancient and majestic tree stood. Its branches were laden with golden fruit that glistened in the sun.

-This is the Tree of Patience,” explained the jaguar. Its fruits cannot be taken until they fall of their own accord. Those who wait patiently are rewarded with its sweetness. Those who try to pluck them before their time only find bitterness.

Ixchel looked at the tree and understood the metaphor. She decided to sit under its branche

ESB Angler & Guide with Permit

s and wait, just as the jaguar had said. Days passed, and though the temptation to pick the fruit was great, Ixchel remained steadfast. Finally, a golden fruit fell at her feet. Upon tasting it, she discovered that its flavor was the sweetest she had ever known.

The jaguar reappeared and smiled.

-You have learned well, Ixchel. Patience and acceptance of what life gives you are virtues that the gods reward. From today, you will be known as the Guardian of Patience and your wisdom will be remembered for generations.

Ixchel returned to her village with the golden fruit and shared her story. Since then, the Maya learned to value patience and to accept the trials of life with serenity, knowing that the gods always reward those who wait with an open heart.

And so, the legend of Ixchel and the Golden Jaguar was passed on by word of mouth, reminding everyone of the importance of patience and acceptance on the path of life.

The sons of corn who shared the sweet golden fruit with us this week were Peter, Dan, Mark, Mike and David , Ricardo and Lorenzo.

ESB Angler with Tarpon

Considering that during the previous week the easterly winds were never below 20 mph, starting the first day of fishing with light easterly winds blowing at a more than pleasant 12 mph was something we all thanked the Hurricane god for. A few scattered clouds, perhaps resulting from Hurricane’s sneeze, were the bay’s calling cards for the start of the week. The good news kept adding up as “Ricardo” landed the first permit of his life, Mike and “Lorenzo” also joined him in landing a few more. The rest of the group saw, followed and tempted schools and solitary permit that can be seen in almost every area of the bay, but it was the bonefish and tarpon that were responsible for giving those adrenaline peaks to all our anglers who gladly accepted the experiences offered by the bay and its incredible variety of species.

ESB Angler with Snook

Tuesday dawn greeted us with an aromatic cup of freshly brewed coffee in our hands, gentle winds and the beautiful spectacle of the birth of a new day as we watched the orange disc of the sun start to emerge from the sea amidst those distant clouds. Dan made good use of his opportunities with the coveted ojonas and added some more catches along with Mark, who lived one of those experiences that all anglers dream about: flat, permit school tailing, accurate shooting, a few strips and FISH ON! It could perfectly serve as inspiration for the remake of “A River Runs Through It” in its saltwater version. Peter dedicated his entire fishing day to the search for this elusive species and although he found them on several occasions, good fortune was extremely capricious in his attempts to fool them.

ESB Angler with Jack

Wednesday’s first light brought us another spectacle worthy of our computer or phone wallpaper. Mike and David, father and son, enjoyed another day loaded with tons of bonefish, tarpon and snook, which were the perfect excuse to fulfill their real goal for this trip: to enjoy time together. As the son, nephew and grandson of fishermen, I can’t think of a better excuse to spend quality time with at least part of the family.

It’s hard to get used to Caribbean sunrises, I have thousands of photos on my phone from my three seasons here and I can’t resist taking a few more every morning that Mother Nature gives us such a sublime spectacle and yes, as you may have guessed, on Thursday I added a few more photos to my “Chingones Sunrises” folder on my phone.

ESB Angler & Guide with PermitSuch a wonderful day was taken advantage of by Mark, Mike and Ricardo, to add new permit to the week’s scoreboard. Dan witnessed an unusual situation as he watched a permit chase a stingray, but despite his accurate casting and presenting several different deceptions before his big eyes, the stingray seemed to be entranced by the hypnotic movement of the stingray’s fins and paid no attention to the crabs and shrimp that Dan skillfully presented to it. Seeing the number of bonefish caught by David, we suspect he was trying to take a population census.

Friday and Saturday were pretty much a carbon copy. Peter, Mike and David added more permit to the scoreboard. The number of bonefish caught was already ridiculous, while the tarpon and snook added more adrenaline to the group. Especially for Peter, who on the last day of fishing managed to measure his strength in an epic battle with a silver torpedo of about 120 lbs. that took them for a ride through most of the mouth of the bay in a fight that kept them on edge for a little more than two hours.

ESB Angler with Permit

I think there is no better example of the teachings of Ixchel and how well the Mayans passed them down from generation to generation, than to see how our guests this week accepted everything the bay was willing to offer them and how they applied their wisdom and patience to those fishing situations that, for some reason, don’t end up turning out the way we expect them to.

Light easterly winds, which remained between 10 and 15 mph were the constant throughout the week.

Some scattered low clouds were present for much of the week.

Tides were fairly predictable and were well taken advantage of by our guides and anglers.

The kryptonite of the permit this week was represented in the bay classics, such as Flexo Crab, ESB Spawning Shrimp, Casa Blanca and ESB Yellow Eyes Rag Head Crab.

Tarpon continue to be attracted by EP style flies in black/purple, black/chartreuse, white/gray, etc. If you are going to visit us in the next few weeks, don’t forget to bring your #11 or #12 rod, your sinking line and 40 or 60 lbs. fluorocarbon, if your intention is to look for some of these migratory giants that are starting to show up in this area.

ESB Angler with Bonefish

For the bonefish, nothing less than the fly they like in their box, this week they were receptive to a wide variety of flies, even taking flies for tarpon.

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 Gonzalez and the entire ESB Family

ESB Anglers MAY 19 - 26, 2024

800-669-3474530-222-3555 | | ESB Lodge