Capt. Edward Johnston's

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Captain Edward Johnston's Guide To Fishing The Yucatan
Action E = Excellent G = Good F = Fair - can be windy
Bonefish G/F *G/E *G/E E E G/E G/E G/E G/E G/E G/E G/F
Permit G/F G G/E G/E E E E E G/E G/E G G/F
Tarpon F F G/F G/E G/E E E E G/E G G/F F
Baracuda G/E G/E G/E G G G G G G G G G/E
Reef E E E E E E E E E E E E
Your reporter, Capt. Edward Russell Johnston caught his 76th Ascension Bay permit while fishing at Casa Blanca Lodge . In twenty five trips since 1990 he has caught seventy-six permit (on the fly) there and there is a good reason why. Ascension Bay 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.
January is usually calm although cold fronts are normal this time of year. All you need is one good warm day and the fish will come back up on the flats. One of the best times for catching Cudas.
Your Greatest chance to catch a permit is here. * Although February, March, and early April can be windy, those months are prime time for permit. I caught a 42" permit here in March 1991 which would have easily broke a world record. I released it!.
Early April is usually blustery but prime time for permit. The migratory tarpon start arriving. May is normally very calm and warm. Probably the two best months of the year in terms of the overall fishery.
Late May and June are usually balmy. Rains season historically begins in June which helps cool things down a bit. Overall fishery is good. My son caught (and released) a 35 pound permit on a trip in June 2003 (not bad for a nine year old).
During a trip in May of 1994, I personally jumped 31 tarpon. Most of the fish were over forty pounds and they ranged up to one hundred pounds. It was totally awesome, pure carnage at times. I shattered (demolished) two undersized fly rods. I also managed to catch seven permit and got five grand slams that week. Tarpon are here year-round. Although tarpon are not as plentiful as they are just south in Belize, you can find them in large numbers from May through August. The only problem is that most of the lodges close for the summer in June, with the exception of Pesca Maya Lodge.
Hurricane season starts in June and ends in November. Peak hurricane months are August, September, and October. This is a great time to fish, but it is wise to purchase trip insurance! During the first week of November 1997, our group of anglers "Team Homosassa", caught thirty permit in a single week despite the fact that we lost the first three days of fishing to a tropical storm.
You will find bonefish here year-round. In windy months you can find refuge from the winds in Santa Rosa at Ascension Bay and the creeks on the north side of Espiritu Santo Bay. Tom Daiello and John Brochu ( Part of Leisure Time Travel's "Team Homosassa 96" caught an unbelievable 56 bonefish in one day fishing from Casa Blanca, and Herb Koelling and his son David caught 54 bonefish in one day the first week of January 2001
Baracuda are one of the most underrated fish, yet the "Cuda" is one of the most exciting fish to catch on the flats. The best time for catching Cudas is in the winter month when the water is cool and the fish are in shallow water. We have seen Cuda here the size of rail road ties!

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Edward Johnston
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Revised March 2, 2011 - html by Edward Russell Johnston