August 11 – 18, 2019
Good morning Esb Lodge Anglers & Fans,
We’re back again here at Esb Lodge and have opened our doors for the second half of the 2019 season. Last week’s group was put together by Chet Wood and he brought along 7 close friends who have all fished and traveled together. We had a lot of fun with the group and we can’t think of better guests to lead off our remaining 12 weeks of 2019. Great friendships were formed, much laughter, and all-around enjoyable comradery. Chiara and I both are very excited to see the group return for the 2020 season. The beginning of the week was exceptional for weather and our guides worked hard to introduce this wonderful fishery to our guests.
It’s always interesting to see the fishery after taking a month off from the bay. We were not disappointed and thought things were shaping up well and decent numbers of fish were found. This part of the Yucatan has been in a drought for the last few months and we have noticed some significant changes in parts of the bay. Some of our local flats located in the southwest corner were void of fish due to very high-water temps which causes everything to move towards deeper water. Guides had to adjust accordingly and focused on two of our 5 river systems on the north side. We also poled along some deeper flats located closer to our launch.
Most of the group had limited saltwater experience and half the group had never saltwater fished before. This fishery is named and headlined as a permit fishery but in truth we can’t think of a more picturesque place for beginning saltwater anglers. The guest’s faith in the guides provided great experience in chasing all species we have to offer. Allowing your guide to suggest targeted species throughout the day will optimize your chances of catching! This group are all accomplished trout fisherman and quickly adapted to the demands and techniques required for saltwater. Everyone was able to catch great numbers of bonefish and quickly progressed to chasing other species as well. Six of eight guests this week were able to land their first permit and three of the six had never saltwater fished before. This is a testament to our hardworking guides and the wonderful fishery.
The group landed nine permit for the week, raising our season total to 264 permit landed with 162 guests.
Guest Todd Cooper was one of the novice saltwater anglers and he had an exceptional week of fishing. Throughout the week he was able to land three permit, snook, tarpon, and plenty of bonefish. Great job Todd and kudos! Michael Griffin was able to tag his first permit and later in the week with guia Alex they landed the largest permit amongst the group. Other species were landed as well and guest Kevin Taylor provided our kitchen with two exceptional mutton snapper, unfortunately one snapper closed in on his fly before a permit could. This group also chased barracuda when opportunities presented them self. I think it’s a safe bet to say some of the most exciting fishing comes with the electrifying fight after a hook up with these apex predators. I strongly believe these fish demand attention and can easily provide some of the most memorable moments of your fishing week.
Our tarpon and snook fishing were a little slower than we have seen in the past and we believe this was due to higher water temps in our backcountry system. There are some larger tarpon around but with a strong east wind these places were too rough to spot rolling fish.
Weather for the week was mostly sunny with some scattered rain showers that developed later in the week. We had a slight east wind that picked up to a steady 10 -15 mph on Friday and Saturday. Our tides were a little unusual with an incoming tide in the morning, resulting at a high around 10:30 with a hard fall. We then saw low tide again midday with the tide returning around 2:00 PM.
Our stand by size #2 Tan Squimp and #2 white Casa Blanca raghead crab were responsible for permit landed for the week. I cannot emphasize the importance of having these in your box when you make the trip to fish this part of the world. We also love the raghead crabs to be tied with size large, yellow dumbbell eyes.
Tarpon and snook were landed on an array of toads and EP baitfish. Color schemes varied: Blk/Purple, Chartreuse/white, white/tan, and everglade’s special.
Bonefish that were feeding ate all manner of gotcha’s, puffs, charlies, squimp in sizes #4-#8. Chet Wood was ecstatic to see his dreamsicle Charlies provide nonstop action!
Our kitchen and house staff were on point providing delicious meals and insuring the lodge was running in top form. They work extremely hard to provide guests with a clean, efficient, and working order that tops off a great week of fishing.
We’re excited for this upcoming week with some new faces that are trying out our fishery for the first time. We have ESB veteran Tom Blailock returning this week as well and it’s great to see our returning friend. I would also like to thank Tom for facilitating a $5,000 donation of frontline collars and treatment for the local dog rescue we have teamed up with in the past year. This is an incredible gesture and our animal friends are provided with the help they need.
We hope you have great week and enjoy some of the last weeks of your 2019 summer. Please drop a line to our friends at The Fly Shop to inquire about this special place or if you need additional information. Stay tuned for next week’s report and all our best from the team of ESBL!
From a special corner of the Yucatan,
Saludos desde el Caribe Mexicana