Nov 1st, 2018
La Pescadora is a small, family run operation located in Punta Allen on the Yucatan’s famed Ascension Bay. The fertile waters of Ascension Bay in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere reserve offers anglers endless flats, mangrove lagoons, channels, beaches and reefs where bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook, barracuda, jacks, snapper and triggerfish are viable targets. Often times, chances for many of these species are encountered in a single day on the flats. This area long known as one of the best places on Earth to pursue a grand slam (catching a bonefish, permit and tarpon in the same day). With a maximum capacity of only 8 anglers, La Pescadora is the perfect option for those seeking a casual, affordable and family-run home base for their Yucatan fishing trip.
Four thoughtfully-styled, double occupancy rooms flank the central dining area of La Pescadora. Rooms are comfortable and spacious, offering plenty of storage for gear and other belongings. A/C units, fans, screened windows and private bathrooms compliment each and a front porch with seating for two and a hammock provide ideal lounging territory after a long day on the water. Dinner at La Pescadora is a delicious mix of traditional Mexican and American cuisine often featuring fresh seafood, steak, ceviche and side dishes that include locally sourced produce and ingredients. The grounds are beautifully kept with natural white sand and native trees of the Yucatan Peninsula. For those seeking a high quality, affordable saltwater destination with excellent food, a family-style vibe and fantastic guides, you have found your place at La Pescadora Lodge.
Contact Dylan Rose at 800.552.2729 for more information on La Pescadora Lodge
Expert interview with Fly Water Travel’s Saltwater Destinations Manger Dylan Rose
1. La Pescadora is a high-value operation with skilled guides, comfortable accommodations and excellent meals.
2. The opportunity to target bonefish, tarpon, permit, snook, barracuda, jack crevalle, triggerfish and snapper all in one trip (or day).
3. Anglers fish two guides per boat, meaning two sets of expert eyes are always on the water while fishing.
4. La Pescadora offers stays of varying length, giving guests flexibility with their travel schedules.
5. La Pescadora is located in the Sian Ka’an Bioshphere Preserve, meaning guest’s have great opportunities for wildlife viewing during their stay.
Where is the lodge?
La Pescadora Lodge is located 3.5 hours south of Cancun in the Sian Ka’an Bisophere Reserve on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, near the small fishing village of Punta Allen.
How do I get there?
Guests fly in to the Cancun International Airport and are transported about 2.5 hours south to the Centro de Visitantes dock (about 8 km past the biosphere arch south of Tulum). Once at the dock you’ll proceed by boat to the town of Punta Allen (approximately 45 minutes). The lodge is a short drive through town just south of town.
When should I go?
Peak months are March through May. The summer months can also be very good as pressure on Ascension Bay is minimal. Additionally, anglers might get shots at migratory tarpon in the summer. The fall season can be very productive September – November.
Where do they fish?
The expansive flats, lagoons, channels and mangrove estuaries of Ascension Bay.
Who is best suited for this destination?
Any anglers interested in fly fishing Ascension Bay or keen on targeting permit or a wide range of saltwater species. Those who can stand on the bow of a flats boat for long days of fishing and when the time comes, deliver an accurate, long cast to a school of moving fish will have the best opportunities for the highest catch rates.
What are the accommodations and meals like?
Guest rooms are thoughtfully styled and comfortable, featuring ample space for gear, air conditioning units and fans, private bathrooms and front porches with chairs and hammocks. Delicious meals that typically consist of traditional Mexican and American cuisine are served in the central area of the lodge.
Can you describe the atmosphere of the lodge?
La Pescadora has a casual, laid back, family-style atmosphere. The on-site lodge managers Lily Bertram and Jose Briceno (head guide) are welcoming, attentive and skilled hosts that truly make guests feel like family. They have two young boys who are often on-site playing and interacting with guests. While the lodge is located in Punta Allen, it’s location on a secluded beach surrounded by palm trees just of the town makes it feel remote and special.
Is the owner on-site? If not, who is the manager or point person?
The owner is not on-site. However, the lodge manager Lily Bertram is on-site and available to help with anything guests need.
Is there internet or cell service?
Yes, there is WiFi 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 emails or Whatsapp messages 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 23 foot traditional Mexican Pangas with two guides on every boat (typically one senior guide and one junior guide). This system is incredibly effective in that it allows for two sets of “guide’s eyes” to be on the water at all times, giving anglers twice the chance to get a shot at the fish of a lifetime. Most often, the senior guide will be poling the boat while the angler and junior guide are stationed on the level casting deck of the panga. The junior guide is there at your side to ensure your line is tangle free and also to jump out with you when chasing a school of fish on foot is necessary.
What fish will I catch?
Permit, bonefish and tarpon are the main quarries. There are some opportunities for barracuda, snook, jacks and triggerfish as well.
How many fish will I catch?
Anytime 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 at times but finding and hooking several fish is not uncommon for a week of fishing.
Will we see other anglers?
Yes. 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. During the summer months, the bay is much quieter.
Is there wade fishing?
Yes, some wade fishing is available, although most of the fishing is accomplished from the boat. In Ascension Bay, the bottom is often soft but there are certain areas suitable for wading. It’s important to note that good areas for wading tend to be more pressured which can make fishing difficult in these areas. Furthermore, in some circumstances, the senior guide may determine that getting out of the boat and chasing the fish on foot leaves you with the best possibility for success, so in these circumstances you will find yourself wading.
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 or “fishing English”. The more Spanish you know, the easier it will be to communicate.
What are the guides like?
The guides at La Pescadora are experienced professionals and have a deep knowledge of the bay and the fish that inhabit it. Many grew up in Punta Allen and have spent the better part of their lives on the water here. They do their best to accommodate anglers and their desires. Sometimes, like at many locations, the guides can be a bit over-passionate so it’s best not to take all of their comments too personally.
Where do we stay?
Guests sleep two per room in one of La Pescadora’s four comfortable and thoughtfully-styled rooms.
What is the cost?
La Pescadora is among the more affordable options for a trip to Ascension Bay. Final costs are dependent on group size and transfers. It’s best to call for details.
Does this destination combine well with other destinations?
Combining multiples lodges within a single week trip to La Pescadora is tough due to the long drive south to Punta Allen from Cancun. If you wish to combine this location for an additional week somewhere else on the Yucatan, that is certainly possible.
Does the lodge provide equipment?
No. Guests should come prepared with the tackle and equipment necessary for a week of fishing Ascension Bay.
Does the lodge provide flies?
No. Guests should bring a reasonable selection of flies for their trip to La Pescadora.
What are your favorite rod/reel outfits for the trip?
Our current favorite rods for this destination are the Sage SALT HD 9ft 9 weight or the Sage X 9ft 9 weight. Both are fast action, responsive rods that can deliver accurate, long casts into the wind. Sage Spectrum MAX reels in size 7/8 and 9/10 are great for this destination. The best weight forward floating lines for Ascension Bay are the Rio Direct Core Flats Pro and Rio Permit Taper.
Top 5 flies I must have?
Raghead Crab, Squimp, Casa Blanca Rag Head, Pearl Gotcha, Puglisi Tarpon Streamer.
Are there other activities?
Non angling activities associated with La Pescadora are minimal. There is plenty of opportunity for reading at the beach and relaxing in the sun, but this is primarily a fishing lodge.
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?
Anglers who can cast long distances and possess the ability to deal with the wind will always excel in saltwater destinations. In addition, those who can quickly and accurately pickup a misplaced cast and in a matter of one or two back casts set the fly back down in the correct spot will increase their hookup potential tenfold.
Dangers and annoyances?
Bugs are generally not a big issue, however, there are some mosquitoes present. Bringing long sleeves and pants is a good idea, as well as bug repellent. Also, the presence of Sargasso grass has been an ongoing environmental issue on the Yucatan Peninsula. When Sargasso grass washes onshore, it decomposes, emitting a powerful, sulfuric scent that can at times be unpleasant. Guests visiting La Pescadora should know that the lodge is powered by generator. Power (and thus air conditioning) is only on when guests are back from fishing, beginning about 7pm or 8pm and lasting through the night.
Are there any health concerns?
The CDC is currently advising that pregnant women visiting Mexico take extra precautions against Zika by guarding against mosquitoes.
What am I forgetting?
If you’re like me and need a few cups of coffee to get going in the morning, I will often bring a to-go coffee cup, such as a HydroFlask, along with me on trips such as this to fill up before getting on the boat early in the morning.
The grounds are beautifully kept with natural white sand and native trees of the Yucatan Peninsula.
La Pescadora has a casual, laid back, family-style atmosphere.
Ascension Bay is one of the best destinations for Permit in the world.
Rooms at La Pescadora Lodge are thoughtfully-designed and comfortable.
Multi-species days in Ascension Bay are not uncommon!