By Sean Polk – Tailwaters Fly Fishing Company
Words burned in my memory and familiar to the guests of The Palometa Club. These words would be repeated many times during the week and would become the script to the most memorable fishing experience of my career.
Our week at TPC began on Friday with a great crew of anglers from Tailwaters Travel. L.C., Teddy, and Brett traveled with me from Dallas and we were met in Cancun by the wonderful Pat and Lynn, repeat guests from Houston. The drive from Cancun was pleasant and the famed bumpy road to Punta Allen proved to be an easy one with only one stretch slowing us down. We arrived at sunset and were met by the wonderful Kaye and her famous margaritas.
We awoke on Saturday to a slight wind and high hopes for landing the famed palometa. We received our guides for the day and began our week on the clear waters of Ascension Bay. Teddy was the first to hoist the flag with his first permit. Teddy has traveled with Tailwaters many times and TPC proved to be the place to catch permit. L.C. struck gold with a nice forty pound tarpon jumped while wading; another first for L.C. whose love of tarpon is a close second to his beloved cigars. The following day proved tough as the wind picked up and anglers ventured into the mangroves looking for the many juvenile tarpon that inhabit the bay. L.C. and I had the unusual experience of having a baby tarpon jump in the panga as we pushed through the mangroves a spooked a school we had been chasing. The winds eventually subsided and everyone took to the bonefish flats and felt bend of the rod as we all chased the many schools swimming around.
Monday morning brought a few scattered clouds and a drop in the winds. The anglers launched from the beach after another hearty breakfast prepared by Rosie and Fina. This would be the day that I would finally earn victory with my first permit caught with Carlos and Aaron. With the fish firmly in hand and photographed we tagged the fish in hopes of learning more about the majestic palometa. We arrived back to the Club, hoisted the flag, and celebrated long into the night.
The following days were much like the first; scattered clouds, some wind, and flats teaming with fish. Brett and Teddy said good-bye to us on Wednesday and headed for home while L.C., Lynn, and I headed on to flats that were mirror smooth. The winds had left the area and the water became glass. Standing on the front of the pangas, you could see hundreds of feet. Every small dimple, every wake, we jumped at the anticipation that another permit was on the move. It was under the conditions, on the last day, that Lynn would prove, he is the best at fishing The Palometa Club. This was Lynn’s third trip. A veteran at catching permit, Lynn holds the club record of eleven permit in one week. Fishing with Jorge and Johnny, Lynn landed a monster thirty pound permit and his second grand slam at TPC! Arriving back at the club, Lynn was was the champion of the week and was able to share the experience with his wonderful wife Pat.
The Tailwaters week at TPC was memorable for everyone. Kaye made everyone feel at home and gave us all the feeling that we were staying with friends. From the great margaritas to the wonderful meals prepared by Fina and Rosie, everything was exceptional. The only bad part of the trips was saying goodbye, but we are all planning for the next trip and a chance to chase permit again.