Ascension Bay Lodge
Punta Allen, Mexico
Saltwater fishing is always condition dependent more than any other time on the water. Not only can an influx of freshwater, a high wind or tides change fish behavior, but that same wind or cloud cover can alter the angler’s ability to see the fish dramatically. We were fair-warned prior to our week at Ascension Bay Lodge in Punta Allen Mexico that conditions were not ideal thanks to a tropical system moving through offshore right in time for our arrival. We had every chance in the world to bail. We considered it for a second: why travel all the way there to possibly sit out a day or more? What if we can’t even be on the water because the wind and waves get too high? But we decided as a group that we would rather be there and be disappointed that the fishing was challenging than stay home and find out we could have landed a few.
Spoiler alert, only a pair of smaller permit were landed by our group (shout out to our boy Chris), not any of the big devils we had in mind when planning started. That being said, the choice to go despite the conditions was 100% the right choice and we would all make the same decision again. To be fair, we did have a few great shots at nice permit, and we all caught fish. From bonefish, barracuda, baby tarpon, trigger fish, small jacks, sharks, and snook to snapper by-catch. We were on the water every day with amazing, skilled and beyond patient guides. We all learned a lot about permit fishing without even having them on the other end of the line. We ate better than we deserved after missing shots that our, did-I-mention-patient, guides managed to pull out of the wind and high clouds. And we partied. As far as our group is concerned, a fishing trip isn’t a fishing trip if fishing is all you do. The nights spent under the palapa with margarita or ranch water expertly mixed by Arturo while telling stories of first bonefish, big barracuda attacks, missed hooksets on the few permit that actually showed up are what make the trip worth it. We’ll be back. Not just to seek revenge on the black-tailed devil fish, but for more camaraderie and laughter fueled by tequila and ceviche.