September 01 – 08, 2019
Good morning Esb Lodge Anglers & Fans,
We’ve enjoyed ourselves here at Esb Lodge hosting another great week. We had Captain Billy Trimble with us, who brought along a handful of returning friends and welcomed along some new guests as well. We enjoyed decent weather, great food, and some quality time on the water.
Our water temps in the bay are still extremely warm. This last week’s group focus was concentrated on spending time on all four of our targeted flats species. The guides and I were able to get a better read on the bay and it’s overall productivity compared to the previous week. We saw much of the same scenarios with tarpon, permit, and snook. Guests would fish a particular flat that held good numbers of fish and we would return the next day to a completely vacant flat. These inconsistencies prove to be difficult for us and the guides worked very hard to continue to find fish. I believe paying very close attention to our minimal tide fluctuation and “riding” the tides from one of the bays to other is the best way to find our schools of fish, especially permit. Our northern flat, probably one of the most productive areas we have for great numbers of permit has been out of commission due to high temps. Guides Tony (Lobo) and Pepe tried multiple times to pole across Ensenada. Only one day did we see schools of fish and they were unresponsive and not interested. Similar to a couple weeks ago, our main schools of permit are located in the first third portion of the bay. We saw most of our schools parallel with an area we call “Casita’s and Red Buoy”. They were located almost in the middle of the bay. When we caught an incoming tide, guests were able to find a handful of fish closer to the southern shore. A couple of guests enjoyed throwing crabs on foot to these shallow water permit. It was also noted the unusual behavior of the permit we found as well, being mostly unresponsive and difficult to commit on our flies.
Our total number of permit landed for the week was 4 with eight guests. This brings our season total to 288 permit landed with 178 guests.
Jerry Eaton had a great time with us and his wonderful wife Terry. The two started the week fishing with head guide Fernando and they went for big tarpon in our northern cut. I loaned Jerry an 11 weight rod with an intermediate line. He landed a beautiful fish they went at least 80 lbs. Jerry was happy to return the 11 weight later on stating one of these big fish was enough to handle for the week! He followed with some very nice permit landed and succeeded in landing a grand slam with guide Alex. Jerry and Terry have been fishing this bay for more than 9 years and I am proud of his accomplishment. Terry also came close to a slam as well and landed some very impressive snook. Returning guest Mark Blackburn shared the boat for the week with our close friend Rock Onstad. Mark was able to land a grand slam as well. This is obviously an incredible achievement and makes for a wonderful week for any saltwater angler. The guides were excited to see the numbers of resident tarpon and snook that were located throughout our system. When we located fish, we often saw good numbers and they were willing to take a fly. David Phillips, Stroman Cashion, and Kevin Parks all enjoyed landing snook and tarpon. Collectively the group landed more than 20 snook and almost as many tarpon. Bonefish, never to be overlooked in our fishery, were also caught and we had a few landed that tipped the scale at 5 lbs. I feel like a broken record at times requesting our guests to enjoy at least half a day chasing this much underrated species in ESB. Often guests are ecstatic about the numbers and size of our bonefish. We truly have one of the least pressured fisheries in the entire Caribbean and by far the largest bonefish stretching the entire Yucatan.
Our weather for the most part was pleasant with partly sunny skies with light winds. Wind direction was from the southeast for the beginning of the week and started to head from the east and northwest as the week ended. Tides were incoming early AM, resulting in high late morning, with a midday slack. We saw tides drop and a fall that started early afternoon.
Our permit flies for the week was #2 Tan Squimp and #2 White Casa Blanca crab. We also threw spawning shrimp in sizes #2 – #4. Our go to Tarpon and snook fly was a Chartreuse/White, Black/Purple Toad as well EP baitfish in natural colors. Bonefish were readily caught on small spawning shrimp, gotchas, Christmas islands, and Squimps in sizes #4 – #8. Every week we seem to pick a nice bonefish on a tarpon fly tied off on 80 lb.!
We are known as having access to one of the most successful permit fisheries in the Caribbean and perhaps the world. Our numbers of fish landed far exceed those seen in most other locations. That being said they are still difficult to catch. They are demanding, requiring precise casts and of course having the right flies. I, along with The Fly Shop put together an Esb Lodge fly selection that specifically caters to this fishery. I strongly advise the purchase of this selection and it will cover you for all four of our targeted species. For those that have purchased this package in years past please take the time to reorder the flies that you have used in your previous trips to Esb Lodge. Regarding permit, our two staple flies that you must have with you are specifically #2 Tan Squimps and #2 White Casa Blanca Raghead crabs. In my opinion having an assortment of a dozen of these proven flies will set you up for a successful week! Please feel free to call The Fly Shop and talk with them about flies you or flies you made need for your upcoming trip to Esb Lodge.
Our staff and kitchen did a wonderful job providing us with delicious meals and a well-kept, organized lodge for our week of guests.
I am excited for this up coming week. We have group of gentlemen that I have had the pleasure of hosting, guiding, friending, for the last 12 years. They are very dear to us and it’ll be an exciting week for everyone. Please feel free to call our close friends at The Fly Shop to inquire about this special place in the Yucatán. Please be safe and enjoy the up coming fall season. Stay tuned for next week’s report!
All our best,
Saludos desde el Caribe Mexicana