GPS Coordinates: 19°47’58.62″N 87°28’30.97″W
Trip Questionnaire: Please click on the link below. This will take you an electronic questionnaire form that we ask you to complete and submit to The Fly Shop®. Please be sure to click the “Submit” button at the end of the form. The information provided will help us — and the outfitter best coordinate your trip.
THANK YOU! CLICK HERE
This pre-trip planner & outfitting guide is your go-to resource for questions about your trip from now until your return home safely. It is loaded with information about travel, lodge policy, sample itinerary, and of course lots of clothing, gear, and tackle recommendations. Feel free to contact us anytime with questions or concerns but know this is a great reference to keep handy.
General Travel Information
The Palometa Club is located on the Yucatan Peninsula, approximately 56 kilometers south of Tulum in the sleepy fishing village of Punta Allen, Mexico.
Documents & Entry Requirements:
- A passport valid for at least six months beyond the dates of your trip is required to enter Mexico.
- On your flight to Cancun (CUN), you will receive an immigration tourist card that you must present as you exit Mexico.
- IMPORTANT: Parents traveling abroad with a minor must have a notarized affidavit from the other parent or legal guardian giving permission for the minor to make the trip.
- Passport information at www.travel.state.gov
When booking your commercial flights to/from Cancun there is a schedule that you must adhere to in order to guarantee a safe and timely ground transfer to the lodge and back to Cancun in time for your commercial connection home.
Here are a few recommendations for Hotels in Cancun; all are within 25 minutes of the airport.
- Complimentary Shuttle Service from the Airport-Hotel-Airport, at stall #26, right outside the exit of the terminal. The shuttle van is obvious, green and yellow, all others are just white. 5 Minutes to and from the Airport, the Courtyard by Marriott Cancun is perfect for a quick and restful layover. Very comfortable, with a pool, bar and in hotel restaurant, you never have to leave if you don’t want to. This is also the closest and most convenient hotel to the Cancun Airport.
- This hotel is very basic and relatively inexpensive.
- A more luxurious hotel on the beach and minutes from the nightlife of the city.
- Distance from Airport: 20 KM / 12.43 MI S.
- Taxi Fee: $20.00 (USD) Time by taxi: 30 minutes
Booking Airfare to Cancun (CUN), Mexico:
Now is also the time to secure your commercial airline reservations to/from Cancun, Mexico. You will need to make these arrangements on your own, however of course feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns about your specific itinerary before you make any purchases.
Cancun is serviced daily by nearly every airline with multiple flights daily to/from the U.S.A. There are multiple non-stop flights from Dallas/Ft. Worth and Miami (American Airlines), Houston (United), Atlanta (Delta), New York, and many more.
Arrival & Departure Schedules (Friday – Friday):
The Palometa Club operates on a standard Friday-Friday schedule throughout the season. When booking your commercial flights to/from Cancun there is a schedule that you must adhere to in order to guarantee a safe and timely ground transfer to the lodge and back to Cancun in time for your commercial connection home:
- On arrival day please plan to arrive in Cancun no later than 2:00 pm.
- On departure day please depart from Cancun no earlier than 1:00 pm.
From Cancun, you will be driven approximately 1.5 – 2 hours south through the town of Tulum en route to the Boca Paila Bridge a few kilometers south of Tulum. From the bridge, guests will load into boats with the guides and make a comfortable water transfer down the Boca Paila Lagoon to avoid the discomfort of the road.
Before You Book Your Commercial Airfare:
Before you solidify any non-refundable commercial airline reservations, please verify with us that your perspective flight schedule is suitable for your specific itinerary and ground connections onward to the lodge. Once you have made your airlines reservations, we will need a copy of your itinerary to coordinate meeting your driver at the airport.
Tourist Immigration Card (Do Not Lose):
During your flight from the U.S. to Mexico, your international carrier will provide you with a Mexican Immigration and Customs Declaration Form. You will need your passport and a pen to complete this information card. A portion of the card will be submitted upon entry to Mexico during the immigrations process. The bottom section will be turned in upon your departure from Mexico. It is a good idea to keep the bottom portion of this card with your passport.
Note About Terminal #2 Arrivals:
If by chance you arrive at Terminal #2, there is a free shuttle service just outside that will take you to Terminal #3. Unless otherwise instructed, you must take this shuttle and head to the “MEETING POINT” sign at the Berryhill Restaurant outside Terminal #3 unless otherwise instructed in advance of your trip.
If You Are Delayed:
In the event of a flight delay, please call the Tailwaters Travel office (888) 824-5420 or (214) 219-2500 to provide updated flight plans and status. We have also provided phone numbers for your driver. Tailwaters Travel: (214) 219-2500 Manuel Quezada (Driver): (011) 52-1-984-114-9894
Meeting Your Driver:
After going through immigrations and clearing customs, you will proceed through the terminal hallway to the right. The hall will then turn left and exit through a large set of glass doors. Here you will find several tour operators all waiting to pick up passengers and other travelers visiting Cancun. You are instructed to meet you’re The Palometa Club representative immediately to the left as you exit the terminal glass doors. As soon as you exit the building, turn to your left, and go through the turn-style passageway through a wall towards the patio restaurant. You will see a blue sign that reads “MEETING POINT” at the base of a short set of stairs. Your driver, Manuel Quezada, will meet you there holding a sign with “Palometa Club” written on it. If at first you do not immediately see your escort, simply wait on the patio at the Berryhill Restaurant until he arrives. Oftentimes, the lodge has multiple parties arriving from multiple terminals or coming from Cancun hotels. Your driver will promptly show up if he is not there upon your arrival.
Drive to the Boca Paila Bridge:
It takes approximately one and one-half hours to transfer guests from the Cancun Airport to the Boca Paila Bridge south of Tulum in a comfortable air-conditioned van. The drive is on a modern highway servicing the famed resorts of the Maya Riviera and ending in the legendary ruins of Tulum. You will leave the pavement a few kilometers south of Tulum as you enter the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and the beginning of the sandy jungle road of the Punta Allen Peninsula.
Stopping for Alcoholic Beverages:
Playa del Carmen and Tulum are the last places to stop for a bathroom break, tobacco, cold drinks, etc. You may also ask your driver to stop in Playa del Carmen at Sam’s Wholesale or at the Chedraui store (kind of like Wal-Mart) in Tulum to pick up any surplus beer, liquor, or wine you may desire to bring with you to the Club. Your driver is accustomed to this request – so feel free to ask him to stop for any last-minute shopping before heading south.
Directions to The Palometa Club (if driving your own vehicle from Cancun):
Cancun Airport – Head south (take right) on Cancun Road 307. The road has been updated the past few years and is now two lanes all the way down to Tankah. You will pass through Playa De Carmen (nice spot to stop for a stretch and to get a bite to eat). This should take you about 30-40 min from the airport. From Playa continue south to Tulum- another 15-20 min. Once in Tulum, notice a large green sign on the left-hand side of the road (road going back to Cancun…. North) that says Boca Paila. You must go past the sign about 100 yds and make a U-turn, then come back towards it and make a right. The road will be paved for about 10 more miles. You will enter the Sian Ka’an Biosphere through a checkpoint. Follow the dirt/sand road for another 30 miles. You’ll notice Boca Paila Fishing lodge on your left about 1/2 way down and then go over the bridge. Continue along the beach road until you enter the town of Punta Allen (15 miles but will seem like 30), you can’t miss it, the road dead ends in Punta Allen. Once in town, continue down the road until you reach The Palometa Club, the only 2 story building in town. If you have issues finding it, just ask anyone in town. Managers Francois and Dasha will be awaiting your arrival.
The Boat Ride:
Shortly after passing through Tulum, you will exit east and head into the entrance of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. Your driver will briefly register your group with the local authorities when you enter the park. The drive from the entrance to the park to the Boca Paila Bridge can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes depending upon the weather and quality of the road at the time. It is most often a bumpy drive, but with beautiful views and a cooler of cold cerveza to make it tolerable. Upon arrival at the bridge, guides and boats will be waiting for guests to load up and take a smooth forty-five-minute boat run down around the point to the beach in Punta Allen in front of the lodge. Make sure to have a rain jacket and water friendly shoes handy for the boat ride! Your feet are likely to get wet when loading and unloading, so pack your sandals on top of your luggage.
There is no guided fishing on your arrival day. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by with a tray of margaritas, your luggage will be taken to your room, and your first of seven incredible dinners will be served. After dinner, lodge managers will introduce the lodge staff and give a brief orientation explaining daily schedules, fishing program, and lodge policies. If you are unsure about any aspect of the trip, please ask questions!
A Few Notes About Water Transfers:
Please remember that all guests must schedule arrival into the Cancun Airport no later than 2:00pm. This ensures enough time to get through customs and immigrations and make the drive down to the Boca Bridge with enough daylight to navigate by boat to the lodge. Delayed travelers or later arrivals should expect to drive all the way down to Punta Allen.
- Also note that water transfers are sometimes not possible in the event of poor weather or unusually low tides.
At the finish of fishing on Thursday, your gear will be thoroughly rinsed and broken down so you can get partially packed up the night before. After a leisurely breakfast, you will load up in boats for the water transfer back to the Boca Paila Bridge. There you will meet the van(s) and head up the jungle road and onward to Cancun for your international flight home. Depart Cancun (CUN) on mid-afternoon flight to the USA AFTER 1:00 PM.
Traveling with Minors:
Parents traveling abroad with a minor must have a notarized affidavit from the other parent or legal guardian giving permission for the minor to make the trip.
Lost Luggage at the Airport:
If you arrive in Mexico and you cannot find your luggage, you must report it to an airline representative before you leave the baggage claim area. If you do not, it is likely that you will not recover these items. Do not surrender your original baggage claim ticket stubs when making a lost baggage claim with the airlines. Insist that they make photocopies for their records. After informing the airline, report the loss to the lodge’s local representative.
Inoculations & Health:
There are currently no inoculations required or recommended for traveling to Mexico. However, you may want to check with the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta for their recommendations on health precautions when traveling anywhere outside the United States.
Daily Fishing Itinerary
Coffee is available in the kitchen for early risers.
Breakfast. A wholesome breakfast is served. Lodge managers will announce the guide rotation and assist with any special needs or requests.
7:30 – 8:00 AM:
Guides gather at the lodge to collect lunch coolers and meet with their anglers for the day. As soon as you are ready, you and your guides are free to load up your boat and head off onto Ascension Bay. Your guide will determine your destination for the day based upon the conditions and what species you are after. It is not uncommon to run upwards of an hour first thing in the morning to get you into good water – oftentimes fishing your way back to the lodge.
A delicious lunch complete with your choice of beverages is packed in a cooler on board. The team will visit with you the afternoon before your following fishing day to discuss how you would like your lunch prepared and what beverages you would like packed in your cooler.
3:30 – 4:30 PM:
Depending on your location, water and weather conditions, and whether or not you are covered up in fish, your guides will begin heading back to the house. It is important to be safely off the Bay before sunset to provide your guide and lodge staff adequate time to do everything they must do every evening. Upon return to the lodge, your rods, reels, and lines will be rinsed with fresh water and stored safely on the rod racks ready for the next day’s action.
5:00 – 7:00 PM:
After a shower, join your mates on outside at “Kaye’s Bar” for cocktails and appetizers.
A wonderful dinner of regional Mexican and Mayan cuisine is served in the dining room no later than 7:00PM. Every evening is a feast!
If you are up for it, there is usually a crowd that retires outside at the bar for after dinner drinks, cigars and fishing stories. The fly-tying room is available upstairs, and there is wireless Internet access in the lodge for those who want to bring their own laptops or tablets. If you are still looking for some nightlife, there are a few bars in town that can be sporty.
Because communications can often be difficult in rural Mexico, and because everyone at the lodge is usually out fishing, we ask that you direct ALL of your inquiries regarding your reservation directly to The Fly Shop®:
Don’t forget to tip your drivers to and from Cancun! Recommended tip is $20-25 per person. If your van load is light with passengers, please consider giving a bit larger tip to your driver for good service.
All tips should be given in U.S. Currency – CASH ONLY. No Credit Cards or Checks for Gratuities.
- $500-$600 Per Person (based on full-week stay / shared room and boat)
- Guides Gratuities: $100-$120 per boat / day
- Lodge Staff: $50-$60 per room / night
- Drivers: $25 per person / one-way trip
Other expenses you may incur at the lodge are loaner rod and reel breakage fees (if applicable), laundry, any fly shop purchases (flies, tackle, hats, shirts, buffs, etc.) as well as massage therapy ($100/hour plus tip). Cash is the preferred method of payment for additional expenses. However, the Club can process credit cards. The Club has no way of processing personal checks in Punta Allen, and the staff is reliant on their gratuities in U.S. currency ONLY.
The Palometa Club provides complimentary beer and margaritas every day during the afternoon happy hour. Previous guests often leave behind additional liquor – and the bar is usually well stocked once the season gets going. Beyond that, guests are encouraged to bring their own choice of libations or purchase them in duty free or upon arrival into Mexico. Your driver will be happy to stop in Playa del Carmen or the Chedraui Store in Tulum for beer, wine, and other spirits at great prices. Beers for boat coolers are also gratis – however if you anticipate drinking a lot of beer it would be very appreciated if you could pick up some beer on your way down to the Club to avoid multiple shopping trips up the lengthy road to Tulum.
Guests are welcome to contact the United States via the lodge’s wireless internet system. Use your smart phone to use internet phone services, such as Facetime, Messenger, or WhatsApp. It is free of charge and a wonderful connection. In the case of emergency, we have provided you with ample contact numbers your family may use to reach you. Family and friends are also encouraged to contact us at The Fly Shop® if you need assistance tracking down a guest at the lodge.
Cell phones will work in Cancun and on the highway to Tulum, however we suggest you contact your cellular service provider to ensure international service is provided under your existing plan. We have found that Verizon does not provide good service on the Yucatan. AT&T works well. Cellular data will NOT work once you leave Tulum or at The Palometa Club in Punta Allen, but the Wi-Fi at the lodge will get you reconnected to the world. Make sure to disable the data roaming feature on your smart phone to avoid huge fees with your cellular provider!
Email / Internet:
The lodge is equipped with wireless internet access. Please feel free to bring tablets, smartphones, or laptop if you intend on using a computer to check email or the web. Ask the managers for the wireless log-in information.
The Mexican currency is the Peso. U.S. currency is widely accepted, and we recommend not exchanging dollars for pesos. Visa, Master Card, and American Express are widely accepted in Mexico.
- Note: ATM machines do not exist in Punta Allen. We recommend gathering enough cash for your trip prior to arrival into the country.
The Yucatan Peninsula is on Eastern Standard Time.
While there is no weather station on Ascension Bay and the weather can be drastically different from Tulum, the best resources for local weather in Tulum are with Weather Underground and Wind Guru as follows:
- Weather Underground: https://www.wunderground.com/weather/mx/tulum
- Wind Guru: https://www.windguru.cz/85080
We recommend you do NOT drink the tap water. If you are particularly susceptible to intestinal problems in the tropics, you probably should not brush your teeth with it either. There is purified drinking water found in your room which is replenished daily.
Boats used by the lodge are 23-foot traditional Mexican Pangas that will accommodate two anglers and two guides comfortably. Each boat is equipped with 40-50 horsepower Yamaha outboards and is constructed with a forward casting deck, tandem passenger seats, rod storage for six rods and a poling platform. Before you board the boats each day, you should be sure to have reel covers on your reels. While running, the reels often bounce and can be damaged.
The Palometa Club only uses the best guides on Ascension Bay – this is the true equity in the Club. Anglers at The Palometa Club are accompanied by two senior guides who are all accomplished fly anglers and excellent instructors and speak conversational English. The Palometa Club rotates guests daily through the guide staff – so anglers have an opportunity to fish with as many as twelve guides throughout the week.
Every morning your boat’s cooler will be well stocked with complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and boat beers. Be sure to inform someone if you would like more or less of a specific beverage.
Dress Attire at the Lodge:
The atmosphere is very laid back at The Palometa Club. You’re on vacation! Please feel free to wear whatever is comfortable during the day.
Maid & Laundry Service:
The lodge has daily maid service. Laundry service is provided on request no later than Tuesday. A variable fee is charged for laundry service.
The Club can arrange for massages on the balcony by certified massage therapists in Punta Allen. The cost of these massages is $100 per hour not including gratuity. CASH ONLY!
Electrical Current & Air-Conditioning:
There is electrical power (110 volts/60 cycles) identical to U.S. power supplied by both the town’s generators as well as a backup generator at the lodge. There is no need for converters or adapters. Rooms are equipped with individually controlled air conditioning.
Guides & Fishing Hours:
The Palometa Club is not a “fishing hotel” with super strict policy on fishing hours. However, the 8:00 am start time is fairly firm, while the afternoon quitting time is more flexible. Depending on your location, water and weather conditions, and whether or not you are covered up in fish, your guides will begin heading back to the house between 3:30-4:30 pm. It is important to be safely off the Bay before sunset to provide your guide and lodge staff adequate time to do everything they must do every evening.
Security at The Palometa Club:
Punta Allen is a very safe and sleepy fishing village with little to no crime. However, the lodge does practice common sense security protocol. Once the last guests have gone to sleep for the evening the gates to the facility are closed and the doors are locked. There are safes in each guest room for personal belongings. If you have larger items that will not fit in the guest room safes, feel free to ask the lodge manager on duty to keep items in the manager’s apartment safe.
Permit Tagging Program with B.T.T.:
The Palometa Club guides area actively involved with tagging permit as part of the Bonefish Tarpon Trust’s research on the Yucatan. All permit landed are measured and tagged. The Palometa Club guides have tagged over 1,000 permit on Ascension Bay.
All anglers should plan on bringing their own fishing equipment and tackle. The Palometa Club does have a modest amount of fishing equipment including flies, leader materials, and terminal accessories. Although you may be able to supplement your own equipment at the Club, we highly recommend not planning on stocking your fly-box with their flies, leaders, and tippet material. The remote nature of the Club does not guarantee that these items will be well stocked. Guides at the Club often tie flies for sale and will charge approximately $3-$4 per bonefish fly and $6-$8 per permit fly.
Rod & Reel Outfit Loaner Gear:
The Club has a nice selection of rental fly rods and reels in 7, 8, 9 & 10 weights as well as a handful of spinning rods. You must give us advanced notice if you are planning on borrowing rods and reels from the Club. There is a $150 fee if a rod or reel is broken.
Multi-piece 8, 9 or 10 wt. fly rods in 9-foot lengths are our favorite choices. We like fast tapered saltwater rods that have been specially designed for the rigors of the salt. Good models to choose from include Scott, Sage, and Winston, all in 4-piece sections for easy traveling.
Reels specifically designed for saltwater fly fishing are a must. Smooth, sealed disk drags, plenty of backing capacity, and sturdy machined aluminum anodized frames are features to search for in a reel. Models to consider include Hatch, Hardy, Abel, or Galvan. Should hold a minimum of 200 yards of 30-pound gel spun backing.
A floating fly line specifically designed for saltwater is what you want. These lines are designed with a special braided monofilament core that provides the proper stiffness while maintaining shooting capabilities and resisting tangles, even in tropical heat. Scientific Anglers Mastery and Amplitude lines or Rio Direct Core Flats Pro lines are good choices.
Fluorocarbon leaders are the best choice. They are nearly invisible in the water and sink quickly, perfect for spooky fish in very clear water. Change your leader every evening when you return from fishing. Going with the Fluorocarbon is necessary; if you are permit fishing! Tapered saltwater leaders in 20 lb. test in 12’ lengths are what to bring. In addition, bring spools of 16 lb. and 20 lb. Fluorocarbon tippet. Change the leader out entirely when the old one is too short or too thick, it is worth it. You may only get one chance at a permit eating for the week; you don’t want to break it off at the tippet knot on the strip set!
- Supreme Hair Shrimp – #2 (2)
- Squimp – #2; tan (6)
- Raghead Crab – #2; tan, olive (2 each)
- Contraband Crab – #4; olive, tan (2 each)
- ESB Yellow Eye Crab – #2; white & tan (2 each)
- Avalon Permit – #2 (2)
- ESB Yellow Eye Spawning Shrimp – #2; white, olive & tan (2 each)
- Puglisi’s Lead Eye Spawning Shrimp – #4; tan & translucent (2 each)
- Strong Arm Merkin – #2 (2)
- Reefer Mantis – #4; tan/orange (2)
Multi-piece 8, 9 or 10 wt. fly rods in nine-foot lengths are the best choices. We like fast tapered saltwater rods that have been specially designed for the rigors of the salt. Good models to choose from include Scott Sage Salt, Winston, all in 4-piece sections for easy traveling.
Reels specifically designed for saltwater fly fishing are the best. Smooth disk drags, plenty of backing capacity, and sturdy aluminum anodized frames are features to search for in a reel. Models to consider include Hatch, Hardy, Abel, or Galvan. Must hold a minimum of 200 yards of 30-pound backing.
For 90% of your tarpon fishing a weight forward floating line is all you need. Scientific Anglers Mastery Redfish, Amplitude Tarpon, and the Rio Direct Core Flats Pro are excellent choices. These lines are specifically designed for saltwater fly fishing with a special core that provides the proper stiffness to allow excellent shooting while resisting tangles, even in tropical heat. In addition to your floater, an intermediate sinking line has been found exceptional when fishing over rolling tarpon and fish working the edges of deeper channels. The Scientific Anglers Sonar Saltwater Intermediate line is our line of choice in this situation.
Leaders need to stand up to the abrasion of a tarpon’s sandpaper like lips. Choose nylon for shallow water and floating flies, and fluorocarbon for deeper presentations. You will need 50 lb. 60 lb. and 80 lb. shock tippet. The guides like the Fluorocarbon; we personally don’t think it makes a huge difference. When the big Tarpon are in the guides hand tie leaders for guests with 30 lb. break/class tippet, or they will run straight 80 lb. and drag them in…
The guides really like Sufix Zippy in 110-yard spools of 80 lb. @ 0.80 mm. This stuff rocks, very supple and easy to tie with and lies out beautifully. The 80 lb. is almost smaller in diameter then the other 50-60 lb. shock/tippet(s). It’s really the best of both worlds in our opinion and doesn’t cost a fortune. This is Guides favorite for snook. It has strength, smaller diameter, and doesn’t look like a slinky when you lay your fly out. We highly suggest a spool of this in addition to what is written above.
- Black Death – #3/0 (2)
- E.P. Baitfish – #2; chartreuse/white (2)
- E.P. Baitfish – #1/0; black/purple (2)
- E.P. Baitfish – #2; mangrove brown (2)
- Paradise Tarpon – #1; purple, yellow (2 each)
- Tarpon Toad – #1/0; yellow, chartreuse, red/black (2 each)
- Tarpon Toad Rabbit – #1/0; black/purple (2)
- Snookaroo – #1/0 (2)
- Megalopsicle – #1/0; chartreuse/yellow, purple/black, tan/orange (2 each)
- Laid Up Tarpon – #2/0; tan (2)
12-Weight Big Tarpon:
For the last two seasons we have encountered large migratory tarpon, some exceeding 125 pounds in Ascension Bay starting in July and running through September. If you are headed to the Club during the second half of the season and want to fish for big tarpon, consider bringing an 11 or 12-weight fly rod and reel outfit rigged with an intermediate or sinking head fly line. The Rio Leviathan 26-foot Sink-tip 350 or 450 line will come in handy when the traveling tarpon are in deeper water, up to 30 feet. Flies should be large, tied on stout and sharp hooks – Tiemco 600SP 2/0, 3/0 or 4/0.
How to Handle Large Tarpon (Keep Them in the Water):
Large tarpon, or any large fish for that matter, do not have a good time when removed from the water. The skeletons of fish are designed to incorporate the support of the surrounding water and are much weaker than ours. When they are removed from the water, they lose the support, and the skeleton struggles to support the weight of the fish under the full force of gravity. This stress can cause damage them internally, which could potentially kill the fish or make it more susceptible to predation. You can look to Florida’s recent regulation change for tarpon as a good standard. The regulations in Florida, aside from making them catch and release only, are that tarpon over 40 inches shall be always left in the water. Ideally, fish of all sizes should be kept in the water as much as possible, as they can become stressed for other reasons. They are best left in the water for photos and some anglers even move into the water to be with the fish for a picture.
Maybe just as important as leaving your big tarpon in the water; is fishing the properly sized tackle and landing your fish in a reasonable amount of time. Prolonged battles of more than an hour will reduce the fish’s ability to recover and swim away healthy. It may just kill the fish through total exhaustion. If you cannot get your fish to the boat within 45 minutes, please strongly consider breaking it off and go try for another.
Land your fish quickly so it can swim away healthy. Ensuring that tarpon, and other sport fish, are handled properly is an important aspect of conservation. Especially in the case of larger fish, as they are the breeders and necessary to replenish stocks. By treating these fish properly and with respect, we’re one step closer to protecting them.
Removing the fish from the water causes stress because it can’t breathe when the gills are exposed to the air. Bonefish research indicates that there is no amount of “okay” air exposure. Any time they were removed, it stressed them out. This stress makes them vulnerable to predators, some of which can detect that the fish is stressed. Leaving the fish in the water also helps it retain more of its protective slime, which helps it defend against infections.
For Snook you can use the same fly-fishing tackle that you use for baby tarpon. Snook key in on surface flies with a vengeance. Surface patterns like Whitlock’s Swimmin’ baitfish, Fire Tiger Wiggle Minnow, Snookaroo, and Crease Fly (Green) are good choices.
Leaders need to stand up to the abrasion of a snook’s sandpaper like lips. Choose nylon for shallow water and floating flies, and fluorocarbon for deeper presentations. Forty to sixty pound test is recommended. See tarpon leaders for specifics on snook leaders.
- Tarpon Toad – #1/0; yellow, red/black, chartreuse
- Tarpon Toad Rabbit – #1/0; black/purple
- E.P. Baitfish – #1/0; black/purple
- E.P. Baitfish – #2; mangrove brown
- E.P. Baitfish – #2; chartreuse/white
- Snookaroo – #1/0
- Megalopsicle – #1/0; chartreuse/yellow, purple/black, tan/orange
- Supreme Hair Shrimp – #2
Multi-piece 7 or 8 wt. fly rods in 9-foot lengths are the best choice. We like fast tapered saltwater rods that have been specially designed for the rigors of the salt. Good models to choose from are Scott, Sage, and Winston, all in 4-piece sections for easy traveling.
Reels specifically designed for saltwater fly fishing are the best and should hold a minimum of 200yds of 20lb backing. Smooth disk drags, and sturdy aluminum anodized frames are features to search for in a reel. Models to consider include Hatch, Hardy, Abel, or Galvan.
A floating fly line specifically designed for saltwater is what you want. These lines are designed with a special braided monofilament core that provides the proper stiffness while maintaining shooting capabilities and resisting tangles, even in tropical heat. Scientific Anglers Mastery and Amplitude Bonefish lines and Rio Direct Core Flats Pro lines are good choices.
We like 9’ 16 lb. fluorocarbon leaders which can also substitute as a smaller “schoolie” permit leader. Guests should also have 12 lb. fluorocarbon tippet to add to the leader if need be.
- McVay Gotcha – #6 (4)
- Mini Puff – #6; pink, tan (4 each)
- Beck’s Bead Chain Sili-Legs – #6; tan (4)
- Blind Mini Puff – #6; tan, pink (2 each)
- Squimp – #6; tan (4)
Ascension Bay is absolutely loaded with barracuda. There are countless times when we are standing on the bow of the skiff hunting our main four adversaries, and the guide spins the boat to position for a cast only to realize it’s a barracuda. Seeing good numbers of these fish really define how healthy this fishery is. We have begun to really target these remarkable fish on fly. Everything about them caters to many saltwater flats enthusiasts. Their streamlined profile, shallow water application, and the most aggressive, explosive takes will provide you with as much fun as any other fish we have seen on the flats.
For barracuda fishing, you’ll need a spool of nylon covered braided wire such as Rio’s Knottable Wire Bite Tippet in 30- or 40-pound test, or just get the prefabricated Toothy Critter wire leaders in 30 or 45 pound test. For a fly, try the Cuda Killer or our new favorite, the inshore popper in either pearl or chartreuse. Your ideal barracuda rod set up can be the same that you use for permit or tarpon, usually a 9 or 10 weight.
- Cuda Killer – #4/0
- Pearly Popper – #2/0; green
Palometa Club Essentials:
Please keep an open mind to the wonderful variety Ascension Bay offers to its fishing enthusiasts. At any given moment you can encounter all four of the flats species mentioned above. It is highly recommended and suggested that you properly outfit yourself in the correct manner to accommodate these targets. Properly outfitting yourself will have you prepared for consistent fishing and action. You owe it to yourself as a guest of The Palometa Club to put together a proper selection of flies, leaders, and rods/reels. Come prepared to succeed; the lodge is too far away from civilization to have everything you will need on hand. We understand that you may not want to commit yourself fully on buying a couple saltwater rod and reel set ups in addition to flies, leaders, and tippet, so the lodge will have a limited supply of rod and reels set ups available for you to use.
These set ups are based on availability. For example, if a group comes down the week before and breaks half the rods, this might put you in a very tight spot… The Club will work to get them replaced ASAP, but it may take a couple of weeks to months to receive repairs from rod manufactures. They will also have a limited number of flies available for purchase (cash only). They range in price up to 10$ US. It is much cheaper to arrive in Mexico prepared, than having to buy flies from the lodge. There will also be a small amount of leader and tippet available for purchase. Pricing varies and is generally 30% more expensive than US prices. PLEASE DO NOT RELY ON THE CLUB TO SUPPLY ALL OF YOUR TACKLE! The Club will have equipment available for you in the case of that forgotten spool or extra permit fly you left on the tying bench… Have The Fly Shop totally outfit you before you arrive. Come fully prepared!!
Listed below you will see a very minimal selection that we feel is absolutely necessary. This will cover you for the main four species we target. Please feel free to discuss your selection with our team at The Fly Shop®, and we will point you in the right direction.
Rod & Reel:
At least two quality set ups with your choices lying between 8 thru 10 wt. Please have the appropriate line, backing and a reel designed for saltwater use. Carrying more than 4 rods and reels to the Mexican Yucatan can result in an extra fee at customs.
The Palometa Club Fly Selection from The Fly Shop®:
We have assembled a custom selection of the most essential fly patterns for Tarpon, Snook, Permit and bonefish. The flies are hand selected by our travel team, specifically for Ascension Bay and the time you will be fishing there. The fly package includes approximately 50 flies at a cost of $319 (a 20% discount if the flies were purchased individually) and includes a fly box. Item #4935
Alternatively, if you would like to get a specific fish species custom selection of flies for the Club, that is hand selected by our travel team, we have those available as well.