“Team Homosassa” led by Edward Russell Johnston of Leisure Time Travel visited the Casa Blanca lodge at Ascension Bay in November 1997. Despite the fact that three days of fishing were hampered by strong northeast winds and a cold front “Team Homosassa 97” re-set the Casa Blanca Lodge record for most permit in one week to 30 permit!
The first breath of Gulf air became fact. The warmth of the Caribbean was apparent. Once through customs we were quickly back into the air to our final destination, Ascension Bay. Soft trade wind clouds floated in a clear blue sky. Islands appeared with luxuriant vegetation shading white sand beaches.
A fine rain scattered on the windshield as we started our decent toward Casa Blanca. The water below was a myriad of turquoise and blues. We could see palm trees spread far along the shore. The coral reef edged deep blue water. The lumbering Cessna Carvan landed at Punta Pajaros (Pa-ha-row-s) just a short distance from the lodge. “Team Homosassa” was on the ground. Fourteen eager anglers were ready to tangle with all Ascension Bay had to offer, especially the wily permit.
DAY TWO – A cold front moved in slowed things down. The wind changed to the northeast and started too blown hard. Thunder clouds overspread the whole heaven and only occasionally was the sky clear. Light showers in the afternoon became torrential the evening. We caught two permit.
DAY THREE – A Total blow out. It rained hard and steady. The wind was so high it was extremely difficult to fish. No permit. We did have a great party in the lodge that night!
DAY FOUR – The wind was still from the northeast but staring to slow down a bit. The temperature had dropped considerably from the beginning of our week. The main bay was still muddy from the turbulence, but there were areas of clear water. We caught three permit.
DAY FIVE – The morning was fresh. The clouds parted and the sun burst through. There was still a mild breeze from the northeast but the water cleared and the tide was right. Most of the casting was into the wind, but we caught 11 permit. All the permit caught on this day were big fish. Most of the permit were in the 15-20 pound range, but one was in the mid-thirties and another whopper permit was approximately 40 pounds. An exceptionally good day.
DAY SIX – Last day. The wind shifted to the west with a mild breeze. There were plenty of permit but they were very spooky. We caught three permit one of which was well more than thirty pounds. (Note: most of the anglers had 30# Boca-grips for weighing)