June 18 – 25, 2023 #21
Welcome to the Caribbean!
We have had a very good week here in ESB, although the weather was not very cooperative, it seems that once again the Mayan Gods have family disputes and kept us all week with uncomfortable winds and some strong but intermittent rains. Although tropical storm Bret, which was born on the African coast and ended up disappearing in the proximities of Honduras, never reached us within its area of influence, undoubtedly the low pressure zones that fed it fostered the instability of the weather throughout the Caribbean, we could say that it was a clear example of the butterfly effect proposed by Edward Lorenz.We had the always welcome visit of Steve Dyer, an incredible fisherman, happy with a character and sense of humor that guarantees laughter throughout the week, and who like Rodger Nye visit us several times a season, along with them we received Doug Leyendecker, Jim Jackson, Richard Smalling who have already visited us in previous years and this time we added Alex Reilly who was looking to have his first experiences in the waters of the bay.
Monday started with uncomfortable easterly winds that brought with them some high clouds that promised to cast a shadow over the fish sighting in the bay. Although the target species of all our intrepid anglers and also the emblem of the inhabitants of the bay proved to be elusive and uncooperative to be fooled by the flies skillfully presented, the ghosts of the flats and other species were more condescending and gave moments of adrenaline and joy to our guests.
Tuesday’s day presented similar winds to the previous day as well as the untimely clouds, but did not present a major problem for Steve and Doug who added to their scores of the week their first permit. With the arrival of the middle of the week, and as much as we were reluctant to admit it, the annoying winds and clouds would be the trend of each day and the forecast only confirmed it. Assuming this condition and showing off the classic Hispanic phrase that says “Al mal tiempo, buena cara” (to bad weather, good face) Alex managed to land his first Permit to the joy of all and that logically was celebrated with the ritual of the tequila shot that same night, but wait my friend reader this does not end here, Jim scored a well-deserved Super Grand Slam and as if that wasn’t enough excitement for one day, the phenomenal cosmic powers aligned with the Coriolis effect and the unwavering spirit of our fishermen to make sure that absolutely everyone could check off a check mark in the permit box on their scorecards. Rodger ended his day with a bittersweet taste because despite having managed to win his fight against a specimen of the mythical “ojonas”, he had another chance against a real monster for the species, But luck was not with him in this battle and even though he managed to stick his sharp hook twice in the same specimen, it found a way to escape in both cases, leaving our angler sending affectionate greetings to the mother and grandmother of the permit that was leaving him towards deeper waters.
In the early hours of Thursday morning, a short but intense rain came and then moved away and left the sky a little clearer than what we were used to in the previous days. The forecast predicted better conditions than those predicted the day before and all this gave renewed hope to the group that left Punta Herrero ready to repeat the results of the previous day. At midday the horizon began to be tinged with dark clouds that approached the coast, proving once again that the predictions of the best weather models are not absolute truths and sometimes fail. After three o’clock in the afternoon, heavy rains and the presence of Yaluk (Mayan God of lightning) forced the whole group to seek shelter and as soon as possible the safety of the port, ending the fishing day a little earlier than planned in our daily schedule. Still, it was enough time for Steve to add new victories in his personal battle against the permit.
On Friday, with no rain in sight, but with the immovable thick clouds and moderate winds, our anglers once again took on the challenge of giving their best to duel with the unpredictable, and extremely elusive permit. Rodger had his revenge and won the arm wrestle with one of these ojonas, giving him back his smile.
The last fishing day, although it did not bring variations in the individual markers of the target species of our anglers, it did leave us with the sighting of big tarpon rolling near the mouth of the bay, bonefish that undoubtedly could compete in size with those that we usually expect to find in the Bahamas, barracudas, jacks, snappers and many others.As you can see it was a week that regardless of the results or cold numbers of catches showed that the spirit and the power of adaptation of each angler are the basis and in most cases the key to success to meet our own expectations for each day or fishing trip, personally I would add the laughter, stories and jokes as the other fundamental ingredient to make a normal fishing trip into something memorable and treasured by each of the participants.
The winds this week showed a minimum value of about 12 mph and a maximum value that exceeded 25 mph, regardless of the direction of this, there are always places that offer greater shelter and mitigate the harmful effects of the wind on our casts, but, for example, make the crossings from one or the other coast of the bay quite uncomfortable.As I have already mentioned in the chronicles of the week, we had some heavy rains but fortunately they did not last long.
The tides were again unpredictable due to the effect of the wind, modifying to a great extent the use of the currents in the mouths of the rivers as a fishing strategy.
As in the last few weeks, the permit were presented with a number of different patterns, sizes and colors of shrimp and crabs with no particular interest in a specific one, but among those that performed well were the classic Flexo (Dane’s favorite fly, hahaha), ESB spawning shrimp, Casa Blanca, ESB Yellow Eyes Raghead Crab and Tequila twister.The large silver torpedoes that migrate or reside at the mouth of the bay this week were pretty much banned by the weather, but baby tarpon were receptive to taking streamers in sizes and colors present in the EP catalog. My dear reader, I invite you to accept the Woolly Bugger Challenge and on your next visit invest ten to fifteen minutes of your fishing time and test if this mythical freshwater streamer is effective with tarpons, as it was with bonefish fully demonstrated by Mike Scott a few weeks ago.
The bonefish are still willing to accept imitations of crabs and shrimps in small and not so small sizes, we have had cases where they willingly take permit flies.
The end of our first part of the season is approaching, the signs of tiredness in all our staff, including myself, are already showing but they are totally replaced by their determination and professionalism always looking for the same goal, to make your stay with us everything you expect and a little bit more.
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.