Fishing Report
May 28 – June 04, 2023

ESB Guest and Guide with Tarpon

Welcome to the Caribbean!

What a great week we have had! The gentle winds accompanied us again for the third week in a row, with some strangeness that I will tell you about later. The concept of Yin and Yang continued to be present and its physical demonstration in the form of mosquitoes also logically, but thanks to the protection of that almost magical invention of the human being that we vulgarly call repellent the effects of the yang were mitigated to a great extent.

The excellent group of guests that visited us this week was formed by Dick and Daniel Meyer, an outstanding father and son fishing duo that once again proved to be serious fishermen of these waters, Beth and Tom Eberle, a married couple that shares the passion for fishing at all levels, making the catches always shared regardless of who holds the cork of the rod, Bryan Rudisill is a great fisherman and an excellent example of the words my grandfather used to tell me when I was 7 years old, “fishing is not just about catching fish” and Bryan and his partner in crime David Patten enjoy the experience of fishing from the first coffee in the morning, Blackwell Smith who, like all of the above mentioned, has already visited us on several occasions this time chose his son Dawson as his fishing partner and like all good fishing fathers show his son the way in his first steps on the saltwater fishing path.

ESB Guest with Permit

The first day of fishing could not be better for our anglers, soft winds, active fish and anglers determined to make that Monday the best Monday of all Mondays and so it was, Dawson in his first day of saltwater fishing and in his second cast gets the sharp point of the hook of the crab imitation he chose as a lure to stick in the soft mouth and that was how, under the tutelage of his father and our guide, managed to win the duel against his first Permit, what better way to start his adventures in the waters of the bay. For his part, Dick did not let the opportunities that arose throughout the fishing day pass him by and ended up achieving the first Grand Slam of his life. Of course, that night both feats were celebrated with the classic tequila shots and the applause of the whole table.

Tuesday was Bryan’s day as he scored a Permit on his scorecard. David battled for more than two hours with one of those silver colossuses of more than three digits until his hook did not resist the indomitable strength of his rival and let it turn freely to the dark and deep waters of the bay’s channel, leaving our fisherman pronouncing words in Aramaic that certainly did not express joy.

Wednesday was the day chosen by Blackwell to show his son how things should be done and he ended up scoring a Grand Slam on his card, while Bryan measured his strength with a triple digit silver torpedo that left him with an indelible smile for the rest of the week.

ESB Guests with Permit

The early rain on Thursday left us with a very good feeling about the day and with all the cosmic powers aligned our anglers headed to the bay ready to give it their all. Dawson fought with two big tarpon that left imprinted on the skin of his fingers the power with which they are capable of swimming. David got his revenge and not only landed the first permit of his life, but he also landed a tarpon and a bonefish, thus securing his first Grand Slam. As shared joys are always double joys, Bryan was not far behind and landed a Grand Slam, what a day!

Although Beth and Tom were obtaining good results in their fishing days, the emblematic species of the bay resisted them, until Friday, after following a permit school for more than two hours, studying their movements and consulting Sun Tzu’s famous book, The Art of War, they decided to tempt them with the imitation of a shrimp, which proved to be the right strategy and finally defeated the unpredictable Permit, although it was only one catch, the merit belongs to both, because for them there is no “her and me”, there is only an “us”.

Dick and Daniel also chased a school of big tarpon in the outer part of the bay, between the reef and the coast that leads to the lodge, but after countless attempts they were not able to get these huge creatures out of their migratory trance, later Daniel would be rewarded for his effort by landing a fantastic Permit. Some technical problems with one of his knees forced Blackwell to take the position of “coach” in our skiff and, together with our super experienced guide, they took Dawson step by step to achieve his first Super Grand Slam!

ESB Guest with Snook

Without realizing it, we arrived on Saturday morning, where fatigue was already starting to show, but the motivation of David, our DJ of the week, who entertained every morning our trip in the van to the bay with his very select and varied play list, recharged our fishermen with energy. Daniel closed his week with the cherry on the cake achieving a Super Grand Slam that logically was celebrated with a shot of tequila before dinner, the truth is that this week we have had more rituals of celebration than I have told you in these lines, but I do not want you, my friend reader, to think that here we only eat well and drink tequila, besides I would not like Dane to worry about the state of the reserves of his favorite tequila.

As you can see it was an excellent week for our guests and us, where not only the good fishing was the highlight of the week, the good talks and stories made this week a Great Week.

Although the light winds of between 5 and 9 mph were constant all week, they rotated in absolutely all directions, we had days that started with a northerly direction and then rotated to the east and ended the day with a southerly direction or started from the south and then rotated to the east around noon, luckily the forecasts were very accurate giving a clear picture to our guides to define the best fishing strategy for each day.

Also noteworthy were the brief but intense rains that we had during some nights or in the early hours of the morning.

In search of an explanation for this unusual phenomenon, I mean the constant changes in wind direction, I found as responsible for the low pressure area that finally became tropical storm Arlene, which although it was not at any time in our direction, it kept us on the edge of its area of influence until its disappearance this Sunday in the coasts of Cuba.

ESB Guest with Permit

This week the Permit of the bay were tempted with absolutely all the usual patterns without showing predilection for any of them. So continuing to rely on the classics, white ragheads with and without yellow eyes or silver eyes, spawning shrimp with yellow eyes, EP spawning on #4, are still the best option.

Streamers are the way to go if you want to feel the power of Tarpon, the whole EP line works great, black and purple or white and chartreuse are a good start to let your imagination run wild if you prefer to tie your own flies, Now if you are looking for something more and want to step out of the boundaries and experience something similar to the rebelliousness felt by the Woodstock festival participants in 1969, tie some Woolly Buggers (WB) on hooks suitable for the big migratory tarpons and sail against the current, I am absolutely convinced that fly will work with these silver bullets.

The ghosts of the bay will not overlook the crab and shrimp imitations on #4 or #6 hooks, as well as the classic WB for trout with some rubber legs and a matching hook for saltwater.

ESB Guest Kissing Permit

This week, our Chef Luis and his faithful squire Angel, set a new standard, raising the level of the cochinita pibil and I tell you that I am the greatest taster and critic of this exquisite dish of the Xucatecan cuisine, my public congratulations and, as I have already told them in person, this new week I expect no less.

Our staff never ceases to amaze our guests with their excellent attitude and predisposition to make your stay more than comfortable.

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)
Martin Ferreyra Gonzalez and the entire ESB Family.

ESB Guest & Guide with Tarpon ESB Lodge Group Shot


 Sage Salt HD Fly Rods Closeout