Fishing Report #20
June 09 – 16, 2024

ESB Angler & Guide with Permit

Welcome to the Caribbean!

In ancient times, when gods walked among mortals and the sun shone with magical intensity over the Mayan jungle, there lived a young warrior named Itzamná. Itzamná was known for his bravery and combat skills, but above all, for his unwavering attitude in the face of adversity.

One day, the great sun god, Kinich Ahau, observed Itzamná from the sky. There were rumors of a great threat looming over the land of the Mayas: a drought that threatened to destroy crops and bring hunger and despair to his people. Kinich Ahau decided to test the young warrior to see if his spirit was as strong as they said.

The sun god descended in a golden ray of light and presented himself to Itzamná. “Young warrior,” said Kinich Ahau, “the drought is approaching, and many will lose hope. I want to see if your heart is as brave as your sword.”

Itzamná, without hesitation, replied, “I will do everything in my power to save my people, my lord. Adversity will not stop me.”

With these words, Kinich Ahau gave Itzamná three tests. First, he had to find the hidden water in the deep jungle, a task many considered impossible. Itzamná ventured into the dense forest without doubt, guided by his determination and unwavering faith that there is always a solution, even in the darkest moments.

ESB Angler with Snook

While other warriors gave up in the dense vegetation and jungle dangers, Itzamná continued, trusting that nature would offer him signs. After days of searching, he finally found a small stream hidden under the roots of a large tree. Itzamná brought this water back to his people, instilling hope in their hearts.

Guest & ESB Lodge Dogs

The second test was to face the beast that lived in the mountains, a creature feared by all. Itzamná headed to the mountains, where he found the beast, a jaguar with eyes as bright as the sun. Instead of fighting it, Itzamná remembered the stories of his ancestors and decided to communicate with the jaguar, showing respect and understanding. Recognizing Itzamná’s courage and kindness, the beast became his ally, helping him find new sources of food and resources for his people.

The last test was the most difficult: he had to bring the sun back to the sky, which had been darkened by a cloud of despair growing with people’s fear and pessimism. Itzamná, armed only with his faith and positive spirit, climbed to the top of the highest pyramid and began to sing an ancient song of hope and light.

His voice, full of optimism and strength, resonated throughout the kingdom. Gradually, the clouds began to dissipate, and the sun shone again with all its splendor. The people, seeing the sun return, found new strength to face the drought, planting seeds with the hope that a new cycle of prosperity would begin.

Kinich Ahau, observing from the heavens, smiled with satisfaction. He had tested Itzamná’s strength and had seen how a good attitude in the face of adversity could light up even the darkest times.

Itzamná became a legend among his people, a symbol that facing challenges with hope and determination always brings better results than giving in to pessimism. His story was told through generations, reminding everyone that with a strong spirit and a positive attitude, no adversity is insurmountable.

This week, Joe, Marc, Kevin, Brendan, James, Leo, Lloyd, and George were the living proof that the spirit and teachings of Itzamná continue to live on today.

The start of the fishing week had a preview when, on Sunday afternoon, despite the uncomfortable winds and coastal waters tinged with the color of sargassum, Lloyd began warming up his arm with some casts from the beach and landed the first permit, breaking the ice and inaugurating the week’s scoreboard. Monday dawned cloudy, with light to moderate winds from the east and some isolated showers. The goal for everyone was to seize the opportunities the bay offered, and so George and Lloyd kept adding permits to the scoreboard, as well as bonefish and snook, but the tarpon denied them the Super Grand Slam. Marc, who was fishing in saltwater for the first time, landed his first bonefish, followed by a few more. James landed the first permit of his life, which we naturally celebrated with the classic tequila ritual that night.

ESB Angler & Guide with Tarpon

Tuesday’s weather was similar to Monday’s, and all our anglers decided to go after the bay’s emblematic species, the permit. They all had chances with schools and large solitary ojonas, but the whims of fate or elusive luck were responsible for, for example, every precise cast that presented its lure in front of one of these large pompano being taken swiftly by a fast bonefish.

Wednesday’s dawn brought us stronger winds, scattered clouds, and a sun that shone intensely at times. Lloyd had an interesting conversation with Lucia and Canela about the strategy he intended to apply during his fishing day. Both Lucia and Canela used all their knowledge gained in their six years of permanent residence at the Lodge and recommended a particular crab imitation for him to use that day. Lloyd followed their advice to the letter, and that was all he needed to end his fishing day signing his first Grand Slam. Brendan, for his part, also managed to land a beautiful permit that day. So, the tequila shots didn’t get a break that night either.

ESB Angler with Bonefish

Thursday started somewhat cloudy, but with light winds. Everyone continued the search for the elusive and desired permit. They had good opportunities, but this species once again showed why it is in the trophy category. Far from being discouraged by not achieving the desired result with this species, they accepted all the opportunities the bay offered and completed all the other boxes of the species the bay contains.

Friday morning woke us up with moderate rains, a lightning show, and almost no wind. But as dawn gained momentum, the rain stopped, and the lightning show began to fade, leaving us only with an overcast sky and almost no wind. With a freshly made cup of coffee in hand, we watched from the palapa as the storm slowly moved north. With this change in wind speed, our guides went in search of the big silver torpedoes that transit through the unprotected areas of the bay’s mouth, and they found them. Lloyd battled with one of them, but it managed to escape his sharp hook. Several more energetic strikes met the same undesired end, but feeling how these immense silver masses stretched their lines was enough incentive for everyone to return with a broad smile. True to their goal of the week, taking advantage of all the opportunities the bay offered, while seeking these immense tarpon, they did not miss the chance to land bonefish, snook, snapper, jacks, and every finned creature that crossed their path, with excellent results.

ESB Angler & Guide with Permit

During the early hours of Saturday, moderate to intense rains at times reappeared, forcing us to start our fishing day about forty-five minutes later. With a new goal in mind, almost all our guests, taking advantage of the almost nonexistent winds, went in search of the large migratory tarpon. The succession of strikes, runs, jumps, and “expressions of good wishes” towards the mothers and fathers of these giants was the constant of the day due to the straightened hooks, cut tippet, and the hard mouths they have. With almost a dozen hooks set in their hard mouths and the circus-like acrobatics of these true colossi, the group’s spirit was euphoric. Kevin battled for almost two hours with a giant of about one hundred and twenty pounds, fearing at several points that his supply of backing would not be enough. With his opponent apparently defeated next to the skiff and our guide trying to firmly grasp its bony jaw, the gigantic tarpon executed a complicated move, a mix of jiujitsu and Caribbean dance, managing to free itself. As it slowly made its way to the depths, the bittersweet taste of the “Pescadora” crew was evident. Conversing during happy hour with Kevin, as he narrated the situation and I saw his face light up with each word and the end of his story, for me, it was the best part because he was glad the tarpon left quickly after that exhausting fight for both of them, and he said, “The photo is engraved in my memory, I need nothing more.”

With the satisfaction that our guests were able to return home with a smile as big as the migratory tarpon that roam the area, I can tell you that despite the unfavorable weather during some fishing days, with the unbreakable positive spirit and the desire to have a good time that flooded this week at ESB, we had an excellent week.

Clouds and moderate winds were the constant during the first half of the week, giving way to some moderate and sometimes intense rains, but with almost no winds, coming from the east and southeast, for almost the entire second half.

Flexo Crabs, ESB white crabs, and white Casa Blanca crabs tallied our permit for the week.

Tarpon and snooks ate a mix of toads and a black and purple EP baitfish on a 2/0 600 hook.

Bonefish munched any well-placed shrimp imitation sizes #4 through #8.

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 Group JUN 09-16, 2024

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