September 03 -10, 2023 #27
Welcome to the Caribbean!
Once again, and not to lose the habit, we have enjoyed a great week. It seems that Huracán, the Mayan god of storms and weather, finally decided to reward us for our good behavior, and drove away his violent creations, giving us much more predictable weather than in previous weeks.
We have once again received a very fun group led by Captain Billy Trimble, renowned guide of the Coastal Bend flats, Linda and David Mann, David Philips, Chris Koch, Bonner Armbruster and Fred Lockwood, all of them excellent people that with joy, good humor and great predisposition to have a good time made our week go by almost in the blink of an eye.
Monday dawned a bit grey, the clouds that covered the bay since early hours deprived the water surface of shadows and contrasts. As the morning unfolded, the omnipresent gaze of K`inich Ajaw, the name given to the sun by the Mayas, showed the silhouettes of those beings that have so often kept us awake at night or made us daydream, as they plied the shallow waters of the flats. Our guides and anglers wisely took advantage of the opportunities and consequently, that night we celebrated Bonner’s immense first permit on the first day of fishing for this species in his life. Linda added a beautiful tarpon and Fred a few bonefish to the pretexts, which are so hard for us to find to celebrate, together with the numerous species caught by the whole group on their first day.
As if it were a typical Black Friday, our group of guests gladly accepted the two for one that the bay offered them, making Tuesday and Wednesday two days with a lot of activity where the snook were the protagonists with numerous catches. Not to be outdone and lose their market shares, the bonefish and tarpon also seemed to be on offer and gave a recital of screaming reels while the baking yards cut through the waters in a frenzy of running and jumping.
Thursday was Linda’s day, who returned to the lodge absolutely dazzled by the shiny scales of the many bonefish she landed. Jack, Snapers, Barracuda and snook caught by the whole group made for a GREAT day of fishing.
On Friday Fred and Billy took as their own the narrative of Ernest Hemingway in his best-known work, “The Old Man and the Sea”, and playing the roles of Santiago and Manolin, they embarked on the adventure of breaking the curse with the emblematic species of the bay, which was punishing the whole group. These empathetic fish had been showing total indifference and disregard to the excellent shots and wonderful imitations that everyone had managed to present in front of them. That is how “Billy-Santiago” showed off his vast experience as a fisherman and managed to get his curved and sharp wire into the mouth of a beautiful Permit, starting a battle that fortunately did not last five days like Santiago’s battle with the marlin. “Fred-Manolin” had his chance and after achieving the gigantic and difficult first move of executing a perfect shot, making the incredibly realistic movement of the crab and getting it to stick in his mouth, it was the leader who decided to deny him the victory. With the jinx already broken and taking advantage of the fact that the Cuban waters that Hemingway used as inspiration for his famous work are the same waters that bathe the shores of Espiritu Santo Bay, “Billy-Santiago” and “Fred-Manolin” decided to write the second, third and fourth installments of this famous story.
With a dramatic turn of events that not even Hemingway could have imagined but maintaining the same spirit of perseverance and resilience that he, and so many other writers of the so-called “lost generation” knew how to capture in their works, “Billy-Santiago” and “Fred-Manolin” went in search of Tarpon, Bonefish and Snooksto elevate their feet to the category of Super Grand Slam.
“Billy-Santiago” wrote the next three installments of “The Old Man and the Sea” in his version of Espiritu Santo Bay without further delay, clearly showing himself as the Hero of the story by landing a gigantic tarpon that exceeded three digits in weight, while “Fred-Manolin” was in charge of developing the plot that can be summarized in the phrase “in the face of adversity there is no defeat”, facing each of the challenges that these species put in his way regardless of the outcome of the fight.
During the last day of fishing, all the species in the bay continued to be very active, with the snook and bonefish as their greatest exponents, while the permit seemed to have learned the lesson of the previous day, but still selling their defeat at a high price.
All the members of this wonderful group left for home with the satisfaction of having enjoyed an excellent week, and we are preparing to welcome a new group with the conviction that we know how to make their experience at ESB a little bit more than what our guests expect.
The near-zero winds that rotated between southeast and northeast throughout the week meant that the Atlantic waters, which lapped the shores of the lodge, were literally a mirror on some days, passing over the reef almost without leaving the slightest mark.
The tides continued to be extremely strong and predictable, much to everyone’s delight.
The permit flies for the week were Casa Banca white ragheads, Fulling Mills Tan Flexo Crab and an ESB Yellow Eyes Raghead. All flies were on a #2 hook.
Tarpon and snook ate a lot of EP baitfish, black/purple, red/white, Everglades, and Chartreuse color schemes. Toads worked at times and the tan laid up tarpon fly has a productivity rate that is hard to ignore.
Bonefish ate every shrimp pattern that was properly weighted to the depth I was fishing.
See you next week with a new report and feel free to contact our friends at The Fly Shop for a first-hand account of what life is like in Espiritu Santo Bay, the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve (which means “Where the sky begins,” in the Mayan language).
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 Lodge family