October 13 – 20, 2019
Greetings Esb Lodge Anglers & Fans,
We’ve embraced another great week here at ESBL. Last week the lodge enjoyed hosting a wonderful group that hails from Texas, led by front man Ralph Smith. These guys have been coming to this part of the Yucatan for many years, and we are happy to call them friends. We had challenging weather during much the week, but with good company, great food, and a few drinks a fantastic trip was had by all. I look forward to seeing this group again in the future!
Fishing conditions were difficult this week due to weather patterns not normally associated with our October fishery. Hard winds from the east stacked our tides extremely high in the beginning of the week, and we’re starting to see a bit of freshwater show up in our river systems on the north side of the bay. Freshwater in the bay is due to the last few weeks of heavy rainfall and we believe it’ll take some time to see the bay rid itself of the rainwater. When we have hard winds from the east, it pushes against the outgoing tide, slowing the movement of freshwater towards the ocean.
Permit fishing continued to be difficult due to high winds and heavy cloud cover. A couple boats worked the southern shoreline seeking wind protection and they saw very few fish. The majority of our permit found in the last couple weeks have been around river systems 3 and 4. Our permit flat located in the northeast portion of the bay also produced some decent numbers of fish. Kevin Vincent was able to catch a nice permit earlier in the week, and the group was able to land two more on the last day.
Jeff Honcock landed his first permit with guide Victor on a #2 Tan Squimp. Our weather conditions greatly improved the last few days, and smaller schools were located outside of the fourth river system. Andre Feucht came down this week having never landing a permit and succeeded with a beautiful fish that went 20 lbs. He also completed a grand slam fishing solo with guide Alex. Kevin Vincent tied some great looking white spawning shrimp flies which the permit seemed to respond to well.
Our total number of permit landed for the week was three, giving us a season total of 318 for 221 guests.
When conditions are difficult for permit and bonefish we enjoy chasing snook. These fish are readily found throughout our system. During our fall months we see larger fish move into the bay, and it makes for one of the best snook fisheries in the Caribbean. Most of the group were able to capitalize on this opportunity, and everyone had chances for fishing snook throughout the week. I strongly suggest to our guests that they dedicate time towards chasing these incredable sportfish. Our river systems along the northern shore produced good numbers of snook, and they were also found outside of the second river as well.
Tarpon were located inside river 1, and a couple of mangrove lined islands held schools of fish that were accessible with a lower tide.
We had decent luck with bonefish in the beginning of the week, and guests also enjoyed some great sight fishing in our back country system between rivers 1 and 2. We often see larger bonefish come into our bay during the fall months, and we are still unsure what causes this. These fish can be aggressive and bonefish were landed on tarpon flies tied on 50 lb plus tippet. Guest Vince Wiseman was using cuda tubes across a channel and bonefish ate the 8 inch lure. This is not common but it’s encouraging to see aggressively eating fish that will not spook or shy off.
We had mixed weather during the week and our fishing days started off with hard winds from the southeast. Cloud cover was heavy at times and some rainfall moved across the bay throughout the week. During our last two days we saw lighter winds and mostly sunny skies. The wind direction for the week was mostly from the east southeast.
Tides were very high towards the beginning of the week and changed mid-week. With strong east winds we see ocean water pushed into the bay, resulting in a fast rising tide and the outgoing tide move slowly if at all. Guides commented that they saw an outgoing tide in the western part of the bay and towards the mouth of the bahia to the east, the wind had put the current to a standstill.
Our Tan #2 Tan Squimp continues to get results for permit along with White Casa Blanca Raghead crabs and White Spawning Shrimp sizes #4 and #2.
EP Baitfish and Tarpon Toads worked well for resident tarpon and snook.
All manner of shrimp imitations produced well for bonefish in sizes #2 to #8.
Our kitchen did a fantastic job of providing guests with wonderful Mexican cuisine, including a subtle Mayan influence. The lodge staff worked hard to ensure that guests were comfortable and enjoyed a well-maintained operation.
We hope that you’re having a great October, and encourage you to please give our friends at The Fly Shop a call to ask about this special place.
Please stay tuned for next week’s report!
All our best,
Saludos desde el Caribe Mexicana