Fishing Report #21
June 16 – 23, 2024

Welcome to the Caribbean!

ChacalacasYesterday while we were at the airfield I heard a group of Chacalacas rumor through the interior of the Sian Ka’an reserve that last week, in these modern times but shrouded in mystery, when heaven and earth still conversed in whispers of thunder and lightning, a great meeting was held over the skies of Espiritu Santo Bay. Storm gods from different cultures gathered to discuss the balance of the elements and the well-being of mortals in a world increasingly affected by climate change.

Huracán, the powerful Mayan god of storms

Huracán, the powerful Mayan god of storms, was the host of this grandiose assembly. With his crown of dark clouds and his scepter of lightning, Huracán welcomed his divine companions. His voice resounded like thunder and his eyes shone with the intensity of a thousand storms.

From the northern lands, Thor, the Norse god of thunder, arrived. With his hammer Mjolnir in hand, which could summon lightning and thunder, Thor greeted Hurricane with a solemn gesture. All around him, the cold winds of Scandinavia howled, bringing with them tales of glaciers and stormy seas.

From the highlands of Mesoamerica, Tlaloc, the Aztec god of rain and storms, appeared. His face was adorned with jade masks and his presence was accompanied by a tropical storm. Tlalaloc offered his wisdom about the rains that nourish the earth and the flooding of rivers.

Angler holding a permit at ESB Lodge

From the far east, Susanoo, the Japanese god of storms and the sea, joined the gathering. With his sword Totsuka-no-Tsurugi, Susanoo controlled the winds and waves. His arrival was marked by a typhoon that swept leaves and branches in its path, symbolizing the devastating power of storms.

From the lands of the Indian subcontinent, Indra, the Hindu god of thunder and rain, arrived. Riding his elephant Airavata, Indra brought with him the monsoon, the rains that revitalize the fields and rivers. His imposing presence and his celestial thunderbolt, the Vajra, reminded everyone of the necessary balance between destruction and renewal.

From Olympus, Zeus, the king of the Greek gods and lord of lightning, descended. With his white beard and majestic bearing, Zeus brought with him the authority and strength of the heavens. His withering thunderbolt illuminated the sacred mountain, reminding all present of the supreme power of the gods of Olympus.

After the formal introductions and conversation about the balance of the elements, the gods decided to have some fun and show off their skills in a friendly competition.

Hurricane proposed a lightning race to show who had the fastest lightning. Each god launched a bolt of lightning toward the horizon, lighting up the sky in a dazzling display of power. The lightning bolts of Zeus and Thor tied, both reaching the horizon in an instant, while the lightning bolts of Hurricane and Tlaloc were not far behind, dazzling with their intensity.

Susanoo challenged the other gods to create the most powerful storm. Thor swung his hammer and unleashed a furious northern gale, while Indra summoned a torrential monsoon that flooded the valleys. Hurricane spun into a violent cyclone, while Tlaloc called down a tropical storm with torrential rains, which we mere mortals called “Alberto” and lashed central Mexico and southern United States. Zeus, however, raised his arm and summoned a storm that shook the earth, declaring his dominion over the elements.

Finally, the gods joined in a dance of the winds, where each showed his control over the air and weather. Hurricane spun and created a majestic tornado, Susanoo summoned typhoons that danced around him, Thor made the skies roar with thunder, while Indra and Tlaloc wove rain and blizzards into a harmonious symphony of nature.

Angler and guide holding a permit at ESB Lodge

Although each god displayed his immense power, the competition strengthened their understanding and respect for each other. They agreed that only by working together could they maintain the necessary balance in the mortal world. Hurricane thanked everyone for their participation and reaffirmed their sacred pact to protect and balance the elements of nature.

We at ESB were unwitting attendees at this gathering of deities along with our guests Tom Levandoski, Steve Dyer, Jeff “The Chief”, Doug Leyendecker, Jim Jackson and Al Reilly.

As mere observers of the deities’ displays of mastery over the elements, the stars for most of the week were the winds and rains, accompanied by an impressive light and sound show in the form of lightning and thunder. With our experienced anglers focused exclusively on the search for permits, the cloudy skies and the total absence of shadows and contrasts over the waters of the bay allowed our guides to find this elusive species at close range, making the time to prepare and execute effective shots at the ojonas add one more point of difficulty to this already difficult fishery. But our anglers did not let themselves be intimidated and, far from avoiding the challenge, they faced it with the utmost fortitude, which resulted in chances and good shots towards schools and solitary permits. Although they did not miss the opportunities to catch some bonefish and tarpons that crossed their paths, their main objective was only the permits.

The days were generally marked by moderate to strong winds at times. Some night rains lasted until the beginning of the morning, which forced us, on two occasions, to start our fishing day a little later when the rains and, above all, the lightning would have stopped. On Wednesday, the rains, lightning and thunder did not cease throughout the day; undoubtedly, it was the day when Susanoo challenged the other gods to create the most powerful storm and forced us all to stay on dry land.

Angler holding a baby tarpon at ESB LodgeThe daily sighting of his targets kept our anglers’ spirits always high when it came to fishing, and their unwavering desire to have a good time among friends did the rest. This is how routines were created that will undoubtedly be part of all their future fishing trips. The best and most fun was called “La mesa del mezcal”, a solemn moment at the end of the fishing day where everyone, gathered around a table in the palapa, had very entertaining and varied conversations, accompanied by good music, appetizers and, of course, some mezcal.

During Friday afternoon, the clouds began to let some warm rays of sunshine through, which increased the chances of making even more effective shots at schools or solitary fish, but this trophy species continued to show how difficult it is to fool.

The sunrise of the last day of fishing, although still cloudy, started to show some clearings that inspired everyone to give their best effort to catch some permits. Steve took his chances very well and achieved his goal.

As you can see, it was not our best week as far as fishing is concerned, but I can not fail to thank and recognize the great effort of all our staff and guides for making our guests enjoy their stay with us despite the lack of cooperation from the weather.

The weather this week was a roller coaster of emotions, where all the predictions became a mere anecdote or colorful detail in the day to day. The satellite images reflected the almost random movement of storms with winds changing in intensity and direction. It reminded me of Patagonian weather, where everything can change in ten minutes and leave you with all four seasons in a single day, only here it would really blow me away if it started to snow.

The tides were just as unpredictable due to the effects of the wind, one more point that added to the roller coaster of emotions.

With our sights set exclusively on permits, the variety of flies used was summed up in “We used them all”, but nothing seemed to fully satisfy the ojonas.

So, dear angler, let’s continue to rely on the classics that have earned their title of Bay Classics.

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

Group at ESB Lodge June 16-23, 2024

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