Aug 16th, 2016
Playa Blanca is a top quality saltwater lodge that focuses on fishing the little known and lightly pressured flats of Espiritu Santo Bay. This is a beautiful fishery located entirely with the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. When it comes to getting on the flats first and presenting flies to fish that have not seen a lot of boat traffic, few places in the region compare. Espiritu Santo Bay is known for healthy populations of permit, bonefish, tarpon, barracuda and jacks. Playa Blanca sits on a remote and beautiful white sand beach and is blessed with one of the most seasoned and longest tenured guide staffs in Mexico. They also have a remarkable and essentially private Mayan ruin withing easy walking distance of the lodge. Fishing packages include a round-trip charter flight from Cancun to the lodge, eliminating any long drives or transfers. Playa Blanca remains in very high demand, so if this operation is on your radar do not delay getting in a request for dates as soon as possible.
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Playa Blanca, Mexico
Playa Blanca sits on a remote white sand beach with a spectacular view of the Caribbean sea.
The main lodge at Playa Blanca is spacious, comfortable and offers a beautiful remote setting.
Meals at Playa Blanca offers tastefully prepared Mexican cuisine with first-rate service and attention to detail.
Espiritu Santo Bay offers a plethora of prime permit flats that generally receive very little pressure.
Anglers may encounter big cruising solo fish or smaller fish in schools.
Espiritu Santa Bay also offers great opportunities to chase bonefish.
Playa Blanca is a world away from the masses, which makes it one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean.
Expert Interview with Dylan Rose
The top 5 reasons to go:
1. Epiritu Santo Bay is a lightly pressured fishery that offers shots at permit, tarpon and bonefish.
2. Playa Blanca is a beautiful, remote and comfortable with lodge that feels like a private fishing oasis.
3. The lodge offers a highly experienced, veteran staff of guides that remain some of the best in Mexico.
4. This is a well managed operation with top notch service and attention to detail.
5. Playa Blanca is a great destination for non-angling partners that like to sit on the beach.
Where is the lodge?
Playa Blanca is located on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, near Espiritu Santo Bay in the Sian Ka’an Bisophere Preserve.
How do I get there?
Guests fly into Cancun, Mexico on either a Friday or Saturday and connect on a short charter flight to the lodge (included). If you fly in Friday we recommend staying at the Marriott Cancun Courtyard by the airport. It has a free shuttle and it’s very convenient. If you fly in on Saturday you must arrive prior to 2:00 PM to make the charter flight down to the lodge.
When should I go?
The most popular peak months are March through May. However the fall season of September – November is a great time to be there as well. There is typically less pressure and fishing can be very productive. The lodge is normally closed during the summer, however, groups of 8 or more may sway the lodge to open up as needed.
Where do they fish?
The expansive flats, lagoons and beaches of Espiritu Santo Bay on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula including Santa Rosa lagoon and sometimes Ascension Bay to the north.
How do they fish?
Anglers fish two per boat in 17 foot Dolphin flats skiffs with a single guide and take turns fishing from the the bow.
Who is best suited to this destination?
Intermediate to advanced saltwater anglers looking to experience one Mexico’s finest flats fisheries.
What are the accommodations and meals like?
Accommodations are simple, spacious, air conditioned and feature queen size beds and private bathrooms with hot/cold running water.
Where do we stay?
Guests stay two per room in air conditioned cabanas on the beach.
Describe the atmosphere and style of the lodge?
Playa Blanca is a fishing lodge through and through, but is comfortable enough for non-anglers as well. The lodge features plenty of indoor and outdoor lounge areas to tell fishing stories, smoke cigars or have a celebratory margarita at the end of the day. Their location overlooking a beautiful white sand beach and the sea offers a relaxing and tranquil scene at the end of a long day on the flats.
Is their an owner or manager on site?
Johnny and Rita are the onsite managers and hail from Montana. They have done an amazing job since taking over management of both Playa Blanca and it’s sister lodge Casa Blanca. They are known to look after their guests like family and simply do a fantastic job on site.
What fish will I catch?
Bonefish, permit and tarpon are the main quarry with some opportunities for barracuda, snook and jacks.
How many fish will I catch?
Any time you land double digit numbers of bonefish it is a great day. Even one permit for the week is doing very good and tarpon catches vary widely with conditions and landing ratios.
Will we see other anglers?
There is a good chance you will see other anglers fishing the bay, but there’s rarely ever the circumstance where you will be diverted to other areas due to angling pressure. Anglers and guides fishing the bay are few and far between.
Is there wade fishing?
There are some areas where wade fishing is possible but Espritu Santo Bay is mostly a soft bottom and unsuitable for wading. Most of the fishing is accomplished from the boat and the guides will feel like they can cover more water effectively from the boat.
Does the lodge provide equipment?
The lodge does have some tackle available for rent in a pinch. It’s best to plan on bringing all of your own equipment if possible.
How Long does it take to reach the fishing grounds?
Typical runs to the fishing grounds are 25-45 minutes. If the wind comes up, you can expect longer runs as the boat will need to travel slowly.
Do the guides speak English?
Some of the guides speak very good English. Some only speak a type of “fishing English”. For the most part they can provide good fishing direction in English. In general, they can give you help that may sound like this, “fish coming about 60 feet. Cast 2 o’clock now…. Re-cast 40 feet!”
What are the guides like?
Playa Blanca’s guides remain some of the longest tenured and most experienced on the entire Yucatan. They are professionals that know how to put you in the best position to catch fish. They can be passionate and expressive in the boat, but they are always on your team and simply want to help you do your best.
What is your favorite rod(s) for the trip?
Currently my favorite rod for this trip is a Sage Salt 9ft – 9wt. It’s powerful enough to deal with the wind and versatile enough for bonefish, juvenile tarpon or permit.
Are there other activities?
Playa Blanca is mostly a hard core saltwater fly fishing destination with very little extra-curricular activities. The lodge and beach are beautiful and appropriate for non-anglers as long as they are simply happy with a quiet and picturesque setting. It’s a great place to go for a beach walk, read a book, relax and sunbathe.
What are the physical demands?
Physical demands are generally not an issue.
Dangers and annoyances?
Some mosquitoes and biting black flies can be present. Bringing long sleeves and pants as well as a good bug repellent is a good idea.