FISHING TRIP #OI-KFL1
Ascension Bay Saltwater Flats Fly Fishing Lodge
This Mexico fishing lodge is a must visit destination for the avid saltwater flats angler wanting to fly fish for permit, or have a good chance for a Grand Slam.
The low cost world class permit fishing is the main reasons you would plan a trip at this fly fishing lodge in Ascension Bay. The second reason would be the chance at your Caribbean Super Slam (tarpon, bonefish, snook and permit in one day of fishing). There aren’t many places where that can be accomplished.
This fly fishing lodge offers easy access to the vast flats of Ascension Bay as well as the inland lagoons and river system located on the mainland. Whether you are new to saltwater fishing or an experienced angler, Ascension Bay offers strong fishing scenarios for every level. You can stalk solid numbers of bonefish in skinny water, head into the backcountry mangrove lagoons for baby tarpon and snook, or hunt for the elusive permit on the flats and the deeper waters that surround the flats.
For Anglers Seeking a Permit-Focused Lodge and Guide Team at an incredible value!
Ideal for a group of friends or solo anglers, the Caribbean Super Slam is a real possibility.
- Year-round fishing season.
- In addition to fabulous permit fishing, you could also be casting to tarpon, bonefish, and snook.
- Beachside, private fishing lodge, comfortable cabins, hot showers with full amenities, including wi-fi. Accommodates up to 12 anglers.
- Amazing meals prepared with a Mayan and Caribbean influence.
- Other activities include bird watching, snorkeling, exploring Mayan ruins, beach combing, and just plain relaxing.
More resources for this fishing trip:
Fishing Ascension Bay
This fishery is renown as one of the finest locales in the world of saltwater fishing to throw a fly at a super-slam at almost any time of the year.
We cannot guarantee you will hook a bonefish, permit, tarpon, and snook every day on the water, but these game fish are here on a year-round basis. The guides are serious permit hunters, so while there are plenty bonefish, many anglers are there to target permit.
Ascension Bay is not as weather dependent as other areas.
One of our favorite traits of Ascension Bay is the fact that you can typically find fish no matter what the weather is doing. Yes, we all want bright sunny days with low winds, but challenging conditions and overcast skies can present themselves from time to time.
Despite the weather and conditions, the guides are great at putting you on fish in virtually any situation.
We can say this from experience! The lagoons and the Boca (the mouth of a river) located in the back of Ascension Bay allows for protection from the wind. The fish tend to feed well in this area as well, due to the increased freshwater in the system and an abundance of food. This is a wonderful fishery that is often overlooked by many guides in the area.
Their specialty is permit fishing as the lodge hires some of the best guides in Mexico who have a deep passion for guiding their clients onto these demanding fish.
The lagoons and river system located inland from Ascension Bay provide blue ribbon snook and baby tarpon fishing while casting to bonefish is always possible in the skinny flats. The guides utilize 23 foot super pangas with two guides for every boat. Having a primary guide and an assistant guide allows fishermen to sight fish from a distance, jump out of the boat and stalk fish on foot which helps minimize the casting distance and can often lead to numerous opportunities at the same fish.
Two guides work in each 23 foot panga boat to ensure both anglers have opportunities to spot and stalk fish whether polling or wading the white sandy flats. Boats can accommodate two fishermen, a guide, and (most of the time) an apprentice guide. The boats are roomy and comfortable, with large, clean casting decks.
Lodging and Accommodations
The lodge is in the small fishing town of Punta Allen – epicenter of the Ascension Bay fishery.
The location is a short walk from the famed Permit Statue and near the town center. This a true family-run operation, meaning that you will quickly feel at home and a part of the family as a guest. Taking only 10 guests at a time, the lodge is clean, intimate, and well designed. The food is great, the beers are cold, and the guide staff includes some of the finest guides in the entire area!
The rooms are clean and comfortable with plenty of closet space to unpack your bags and get comfortable for the duration of your stay. Each of the 6 rooms has a private bathroom with hot water, air-conditioning at night, ceiling fans, four rooms with 2 double beds, two single rooms with one double bed. The lodge has 24 hour electricity, wifi, and a full bar. You will find the open-air bar and dining area a perfect social setting for meals and post-fishing beverages. The lodge deck also has two sitting areas for appetizers and meals. The landscaped grounds consist of white sand and indigenous trees that provide a nice aesthetic reminder of the natural beauty of the Yucatan peninsula.
The lodge offers Wi-Fi and a computer for guests. Some U.S. cell phones may work north of Tulum (Cancun and Playa del Carmen) but once you enter the Biosphere cell service is basically nonexistent…which is a good thing!
All meals are prepared by local chefs with a unique flare for preparing dishes that exceed expectations.
The dinners are a flavorful mix of authentic Mayan, Caribbean, and American cuisine. Breakfast cab include fresh fruit, eggs, meats, and pancakes, and Huevos Rancheros the specialty of the house. Your lunch cooler is typically packed with sandwiches, fruit, snacks and cold beverages. All meals can be customized to meet your specific dietary needs and requests.
The small bar is well-stocked with a variety of liquors, wines, sodas, mixers, ice-cold local beers. Lunch is packed in a cooler and served on the boat: sandwiches, chips, cookies, and fruit, along with plenty of water, soda, and beer.
If possible, anglers should plan on bringing all equipment such as rods, reels, and fly lines with them.
The lodge does have some demo rods available, and the guides will have limited tackle and some flies. We do recommend that guests travel with their own gear and flies.
Fishing Season on Ascension Bay
October and November can often be fantastic in Ascension Bay, due to the typical wind direction pushing more water into the Bay.
This allows for larger permit to access the shallows and the inland lagoons. Water temps are also cooling off after the heat of summer, so hungry bonefish invade the flats in strong numbers. Lingering migratory tarpon can be found around the rivers and mangroves, and the snook start to show themselves once again as the water cools. It is common to experience periods of beautiful sunny days, moderate breezes, and low winds during the fall months. Rain systems can appear for short periods throughout the day. It’s also the tail end of hurricane season, so we strongly recommend a travel insurance policy for all fall trips.
December, January, and February are the drier months so typically more sun and high moving clouds.
High pressure systems usually bring wind as well. This is the best time to target trophy snook. Snook come out to play from the depths of the mangroves when water temps cool down. This is a wonderful game fish that loves to chase down flies from their lairs under the mangroves. Something that can be especially fun after casting at snobby permit all morning! Baby tarpon are also out and about in the creeks and backcountry lagoons. While you most likely will not see the large schools of permit that Ascension Bay is famous for during the winter months, this is an optimal time to target big tailing permit. They can handle cooler water temps and tend to be in the softer flats where milky water enables anglers to get closer to the fish.
March, April, May, and June are peak season for fishing the area, which means that you will want to book well in advance!
It is generally accepted that this time of the year the weather is most conducive to fly fishing, with a lot of sun and manageable winds. However, sometimes heavy winds and rain can be a factor, especially during the early part of the spring. This is a great time of the year to focus on permit, as you can often find the large schools of smaller permit and the larger fish around the points, creeks, ocean flats, and coral heads. While the snook are not as accessible as the water temps rise, the juvenile tarpon are active in the mangroves creeks around the Boca.
We love June, July, and August in the Yucatan. The mornings are usually dead calm, and permit tails and pushes can be seen from great distances.
Migratory tarpon are moving through the area, and the bonefish are happy. Long days allow for the best visibility of the season. Afternoon thunderstorms are common, which kick up strong winds, but usually only for a short period of time. Often an early start is advisable, so you are back to the lodge early for a siesta.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
This is first and foremost a lodge for anglers. With that said, the lodge can accommodate eco-tourists and non-anglers looking for that laid-back Punta Allen lifestyle. This is a locally owned destination, so everything is authentic. The lodge will arrange for a variety of activities including snorkeling, bird watching, exploring Mayan ruins, beachcombing, and just plain relaxing.
The lodge itself is located in one of the world’s largest protected wild areas – the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.
The reserve covers over 1.3 million acres and has been designated by the United Nations as a World Heritage Site. The marine and wildlife in Sian Ka’an is abundant and is hard to imagine until you have seen it for yourself. You can find over 325 species of birds, four different types of marine turtles, and fish species too numerous to name. The lodge will arrange for guided tours of the Biosphere and snorkeling, or you are welcome to explore the environment on your own. Day trips to Tulum can also be arranged.
Arrival / Departure Summary:
Most major cities have direct flights to Cancun and the 3-hour shuttle to the lodge makes it easy to get there in one day and home in one day, thus maximizing your fishing time and minimizing your travel expense.
- Nearest Airport – Cancun
- Outfitter Pickup – No. You will take a shuttle to the lodge.
- Transportation During Trip – Your guide will take you fishing in his flats boat daily.
- Documents Required – All U.S. citizens are required to have a valid passport that does not expire within six (6) months of trips dates. Please be sure that your passport has at least two blank, unstamped pages remaining in back, and that it is not torn, delaminated, or damaged in any way. No visas or vaccinations are required for U.S. citizens. A Mexican departure tax is payable at the airport when leaving Mexico. Some airlines include this as a prepaid part of your ticket.
- Minors Travelling To Mexico Without Both Parents – If you are planning on traveling with minors, remember that all children 18 years of age or younger entering Mexico accompanied by only one parent or legal guardian must have a notarized letter of consent from the other parent stating the child/children have his/her permission to enter the country. Single parents need a notarized documentation of divorce decree or death certificate of spouse. Minors unaccompanied by either parent require a notarized letter of consent signed by both parents. Please visit the US Embassy in Mexico Website for more information.
Detailed Travel Schedule:
- Arrival – Arrive in Cancun no later than 4pm. To catch shuttle and make it to the lodge in 3 hours. Don’t book flights leaving cancun any earlier than 12 noon or the shuttle leaving the Lodge leaves too early for a comfortable morning. You don’t want to be “that” guy that has a 8:30 am departure, you may be paying your own shuttle back. $400.
- The Daily Schedule – You will start each morning by walking 50 feet from your cabin to your panga to begin your day of fishing. Every guide grew up in the area and is hand picked by owner and head guide Jose, who typically rotates through the week to fish with every guest at the lodge. The guides will pole classic 23-foot Mexican style panga boats, scanning for all of these different species. Once they are located – if the water is shallow enough – you will often slip out of the boat with the guide to stalk the fish on foot. This allows anglers to get much closer to the fish without spooking everything, and often-times results in numerous shots to the same fish. These pangas are very seaworthy, super comfortable in rough seas, easy to pole in shallow waters, and have for decades served the region’s fishermen and guides.
- Outfitter Pickup / Getting to the Lodge – The driving portion of the transfer is around two hours. The remainder of the transfer is typically by boat through the Boca Paila Lagoon. This boat ride is approximately one hour long, and passes directly through “Permit Alley.” If the weather is rough or rainy, you may be transferred by van directly to the Lodge, which makes the total time from Cancun approximately four hours. While the lodge does prefer Saturdays as a travel or transfer day, you may arrive or depart any day of the week.
Interested in booking this trip? If you have not yet received pricing please request it here, and be sure to reference the trip number at the top of this page. Please note that reservations are not considered finalized until agreed upon deposit is received. This ensures agreed upon dates and current pricing. Quality outfitters are in high demand so let us know right away, as some trips do book years in advance.
- Ground and water transfers to and from Cancun
- Number of nights of lodging as specified in your package
- Number of days of guided fishing as specified in your package
- Three meals per day
- All bottled water, coffee, tea, and juice
- Wi-Fi access
- Sian Ka’an Reserve entrance fees
- All applicable Mexican VAT and hotel taxes
- Trip Insurance
- International flight to Cancun
- Gratuities for guides or staff
- Mexican beer, liquor, wine, or soft drinks
- Phone calls, laundry, or additional special services
- Rods, reels, flies, or terminal tackle
- Fishing licenses (you can get it at the lodge)
- Park Entrance wristband (also get at lodge)
When you’re ready to book, if you haven’t already ask your Outdoors International Consultant for updated pricing. If it looks good, your consultant will write up a booking agreement for you.