Oct 19th, 2016
Located at the southern end of Ascension Bay in the heart of the 1.3 million acre Sian Ka’an biosphere preserve, Casa Blanca Lodge has established itself as one of Mexico’s premier saltwater fly fishing destinations. For nearly twenty years Casa Blanca has enthralled anglers with its remote access to Ascension Bay and its superb attention to detail and first rate service. The veteran staff of guides remain among the most experienced crew found anywhere in the saltwater world, as many have dedicated the majority of their lives to learning the subtle intricacies of this fishery. In addition to bonefish, tarpon and permit, anglers can target any number of other species including snook, barracuda, snapper and jacks. Ascension Bay remains one of the most productive multi-species destinations in the world due to the biosphere’s protected status and staunch conservation ethos among its outfitters and lodges. Whether you are a seasoned angler in search of permit or a novice intent upon landing your very first bonefish, many guests will yearn to revisit the lodge year after year.
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Casa Blanca Lodge, Mexico
The beautiful Casa Blanca Lodge sits beach side on the Caribbean Sea.
The Casa Blanca skiffs rest only a short walk from your beach side accommodations.
Guide David displays a beautiful migratory tarpon at Casa Blanca.
Ascension Bay offers a seemingly endless array of flats, island channels and prime saltwater habitat.
Though never easy and seemingly impossible to predict, the famed permit of Ascension Bay are a constant draw for saltwater anglers.
Expert Interview with Dylan Rose
1. Trips to Casa Blanca allow for easy access to the most remote portions of Ascension Bay.
2. Casa Blanca packages include a charter flight for easy access to the lodge from Cancun.
3. The lodge rests in a beautiful and relaxing beach side location.
4. Casa Blanca employs some of the most skilled and experienced guides found anywhere in Mexico.
5. Lodge management is professional, courteous and attentive to all requests, issues and needs.
Where is the lodge?
Casa Blanca is located on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula near the southern border of Ascension Bay in the Sian Ka’an Bisophere preserve.
How do I get there?
Guests fly in to Cancun, Mexico on either a Friday or Saturday and connect on a short charter flight to the lodge (included). The latest you can arrive in Cancun is by Saturday at 2pm. Once you have arrived at the lodge airstrip, your gear is loaded into either boats or trucks and you’re taken to the lodge (about a 5 minute ride).
When should I go?
Peak months are March through May. The summer months can also be very good as pressure on the bay is very minimal. Also, there are sometimes shots at migratory tarpon at this time. The fall season can be productive again in September – November, although a risk of hurricanes postponing your trip is minimal but possible.
Where do they fish?
The expansive flats, lagoons, channels and mangrove estuaries of Ascension Bay.
What are the accommodations and meals like?
Accommodations are spacious, air-conditioned and very comfortable with private bathrooms and hot/cold running water. Most rooms have good views of the beach and are within easy walking distance to the fishing skiffs. Scrumptious meals are served family style in a large central dining area and feature traditional Mexican fare meant to satisfy hungry anglers.
Can you describe the atmosphere of the lodge?
The lodge is professional and serene with amazing views and plenty of relaxing areas to lounge and rest up from a hard day’s fishing. Guests gather in the evenings for meals and war stories. Occasional post-dinner trips out to the dock to watch the tarpon feed under the lights makes for a great cap to the day while sipping a cocktail.
Is the owner on-site? If not, who is the manager or point person?
The owner is not on-site but the management team is fantastic. Johnny Pares and Rita Adams are a young couple from Montana that have taken the lodge to the next level in terms of service and attention over the last few years. They do a great job and guests greatly enjoy their hospitality and ever present willingness to help while on-site.
Is there internet or cell service?
Yes, there is satellite internet in the main building at the lodge. Some rooms that are closer to the router will get a signal but most of the time you’ll need to access it in the main lodge. Connection speeds are often slow but are generally suitable for sending email and light duty browsing. Cell service is not widely available but you may want check with your service provider for coverage maps.
How do they fish?
Anglers fish two per boat in 17 foot Dolphin flats skiffs. A single guide runs the boat while anglers take turns fishing on the bow of the boat.
What fish will I catch?
Bonefish, permit and tarpon are the main quarry. There are some opportunities for barracuda, snook and jacks as well. It’s best to take what the day gives you with a throw-at-anything-that-moves mentality.
How many fish will I catch?
Any time you land double digit numbers of bonefish it is a good day. Even one permit for the week is very good and multiple permit is a rarity. Tarpon in the bay can be difficult sometimes but Casa Blanca maintains a limited access “tarpon lagoon” that almost always yields good catch rates.
Will we see other anglers?
In the high season, Ascension Bay can be a popular place. It’s a common occurrence to see other guide boats on the bay and sometimes it’s possible that your first pick of flats may not always be available. Advantageously, Casa Blanca sits at the southern end of the bay giving it easy and quick access to some very remote areas to fish first thing in the morning. Sometimes competition does exist for prime spots.
Is there wade fishing?
Yes, some wade fishing is available, although most of the fishing is accomplished from the boat. With Ascension Bay, the bottom is mostly soft but there are certain areas suitable for wading. It’s important to note that good areas for wading tend to be pressured more which can make fishing sometimes difficult in these areas.
How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds?
Runs of 15 – 50 minutes are common. It’s important to let management or your guide know if you have a preference for shorter versus longer run times.
Do the guides speak English?
Some of the guides speak very good English. Most speak only limited English and “fishing English”. The more Spanish you know, the easier it will be to communicate. We can help you request a guide that speaks good English if it is a priority.
What are the guides like?
The guides, for the most part, are very experienced professionals. They are usually quite accommodating and want nothing more than to help you put fish in the boat. However, they can sometimes be a bit over-passionate so it’s best not to take comments too personally.
Where do we stay?
Guests stay two per room in well appointed air conditioned rooms.
Does the lodge provide equipment?
The lodge does have some tackle available for rent, although it’s best to bring your own equipment if possible.
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?
Casa 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 spouses that may want to join anglers on the trip for a relaxing beach vacation. However, there is not easy access to a town or eco-touring activities.
What are the physical demands?
Physical demands are generally not an issue although having good balance is a benefit when fishing from the boat.
Are there special skills required?
Good casters with a crisp double-haul technique and the ability to deal with the wind will always benefit when fly fishing the saltwater.
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.
Are there any health concerns?
The CDC is currently advising that pregnant women visiting Mexico take extra precautions against getting bit by mosquitoes.