June 04 – 11, 2023 #19
Welcome to the Caribbean!
Unbeatable week we have had at ESB! The light winds continued to be the constant throughout the week and their changes of direction during the fishing days as well, as if Kukulcan (Mayan god of wind) was playing a tennis match with Huracan (god of the sky and storms) the light winds rotated from north to south during the day and then back to north during the night. This becomes logical if we take into account that the court covered the whole sky and the days when the wind was fixed in an easterly direction, during the afternoons, it must have been due to some short shot of the players that did not manage to pass the half-court net that was undoubtedly made of clouds. As you will read below, none of this was much of an impediment to our guests enjoying an excellent week.
This week we were visited by Rick Moses, an experienced angler with a serious face and friendly smile who from the first moment had clear objectives for this week, Allan and Keith Smith, very good fishermen and regular guests of our house, John Gwin and John Corddry two people who have a character that are practically guarantees of laughter and good times every time they visit us, to complete the group of fishermen we received Steve Fuller excellent person, who visited us for the first time and knew how to enjoy the experience that ESB offers.
During the first day of fishing and, I would dare to say that for the third week in a row if memory serves me correctly, we started the dinner with the ritual of the tequila shot to welcome a new member of the club of permit fishermen after having managed to fight a duel and proclaim himself the winner with the emblematic species of the bay, that’s right ladies and gentlemen, Steve managed to land the first permit of his life on his first day of fishing, which is a clear sign of the excellent state of the bay, the ability of our guests and their willingness to learn, as well as the extensive knowledge of all our guides about this environment. The day also gave our anglers more shooting opportunities with the elusive permit as well as fights with bonefish, snook, tarpon and several of the species that circulate in these waters, making the first day a great success.
On Tuesday it was John Corddry and Keith who also opened their Permit markers and practically all our guests returned surprised by the amount of permit they encountered during the day and as if it were a general plot, they followed their deceptions to change direction at the last moment. Changes in wind direction (variations in atmospheric pressure), breeding seasons and an almost infinite etcetera could be the answers to this puzzling behavior that, in my opinion, adds the right dose of mystery and intrigue to the fishing activity, to make it interesting, challenging and not at all predictable.
On Wednesday it was John Gwin’s turn to check the permit box on his personal card, Allan and Keith had very good opportunities, but the trigger that triggers the primitive instinct that makes the fish attack the lures did not activate and they ended up adding more “followers” on their flies than we did on our Instagram account. While the target species of all our guests were the “ojonas” (affectionate name for Permit in this area meaning big eyes), Allan did not miss the opportunity to land a big bonefish that could perfectly be expected to be found in the Bahamas Islands.
The fourth day of fishing this week closed with Keith increasing his number of “ojonas” caught and John Corddry had a tough fight with another permit, until a delicate touch of bad luck on the tip of his leader decided the outcome of the fight, leaving him empty handed and with a new fly to tie. Steve, taking advantage of the almost zero winds that morning, decided with his guide to go in search of the silver torpedoes that haunt the outer shores of the bay and are enclosed by the reef with very good results.
Friday was a day that will remain engraved in everyone’s memory, first of all because Rick managed to land the first Permit of his life, which gave him his ticket, in the form of a tequila shot, to the permit anglers club and the applause of everyone during dinner and as if this was not enough the fishing duo of Keith and John Corddry, In an epic day they managed to convince more than a dozen “ojonas” to take their lures firmly and decisively and they had the luxury of doing it with a great variety of flies that included even crab imitations on the surface.
The last day of fishing gave Keith the perfect ending, closing his week of fishing with a grand slam.
I could not finish this week’s chronicle or summary without acknowledging, thanking and sharing with you the totally altruistic act of John Corddry who, upon his return from a day of fishing, with a garbage bag in one hand and a cocktail in the other, went to pick up the plastics and all kinds of waste that the currents bring daily to the beaches surrounding the lodge. John again thank you very much and we are very happy to know that you value and care for the bay as much as we do against a problem that, although it seems to have no solution in the short term, does not discourage us to continue working.
Excellent is the least we can say about this week where everyone had a clear objective, to have a good time and enjoy the experience.
As I have already mentioned, the light winds and their continuous change of direction were the constant of the week. These changes of direction also brought some clouds closer and farther away in an almost unpredictable way that, although at times were annoying for our anglers, did not have a significant influence during the fishing days.
The tides remained predictable thanks to the little wind action on them.
For the permit, the classic ESB Yellow Eyes Raghead and Casa Blanca were the most used and the most successful, but as you may have read, they were not the only ones, showing us, once again, that when it comes to this species, anything is possible.
The silver torpedoes were not much sought after by our guests this week, but when they were, the streamers were the best option, in sizes and colors according to each environment of the bay.
Bonefish continue to be particularly receptive to shrimp, crab and small baitfish imitations, with #6 to #8 hooks being the most recommended.
Praise for our Chef’s creations was daily throughout the dinners and with several dishes chosen by our guests as the best of the week, it is clear the dedication of Dane and our Chef Luis to create the menu as well as the high standard of quality that is demanded both when purchasing the ingredients and at the time of preparation are not in vain.
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.
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