The Fishing Program
While Ascension Bay undoubtedly is an incredible fishery with loads opportunity, it takes the right guides coupled with a unique approach to realize its tremendous potential. By cultivating a group of guides that are hands down the best in the region, The Palometa Club has designed a fishing program unlike any of our competition on Ascension or Espiritu Santo Bays. Whether you have fished the saltwater all your life or even visited one of the other lodges in the area – be prepared to witness an entirely different and vastly more productive style of flats fishing.
The #1 Permit Lodge in the World. Period
In fact, we are the only pure “permit lodge” in the world. Our guides’ scientific approach to the permit fishing techniques, tackle, and areas fished is very evident in their infectious enthusiasm and obvious desire to get the most out of every second in the fishing day. The guide staff are constantly comparing notes, tweaking fly patterns, and exploring new areas to find fish. Dick Cameron has succeeded in creating a culture of revved up guides with a smile on their face and genuine love of chasing permit – all of which translates to more opportunity to close the deal and get one in the boat!
1:1 Guide Angler Ratio
The Club uses one guide for each angler (2 anglers and 2 guides per boat). This is not to be confused with one proper guide and one “apprentice guide” that serves as a boat driver. Each angler gets their own experienced guide dedicated to ensuring no fishing time or opportunities are wasted and all anglers are guaranteed one on one instruction. Having two guides provides multiple sets of eyes scanning for the next target. One guide will wade with the angler while the other guide will remain on the poling platform, managing the boat, keeping an eye on the school, and choreographing your approach for the best presentation. There are also scenarios where both anglers and both guides bail out of the boat to chase larger schools, thus getting everyone in the action at once.[/two_third]
Proof in the Numbers
Quoting numbers in the fishing business is usually ill-advised, but our documented success is impossible to ignore:
Since the Palometa Club opened its doors ten years ago, we have landed nearly 2000 permit to date fishing shortened six month seasons from January – early June. The 2014 season was our record campaign with 190 permit in hand. One client, Joe Seelig of Anchorage, Alaska landed twenty permit in 17 days of fishing during our 2012 season as well as his 51st permit – all caught as a guest of the Palometa Club. Dick Cameron, co-owner of the lodge landed the unofficial world-record 52 pound permit in 2010 – the same day he landed a fish estimated at over thirty pounds! We boast of double digit grand slams each season – and would log more if our guests preferred a slam over a multiple permit day.
Finally, we boast of a 60% + re-booking rate season after season… the ultimate testimonial for the quality of a fishing lodge.[/two_third]
Diversity in Species
It is not all about the permit, and Ascension Bay has it all… Bonefish, tarpon, snook, jack crevalle, barracuda, sharks, and much, much more. We are experts at successfully targeting all the different sport fish that are available on Ascension Bay.
Check out all THE FISH available.
We prefer to wade fish to all species when possible – including permit. The majority of the areas fished for bonefish and permit on Ascension Bay are shallow with a hard bottom of sand or turtle grass making for practical wading. There are many skinny flats for permit, and dozens of ankle deep bays and beaches loaded with tailing bonefish.
Wading is one of the signature traits of our techniques on permit unique to perhaps any other operation in the Caribbean. Don’t be surprised when you see your guide push you out of the boat and has you wading to your arm pits! This may seem awkward at first, but we have proven bailing out of the boat allows anglers to stealthily enjoy lengthier encounters with multiple shots. Fishing from the boat in deep water is not all together uncommon, but normally only allows for one presentation before the fish spook.
Ascension Bay is huge! Its size and pristine habitat is what makes it such a reliable and rested fishery. At the same time, its size can also make for lengthy and bumpy boat runs. Palometa Club runs traditional Mexican Panga boats with comfortable seating, poling platforms, customized rod storage, and a nice casting deck. Unlike smaller flats skiffs, pangas make the run on choppy days across the bay manageable and still access the skinniest of flats.[/one_half]
We are not set on the traditional “8:00 – 4:00” rigid fishing schedule you may be accustomed to at other lodges. While we do push our boats from the beach at 7:30-8:00AM, guides are not under the gun to pull you off happy fish to meet a schedule. While we do generally try and spool it up at a reasonable hour (especially if you have a long run back to the house), the only constraint in play is to be on the beach before sunset in accordance with the laws of the Sian Ka’an.[/two_third]
Borrowing Fishing Equipment
While we encourage all our guests to bring their own gear, The Club has loaner rods and reels by Sage, TFO, Winston, Tibor and Hatch for guest use if needed for a small rental fee.