Edward Johnston, of Leisure Time Travel, has visited the Ascension Bay area in the Yucatan peninsula twenty-nine times in the past twenty years and has caught 80 permit with a fly rod at Ascension Bay. Edward Johnston is very familiar with Casa Blanca, Pesca Maya and Grand Slam Deluxe Fly Fishing Lodge which are located at Ascension Bay, and Playa Blanca and Casa Redonda Suites, both which access Ascension Bay and the remote Espiritu Santo Bay.
At Leisure Time Travel, we’re committed to seeing that our anglers are in the right place, at the right time, on their dream fish. Why take chances with your precious time? We’ve been there numerous times. There is no substitute for first-hand experience.
The folks at Casa Blanca as always were great. Our story below:
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. The crystal clear waters offer Permit, Bonefish, Tarpon, Snook, and a host of other species.
Our group “Team Homosassa”, led by Edward Johnston of Leisure Time Travel visited Casa Blanca at Ascension Bay during the month of November a few years ago. Despite the fact that three days of fishing were hampered by strong northeast winds and a cold front “Team Homosassa” caught thirty very large permit
ARRIVAL DAY – The undulating coast line of the Yucatan peninsula became visible from about 100 miles out in the Boeing 757. 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 Caravan 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 ONE – Our first fishing November day was great. The sky was clear and the weather was very nice with warm temperatures and a prevailing wind. Our group caught eleven 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 spread over 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 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.
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 gets 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.
We woulkd like to arrange your next trip to Casa Blanca, Playa Blanca or one of the other fine lodges at Ascension or Espiritu Santo Bay. Remember, there is no substitute for first-hand experience.
Tight lines !
Leisure Time Travel – Your best and most knowledgeable choice for fishing the Caribbean
Leisure Time Travel Inc.
531 N. Citrus Ave.
Crystal River, Florida 34428
All photographs by Edward R. Johnston
Copyright © 2012 Edward R. Johnston & Leisure Time Travel, Inc. 1996-2012