Mar 19th, 2015
Located on a white sand beach 90 miles south of Cancun, Pesca Maya Lodge is a Fly Water favorite for serious anglers looking to experience the splendor of Ascension Bay. Here bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook and barracuda cruise an endless array of crystal clear flats, mangrove lagoons, channels, and reefs. Anglers fly fish two per panga under the watchful eye of both a senior and junior fly fishing guide, maximizing their chances from the boat and while wading.
Ascension Bay is only 90 miles south of Cancun, Mexico, and offers endless crystal clear flats, mangrove lagoons, channels, reefs, where bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook, barracuda, jacks and others swim. Located within the Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve, Pesca Maya Lodge offers year round fly fishing possibilities for bonefish, permit, and jacks. Tarpon season runs from April through October and snook season is from November through March. The Sian Ka’an Preserve is home to more than 345 species of birds, including over one million wintering migratory song birds.
Anglers access the fishing areas on traditional Mexican Pangas with two guides on every boat (one senior guide and one junior guide). While the vast majority of the fly fishing is done from the boat there are also opportunities to wade fish for bonefish and permit.
Pesca Maya Lodge is a wonderfully comfortable and casual operation located on a solitary white sand beach. The lodge can accommodate up to 22 guests sharing rooms. The rooms all have AC and private bathroom and most have ocean views. There is also a furnished ocean front terrace for relaxing and enjoying pre-dinner appetizers. The lodge features its own fly shop, 15 boats with the best guides in the area, and a beautiful beach where you can relax while not fishing.
Meals are home-style, with breakfast buffet and box lunches for anglers. For non-anglers, the chef will prepare a traditional Mexican lunch at the lodge. The dinner menu changes daily and includes barbecues and other specials.
Pesca Maya offers ten air conditioned rooms all with private baths and some with ocean views. There is also an ocean front terrace for relaxing and enjoying pre-dinner appetizers. Meals are home-style, with breakfast buffet and box lunches for anglers. For non-anglers, the chef will prepare a traditional Mexican lunch at the lodge. The lodge features its own fly shop, 15 boats with some of the region’s best Yucatan fly fishing guides as well as a beautiful beach where you can relax while not fishing. Stays of varying lengths are welcome and shuttles from the greater Cancun region can be arranged for anglers wanting to slip away from the bustle of the northern resorts for a few days of quality flats fishing. Soulful, simple and fairly priced, Pesca Maya is a Fly Water favorite for our seasoned permit hunters and first time saltwater anglers alike.
Expert Interview with Dylan Rose
Where is the lodge?
Pesca Maya Lodge is located in the Sian Ka’an Bisophere Reserve on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula near the town of Punta Allen.
How do I get there?
Guests fly in to Cancun and are transported south to the lodge about 3.5 hours by vehicle and boat.
Why should I go?
To experience the thrill of a speeding bonefish, persnickety permit or high flying tarpon! Pesca Maya is an affordable destination that offers custom saltwater packages any time of year.
When should I go?
Pesca Maya offers trips year-round although March through May is considered prime time. The fall season can be a good time to go as pressure in the bay really slows down during the summer months.
Where do they fish?
The entirety of Ascension Bay. Pesca Maya does not limit its guides with respect to fuel usage, so literally the whole bay is available to you.
How do they fish?
Guides utilize fly fishing purpose built 23 foot Panga (or Lancha) style boats. Part of the benefit of booking with Pesca Maya is that they use 2 guides per boat. Giving you an extra set of eyes on the water and a helper on the boat. Often you and junior guide will chase spotted fish by foot, while the senior guide directs from the poling platform.
What fish will I catch?
There is a myriad of species to target including bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook, barracuda, various jack species and snapper. On any given you may run in one of these species or all of them!
Where do we stay?
Pesca Maya is well appointed with comfortable lodging, air conditioning and beautiful views. There are several buildings on the property and your fishing Panga are a pleasant 5 minute walk away from the main lodge.
Is there wade fishing?
Wade fishing in Ascension Bay is limited. Some flats do offer good wade fish opportunities but tend be popular and you consequently be dealing with very picky fish. As noted above, the guides are fond of having you jump out of the boat for spotted fish.
Is there internet and cell service?
There is wi-fi at the lodge (although not exactly speedy) and some U.S. cell carriers will get a signal.
Does the lodge provide equipment?
Yes, the lodge does offer quality rental equipment. Both fly fishing and conventional equipment are available for rent. Day trips include 1 rod rental in the fee.
What is your favorite rod(s) for the trip?
A high quality fast action 9wt that is 9 feet long is the most versatile rod for a trip to Ascension Bay. It’s suitable for bonefish, baby tarpon, snook and most permit. Although, it’s common for anglers to 4 or even 5 rods for a day in the bay.
Are there other activities?
There are limited other activities besides fishing. There are some eco-tours available for exploring the bay and it is possible to combine with trips to explore Mayan ruins.
What is your favorite memory of this trip?
On my last trip to Pesca Maya I had already landed two permit for the trip and I was attempting to complete a hat trick. On day 3 at the first stop of the day we spotted a nice permit cruising on the flat. We quickly got in position and my rod was not even out of the holder yet when I jumped up on the deck, and began streaming line off my reel . I hastily launched a cast as far as I could in the permit’s general direction. As the guide yelled “Two of them now!” as I intently watched the permit turn and follow my fly a different fish seemingly appeared from nowhere! It rushed at the shrimp pattern and jumped on it. It was off to the races! I began hollering and jumping around on the deck in excitement yelling “Hat trick!! Oh yeah!!”. I could tell that both of the guides were not nearly as excited and I was, which is strange when it comes to Ascension guides and the mighty permit. I asked them what was up and my guide Nestor said, “Dylan, I don’t know how to break this to you man… But the Jack Crevalle came up from behind and stole it from the permit at the last second…” I was pretty embarrassed for not recognizing the jack and also a bit disappointed that my third permit was actually a Jack. Luckily that lasted only a short time as I was tied in to a beautiful Jack that I would eventually go on to break off as their sharp teeth can easily saw through a permit leader. It was an extremely emotional processing of pure joy, thrilling excitement, then followed by bitter disappointment and resulting in gradual appreciation of a fantastic grab by a hungry jack. All part of the experience on a great day in Ascension Bay!