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Espiritu Santo Bay Lodge Opening in 2017

Posted on September 24 2016

A new flats fishing destination, Espiritu Santo Bay Lodge (ESB), is being built in the Mexican province of Quintana Roo. The ESB Lodge opens its inaugural season on April 2, 2017, and will provide access flats fishing for permit, tarpon, bonefish, and snook.

Read more in the press release below.

The last Caribbean Wilderness Flats Fishing Lodge is now being built.

We are very excited to announce the opening of the new frontier flats fishing destination, Espiritu Santo Bay Lodge (ESB), in the Mexican province of Quintana Roo. The newly-constructed ESB Lodge is being built on a beautiful Caribbean beach in the southernmost part of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, just south of the sleepy lobster fishing village of Punta Herrero and within the massive 1.3 million acre Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, established in 1986.

ESB Lodge opens its inaugural season on April 2, 2017, and will finally allow saltwater anglers quick and easy access to the last frontier of Caribbean flats fishing – Espiritu Santo Bay. This fishery can provide fantastic action for all four of the Caribbean’s famous flats species – permit, tarpon, bonefish, and snook. This is “Grand Slam” country!

La Bahia del Espiritu Santo (ESB) is the true gem of the Mexican Riviera, and perhaps the last remaining wilderness fly fishing outpost in the Mexican Yucatan. It has always been the “second sister” to its larger, more accessible sibling to the north, Ascension Bay. But that’s all about to change and for the keen saltwater flats fly fisherman, ESB provides the best angling opportunities in the entire Yucatan.

Spanish explorer Juan de Grijalba discovered Espiritu Santo Bay on Pentecost Day (May 24, 1518), hence the name Espiritu Santo Bay, “Bay of the Holy Spirit”.

Before the Spanish brought colonization and “civilization” to these eastern shores of Mexico, ESB was already considered more remote and isolated than Ascension Bay, and seen as a wilderness outpost. During Mayan times, Ascension Bay was critical in providing food for the city of Tulum. The bay and the Boca Paila lagoon were heavily fished by the local Mayan communities, many of which remain today and incorporate important towns like Punta Allen, Muyil, and Vigia Chico. There were no towns or significant populations at ESB, however, and its fishery remained intact and un-impacted by harvest.

From a topographical and geographical standpoint, both bays are very similar. Both are shallow and create navigability challenges for vessels of any size. This is perfect habitat for the shallow saltwater flats that bonefish, permit, and tarpon prefer, while prohibiting commercial navigation.

The primary differences between ESB and Ascension Bay are size and accessibility. ESB is approximately half the size of her more famous sister, Ascension Bay to the North.  Ascension Bay has more than six thousand people living in the towns, settlements and villages around her shores. Espiritu Santo Bay (ESB), however, remains perfectly positioned in a remote wilderness, an area devoid of tourism and the impacts of population and people. There is a small community of about 95 lobster fishermen and their families that live in Punta Herrero, the only human settlement on the entire bay. Only seven boats have legal access to fish in the bay, of which ESB Lodge has four. The combination of remoteness, lack of human population, and limited access is what makes ESB unique, and one of the most pristine resources left in the region to target fish untouched by human influences.

There are simply very few places left in the world with the same sort of unspoiled natural resources as can be found in ESB.  Robust and healthy populations of bonefish, permit, tarpon, and snook abound in its flats, creeks, and lagoons. And nobody has better access to or more intimate knowledge of the bay than the guides at Espiritu Santo Bay Lodge, who have spent years guiding there with the former Paradise Lodge.

Over the course of the past three seasons these guides have been on ESB nearly every day of the season, logging literally thousands of hours learning every nook and cranny of this remarkable, remote fishery.  The lightweight, super shallow-draft Hells Bay skiffs can enter many flats no one else can access with the heavier, larger pangas more common in the region. Between August 2014 and August 2015, these guides are proud to have logged in 201 days on the bay.  In that duration, they averaged 1.5 permit per day, registered 12 grand slams, and countless bonefish, tarpon, snook, and barracuda brought to the boat.

For permit fishermen, especially, there may be nowhere else on the planet that can compare to ESB.  The populations of fish are amazing; especially in the prime permit fishing months when water temperatures are ideal and schools of fish abound on the flats of ESB.

Please don’t hesitate to call if you have questions or if you’d like to make reservations at this remarkable fishery.

2017 Season:  April 02 – July 02, 2016 & August 13 – October 20, 2017 (Sunday – Sunday)

Occupancy: 8 anglers per week

Espiritu Santo Bay Lodge 2017 Pricing

$3,950 pp, DBL OCC

$5,950 pp SGL OCC (private room/boat/guide)

Inclusions: Your package includes round trip air charter transfers from Cancun to the nearby landing strip and subsequent auto transfer to the lodge (Sundays only), air-conditioned accommodations, all meals, beverages (soft drinks, juices, mixers, and bottled water) and Hosted “Happy Hour” beer and margaritas, fishing license, 6 days fully guided fishing, and 15% Mexico VAT.

Non inclusions: Personal tackle, air charter or ground transfers other than on Sundays if needed, gratuities, alcoholic beverages other than what is outlined in inclusions, items of personal nature and any lodging or meals not provided at Espiritu Santo Bay Lodge, and the FBO Departure Tax.

Alcohol: There is a hosted/free “Happy Hour” serving beer and margaritas, after fishing and before dinner. The lodge has a full bar where cocktails and beers are available for purchase between $3 and $5. You are welcome to bring your own spirits – the lodge has plenty of ice and mixers.

For more information or reservations contact:

The Fly Shop®
800-669-3474 • 530-222-3555 •

Patrick Pendergast
Director of International Travel
The Fly Shop®
4140 Churn Creek Road
Redding, California 96002
(800) 669-3474   (530) 222-3555   FAX (530) 222-3572


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