Ascension Bay Fishing

Ascension Bay offers any possible scenario a flyfisherman could dream about ...
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Picture by Brian O'Keefe

In Ascencion Bay there are hundreds of square miles of crystal clear flats where it’s common to see bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook and jacks or barracuda in the same day, all year round! Sight fishing for bonefish in skinny water, wading over a white sand bottom, look for permit in shallow flats just two or three feet deep or fish from the boat in a mangroove lagoon where tarpon are rolling. You will find the consistency of bonefishing, the exitement of fishing for tarpon, the thrilling challenge of fishing for permit, the nice surprice of jack crevalle or fishing for snook and the fierce strike of “cudas” on a clear flat. Fishing for permit in the so-called “permit Mekka” of the Caribbean is the ultimate dream of the avid saltwater angler.

Read more on Ascension Bay fishing in the US fishing magazine “Saltwater Sportsman”, in American Angler and Flyfishing in Saltwaters

Ascension Bay Fishing the Flats

We can go south and be in Ascension Bay in 15 minutes, or if the wind blows too hard, we can go north to Boca Paila and find flats surrounded by mangroves that help to protect. Both places are well known for its bonefish, permit, tarpon or snook and barracuda abundance. Wind protection is one of the great advantages of this area. Unlike Bahamas , here we can fish for bonefish 365 days of the year. Of course in Tulum and all the Yucatan Peninsula we get very windy days, from South East, East and North, but we can always find protected flats or lagoons where we can see and cast at bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook, jacks, barracudas, Spanish mackerels, and other species. You certainly have to bring tackle for all these species and at least 3 rods to be ready anytime. After reservation we will send you complete tackle list.

Click here to check weather information

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Picture by Brian O'Keefe

What’s the best time to fish Ascension Bay?

Pesca Maya is operating all year round. Peak season goes from March to June, more and more anglers are taking advantage of our medium and low season discounts (10-20%). See rates for more info. Below is a description of the seasons. You choose what’s your best time:

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Fall

More groups are coming during October and November to enjoy beautiful sunny days, with nice breeze but low winds. Lot’s of local bonefish, permit and some baby tarpon, plus bigger migrant tarpon who arrive in June and depart in December. Last year Bob Bates broke our bonefish record landing 62 bonefish in one boat, in one day. Also Doug Schlink made 2 Grand Slams back to back in October. When weather is good this is a perfect time to fish, but rain might appear for one hour or two and disappear, or stay for 2-3 days. It’s also Hurricane season. In such event, if we have to evacuate, or close to repair the damage, we will reschedule your trip. We offer 10% discount during this season.
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Winter

December, January and February are dry months, offering many hours of sun. Plenty of local bonefish, permit, tarpon and barracuda are around. Winter makes a perfect time to run away from the cold weather and be fishing in the Caribbean. This time of the year might be windy, when cold fronts coming from the north pass through the Caribbean. Last February Baker Smith from England had a double grand slam. We also offer 10% discount during these months.
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Spring

March, April, May and June are our peak season. In general, this time of the year weather is better, lots of sun and low winds, but sometimes we have heavy winds and rain. More and bigger permit is around.
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Summer

If you want to fish without wind, summer is the time to do it. Flat and crystal clear water, plenty of migrant tarpon and hungry fish. Average temperature is higher than the rest of the year, but not too much, (see the year average temperature chart). Summer is rainy season, so you might have some clouds and rain. Usually comes and goes in about one hour. It’s true that this is our lowest season, mainly because it’s trout and salmon fishing. But you might want to take advantage of our 20% discount during this season.

Watch videos about fishing with Pesca Maya Video Gallery

Sport Fishing Calendar Ascension Bay
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Bonefish

Excellent

March, April, May, June, July, August, September & October

Very Good

January, February, November & December

Good

Poor

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Permit

Excellent

April, May, June, July & August

Very Good

March, September & October

Good

January, February, November & December

Poor

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Tarpon

Excellent

May, June, July & August,

Very Good

April, September & October

Good

February, March & November

Poor

January & December

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Snook

Excellent

January, February, November & December

Very Good

March & April

Good

May, September & October

Poor

June, July & August

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Jack

Excellent

February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October & November

Very Good

January & December

Good

Poor

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Barracuda

Excellent

February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October & November

Very Good

January & December

Good

Poor

Boats and Tackle

Our boats are local made, fiber glass “pangas”, with a Yamaha 40 HP outboard motor. Boats are well suited for fly-fishing, With a spacious and clean platform. They are comfortable to cross Ascension Bay, even in the rough days and with only 6 inches in the water we can get into any flat. They do such a good job that we have even exported 4 of them to the United States.

All boats are equipped with with VHF radios and safety equipment.

Pesca Maya Guides
Pesca Maya Guides Felipe

Pesca Maya started the guiding school 8 years ago. David Aimes from Montana and Vincent Grillo from Florida put together a Fly Fishing Guide Seminar, guides and apprentices participated. They recruited some of the old “Pez Maya Lodge” guides and the best Punta Allen guides from the village. All are professional native guides, with years of experience, who know Ascension Bay and Bocapaila Lagoons as the back of their hand and will put you on the fish. Some speak fairly good English and others speak international “fishing English”, good enough to spot the fish and direct your casting.

Two guides per boat

At Pesca Maya we use a head guide and a young apprentice. Both have very good eyes. This formula helps very much when wading, each angler has a guide, when learning to cast or to see the fish, one guide poles and the other is with the angler at the casting platform, when positioning the boat and when you don’t want to wade all the way back to pick up the boat. Many of our customers appreciate it very much. I hope you will too. This program does not apply to summer time or with special discount rates. More pictures in our gallery.

 

You and your guide are a team!

It amazes me how many people get on a boat with a guide, who they might be fishing with for a week, without any formal introduction. Take the initiative and get to know your guide. Establish a rapport. Remember his name. Let them know what you want to fish for, how you want to fish, your abilities and fishing experience as well as what really trips your trigger when it comes to fishing. Let the guide check your equipment, knots, leaders, tippet material, flies, rod and reel, etc. Don’t be shy. Before you even leave the dock, go through the following exercise with your guide.

1.) Get on the casting platform, with rod in hand and review the basic “clock.” 12 o’clock being the bow of the boat 6 O’clock being the stern, 9 O’clock is directly to port, while 3 O’clock is directly to starboard. It’s imperative that you both have this straight. More than likely, your guide will call out fish in the following manner, “Tarpon at three o’clock, 60 feet, moving right to left.”

2.) Still on the casting platform, strip out some Fly line and throw a short cast as the guide watches. Next, throw a medium cast. Lastly, throw a long cast. The guide now knows your casting abilities.

3.) If you have a problem seeing fish, let the guide know before you start fishing. Anything that you can relay to your guide concerning your abilities, your wants and needs, your dislikes and so on will make his job much easier and your fishing day more enjoyable.

4.) If your guide spots a fish and you do not see it, DO NOT cast until you see that fish. Point your rod out in front of you as if a pointer on a chalk board and have your guide direct your rod to where he sees the fish. Your guide might say, “3 o-clock , more right, keep going, keep going STOP!” this is where you should concentrate your vision and again DO NOT cast until you see the fish.

5.) Follow your guides instructions. Guys, I have found that the ladies, when learning how to Fly cast or fish, are the quickest learners… Why? Because they listen to the guide. LISTEN… If he says strip, STRIP!, stop, STOP!, set the hook SET IT! You’ll see that by listening to your guide your success rate will increase substantially.

“Yards vs. Meters”: Make sure that you and your guide are talking the same language. You may be thinking feet and yards and he may be thinking meters. One meter (39.37 inches) is very close to one yard.