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 Ascension Bay offers the angler one of the best places in the world to catch a permit on the fly and is one of the finest saltwater flats’ fisheries in the world. Ascension Bay has a rare combination of environmental ingredients which create the ideal foundations for an abundance of wildlife. The flats of Ascension Bay are surrounded by a series of small freshwater springs and creeks which feed the brackish mangrove estuaries. These areas are used as feeding grounds for flats and reef species. Along the coast, a complex chain of submerged islands and little cays provide the ideal habitat for a shallow-water coral ecosystem. The coral heads absorb the brunt of the pounding waves, which creates a tranquil setting in the flats even if the outside ocean is rough.

“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 STORY
Copyright: Leisure Time Travel, Inc : Edward R. Johnston : No Right For UseARRIVAL DAY – The undulating coast line of the Yucatan peninsula became visible from about 100 miles out in the Boeing 727. As we neared Cancun the Caribbean water colors stair cased from the deepest blue, to azure, to aquamarine, to palest green where the waters lap the famous coral sand beaches.

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.

Copyright: Leisure Time Travel, Inc : Edward R. Johnston : No Right For UseDAY ONE – Our first fishing day on November 2 was great. The sky was clear and the weather was very nice with warm temperatures and a prevailing wind. Our group caught 11 permit that day.

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.

Copyright: Leisure Time Travel, Inc : Edward R. Johnston : No Right For UseDAY 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)

CONCLUSION
I would consider this an average fall week at Ascension Bay. Sometimes you will get balmy weather for weeks at a time, but this is fall and cold fronts affect the Caribbean. The angler rarely get perfect weather for the entire trip. I tell my clients if you get more than three good days of fishing out of six this time of the year you are lucky. Call the specialists at Leisure Time Travel today and get the counsel to assist you in booking the best fishing adventure you’ve ever experienced.

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