September 22 – 29, 2019
Good morning Esb Lodge Anglers & Fans,
We’ve had another wonderful week of fishing here at Esb Lodge. It was a great group of guests with returning anglers and some that made the journey from Santiago, Chile. Chiara and I had the pleasure of having dinner with Victor and Judy Inouye a couple years ago along with Mike and Bertha Michalak. We were just beginning with the building blocks of Esb Lodge and it was great to see these two with a now budding, successful operation. Guests also enjoyed some nice weather days in the beginning of the week that coincided with some awesome fishing.
Our permit fishing is slowly picking up and we are beginning to see more numbers of fish throughout our northern flats. We have also been targeting areas outside the bay, further along the northern coast where there are a couple small pancake flats. Targeting these flats has proven itself with decent numbers of smaller schools moving through on tidal fluctuations. Angler Victor Inouye came down here in hopes of landing a permit and got a beautiful fish of about 15 lbs with guia Lobo/Tony. Him and Judy also fished a small flat located close to the launch towards the end of the week and saw a small school close to the shore. They hopped out of the boat and were able to land two smaller permit. Guest Devin Sears joined us last year and succeeded in landing his first permit, a smaller fish pulled from a school. Devin was able to graduate to landing a big permit that ate the fly with about 6 inches of fly line left from the tip of the rod. Our two Chilean friends Alejandro and Fernando each were successful and landed 3 permit between them and had a couple unfortunate break offs.
The group of 6 anglers collectively landed 7 permit for the week and this brings total number fish landed for the season to 308 permit with 197 guests.
Our tarpon fishing has remained good and every week guests are getting shots at bigger, migratory fish as well as our resident tarpon that are up to 30 lbs. Victor Inouye had a fantastic day with guide Alex and they hooked and landed a fish that went 80 lbs. as well as smaller fish that was close to 40 lbs. Judy was also able to land a smaller fish thus being her first tarpon in the fly. Guest Alejandro also landed a larger fish upwards towards 80 lbs. Guia Fernando had angler Victor hooked up with a fish over 100 lbs. that was leadered but succeeded in wearing through 80 lb. shock tippet.
I expect the tarpon fishing to remain strong with our northern winds. We are seeing incredible numbers of fish throughout the day moving along the flats and decent schools of snook with a lower tide. I am strongly encouraging guests to pack a bigger rod for these large tarpon loaded with an intermediate sink tip line to keep the fly consistent in the desired water column.
We had a mix of calmer weather for the beginning of the week with very light winds rarely exceeding 10 mph. The last two days fishing unfortunately was cloudy with a strong wind out of the north. Our tides were incoming in the morning resulting in midday high. Tides started dropping early afternoon.
The Tan #2 Squimp continues to produce permit as well as Casa Blanca Raghead Crabs #2. Our Chilean friends were successful on #2 Raghead crabs tied with yellow dumbbell eyes.
Tarpon flies varied with EP baitfish on a #2/0 hook and Tarpon Toads on a # 2/0 hook. We notice some of the tarpon located on the flats are not very selective in terms of offerings and will succumb to Chartreuse/white, Purple/Black, and more natural colors. Bonefish were taken on any smaller shrimp patterns ranging in sizes #4 – #8.
Our staff and lodge crew did a fantastic job of maintaining and delivering delicious meals for our guests. Enough cannot be said about their dedication and work ethic that helps creates Esb Lodge into what guests have come to love.
This week we have 8 guests with some familiar faces returning from prior seasons. It was great to see our Cape Cod friends Vinny and Michael last Sunday at the airstrip to return for another great week at Esb Lodge. We have some mixed weather in the forecast with a good amount of rain. This is disheartening to some but we’re excited about a wind forecast that shouldn’t exceed 10 mph for the week. Our guides work hard and know the fishery well enough to provide consistent fishing regardless of conditions.
Please contact our friends at The Fly Shop to inquire about this special place or to get recent updates about gear and tackle for your upcoming trip. Enjoy your week where ever you may be and please stay tuned for the next report!
All our best,
Saludos desde el Caribe Mexicana