Seemingly endless miles of easy-to-wade, hard-packed white sand flats and rich expanses of turtle grass are the canvas for the world-class fishery that is Ascension Bay. Whether this is your first time flats fishing or you’re a seasoned veteran, our professional, highly-skilled, English-speaking guides will make your trip extraordinary. Our fishing program is second to none because of our one-to-one angler to guide formula. This system provides two sets of trained eyes to search the crystal clear water for the fish of your choice. If you are wading, stalking a school of bonefish or hunting permit you have the security of knowing you have a skilled guide coaching you at all times. Noticing a palometa "flash" or a bonefish tailing is something you may not always see, but your guides will. Experienced anglers have often told us that The Palometa Club guides are the "best of the best."
Vaughn's Fly Box Picks:
Flies for this area, especially for bonefish, should be bigger than the Bahama selections and "buggier". Fishing in the Yucatan should be looked at like going to the Florida Keys. You'll have potential shots at bones, permit and tarpon so you'll need a few extra flies if you going to be there for five days or more. Pick Charlies in all the colors and make some of them with little or no weight for the extremely shallow fish you'll find. Mini puffs, gotchas,veverkas mantis shrimp, clousers and small crab patterns like the Rag Head in size 8. Permit will want the rag Head also along with the Merkin, Bauer's crab, something green and the larger mantis Shrimp flies like D L's mantis Shrimp. Tarpon are taking more colorful patterns plus black and purple toads, the Red and White tarpon streamer, Lefty's deceivers and Borski's orange Butt Tarpon. I would throw in some top water stuff, poppers, gurglers and the Wiggle Minnow which seems to be kickin butt everywhere. This is a beautiful area to fish, you can't have too many flies on a trip to the Yucatan.
Welcome to The Palometa Club, a new, exclusive fly fishing lodge located in Punta Allen, Mexico on the northeastern edge of the famed permit and bonefish flats of Ascension Bay. Managed by one of the sport’s most experienced lodge operators and staffed with the Bay’s premier guides (and perhaps the best cook in the country!).
Palometa is the colloquial Spanish term for permit and is the perfect name for a fly fishing operation catering to anglers serious about catching this most challenging of saltwater trophies on the fly. The Palometa Club operates out of a brand new six-bedroom lodge located on the picturesque ocean-side beach of the unique lobster fishing village of Punta Allen, Mexico. Anglers can book fully-inclusive, week-long fishing packages (which include transportation from Cancun) in their quest for permit, bonefish, tarpon and snook. Non-anglers can enjoy snorkeling, guided eco tours and archeological trips as The Palometa Club is situated within the famed Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a 1.3 million acre World Heritage Site known for its rich marine environment, exotic birds and tropical wildlife, and vast array of Mayan ruins.
The Palometa Club is re-defining the saltwater fly fishing experience. Join us for the fishing trip of a lifetime!
To book this lodge direct, go to www.palometaclub.com
Punte Allen, Mexico (Yucatan)
mid-November through mid-June
12 guests sharing 6 large bedrooms
Pemit, bonefish, tarpon, snook, barracudas, sharks, snapper.
The Palometa Club is managed by Dick and Kaye Cameron, former operations managers and hosts of Ascension Bay Bonefish Club. As equity shareholders in The Palometa Club they contribute their 16 combined years of experience running fly fishing operations to ensure an unrivaled experience for all their guests. Dick is a second generation Alaskan and began his fishing career at age ten aboard his father’s commercial fishing boat. A consummate adventurer with a deep passion for fishing and hunting, he has owned fishing lodges in Alaska and has guided wilderness hunting trips throughout the state. For the past five years Dick has worked at Ascension Bay learning the secrets of this amazing fishery and becoming trusted and well-liked by the residents of Punta Allen. His popular status with the townsfolk has allowed him to assemble an elite team of veteran guides and experienced service staff for The Palometa Club. Kaye was born in Seattle to a large, fun-loving family that emigrated from Italy in the early 1900s. Her professionalism and contagious enthusiasm make her the perfect co-host. Dick and Kaye were married in Punta Allen, Mexico in June 2004. They have a combined new family that includes Dick's son Jason 20, Kaye's son Jim 25, and her daughter Valerie 19. During the off-season Dick and Kaye live in Alaska.
The lodge operates on a weekly schedule with guests arriving each Friday evening in time for dinner and departing the following Friday morning shortly after breakfast. Visits shorter than one week may be booked on a space available basis and are billed at a daily rate.
Take your pick – permit, bonefish, tarpon, snook. This is Super Grand Slam (all four species caught in one day) territory! If it lives in saltwater, will eat a fly and can leave your reel smoking like the brakes on a runaway semi, you can probably catch it at The Palometa Club.
Ascension Bay is a vast, nutrient rich, fish factory that serves up a daily smorgasbord of piscatorial possibilities, from the “big four” of the flats to knuckle bustin’ barracuda and jacks inside the reef, sailfish, dorado and tuna in the bluewater just on the other side. If it’s saltwater fish on the fly that you’re after, this is the Promised Land!
For the saltwater angler the ultimate quarry is undoubtedly permit. For the same reasons steelhead or Atlantic salmon haunt the dreams of the fresh water fly rodder, permit consume the attention of the serious flats fisherman. Earning the same “fish of a thousand casts” reputation as those anadromous legends to the north, permit are rare, spooky, unpredictable, and have a nasty habit of snubbing your fly no matter how good the cast or how perfect the retrieve. That said, permit are actually far more “catchable” than most anglers realize. And The Palometa Club is simply the best place on the planet to get it done. Ascension Bay provides the optimal eco-system for permit to thrive and the population of fish that swim these rich waters is unequalled anywhere else on earth. From schools of pan-sized baby permit to fish eclipsing 30-, even 40-pounds (including several line-class records), Ascension Bay is to permit what the Skeena in British Columbia is to steelhead, or the Ponoi on the Kola Peninsula in Russia is to Atlantc salmon ... Mecca!
The Palometa Club is just that – a club devoted to fishing for permit. We’re experts at it, we prefer to do it over all other forms of fishing, and we’ll give you the best opportunity possible to claim bragging rights to one of the toughest, most sought after fly fishing trophies. If you’ve always wanted to catch a permit on a fly what are you waiting for? You won’t have a better chance than at The Palometa Club
All the "bad" things you’ve ever heard about Ascension Bay bonefish are true. They average two- to three-pounds, they eat well, and you can catch a lot of them… everyday.
Uhmm? So when was the last time you complained about catching a dozen three-pound, turbo-charged trout on the fly? Let’s put this into perspective. Ascension Bay bones are smaller on average than, say, bonefish in the Bahamas, the Florida Keys or the Seychelles. But ever since the bans on gillnetting in the area they are improving in size and numbers. And what do you really want to do on your next fly fishing trip, catch fish or flog the water? Besides, the reality is while you’re warming up on your casting and catching skills, getting your boat legs back and basking under a warm sun in one of the most beautiful places on earth, the odds of a bigger bone cruising by the edge of the flat are actually pretty high. Plenty of five- to eight-pound fish have been caught, and we land a double-digit bruiser – considered a trophy anywhere on earth – at least once a year.
Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned salty nothing quickens the heart like a large school of bones “pushing water” towards you, or a flat glistening with the silver tails of feeding fish. When it comes to bonefishing The Palometa Club is the perfect place for teenagers, lady anglers and landlocked trout bums to catch their first (and second, third, fourth…) "ghost" of the flats. It’s an addiction that will keep you coming back to Ascension Bay year after year.
It can take some searching to find them, but in the far reaches of the Bay, in hidden "lakes" often accessible only through ancient Mayan channels cut through the mangroves, the intrepid angler can find pods of baby tarpon from 15- to 30-pounds. These fish will readily eat flies and their explosive, acrobatic takes make for an unforgettable day of fly fishing.
In the fall, larger migratory fish upwards of 80- to 100-pounds can be caught as they enter the bay. A few of these bigger fish remain in the area year-round and it is not uncommon to get several shots a week as you search for bonefish and permit. Experienced anglers keep a tarpon rod in the boat – rigged and ready!
Perhaps the most under-rated and under-fished gamefish in Ascension Bay, snook are a favorite target for Palometa Club anglers. Reclusive, but actually fairly common – and fairly big! – in many areas of the Bay, these hard brawling junk yard dogs readily smash surface poppers and streamers from the edge of the mangroves. Once hooked, it takes a great deal of skill to get the fish into open water where the real battle begins. If you’ve caught enough bonefish for the day and the permit are too busy earning their reputation, spend a few hours fishing for snook. You just might discover a new favorite fish.
There's a saying in the fishing lodge business that goes like this: "When the fishing’s good nothing else matters, when the fishing’s bad, everything else matters." At Ascension Bay good fishing is often a combination of guides, weather, tides, visibility, angler skill, and frankly a bit of luck, and we do everything in our power to line up the best of each of these. But when it comes to “everything else" we’re definitely in control and guarantee you total satisfaction with your food and lodging experience.
The Palometa Club operates out of a new 5,000 square foot building situated directly on the ocean-side beach and boasting such amenities as air conditioning, 24-hour power, mosquito control, broadband wireless Internet, satellite phone and two fully-outfitted fly tying stations. The beautifully-appointed lodge can accommodate 12 guests in six large bedrooms, each with an adjoining full bathroom with hot-water shower. The lodge also features a common great room, modern kitchen and dining facility, and popular outside beach lounge.
It’s simple! Fly to Cancun and we’ll pick you up, either at your hotel or directly from the airport. Transportation to the lodge is on Friday only, so when booking air travel plan to arrive in Cancun before 2:00 pm (or come in the day before) and arrange your departure flight for after 12:00 noon the following Friday. Our comfortable, air-conditioned 6-person van will transport you and your traveling companions south, along the Riviera to Tulum where the road splits to bypass the northern edge of Ascension Bay. At that point, depending on road and weather conditions, we either take the jungle road down the Punta Allen Peninsula directly to the lodge or the main road along the bay to a boat launch across from the peninsula for a short boat ride to Punta Allen. The entire drive takes about four-and-a half hours and is very scenic and interesting.
The cost for this transportation to and from Cancun is included in all weekly packages. For visits shorter than a week the cost for the van is $400 each way.
Rental Car (sometimes more cost effective for short-term stays)
All U.S. citizens are required to have a valid passport that does not expire within 6 months of trips dates. Please be sure that your passport has at least two blank, unstamped pages remaining in back, and that it is not torn, delaminated, or damaged in any way. No visas or inoculations are required for U.S. citizens. A Mexican departure tax is payable at the airport when leaving Mexico. Some airlines include this as a prepaid part of your ticket. Please check with your travel agent or carrier to verify this.
The village of Punta Allen is isolated, rustic, and laid-back; the beaches empty and palm-studded. Don’t come here expecting resort activities and nightlife, this is a tropical wilderness, yet untarnished by the hand of man. What makes our backyard so unique and enticing is that the Punta Allen Peninsula lies on the edge and within the confines the 1.3 million acre Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a large protected swath of natural ecosystems designated as a World Heritage Site. Within the area nearly two-dozen remarkable Mayan ruins have been discovered, some dating back thousands of years.
If you want a break from fishing or you’ve come to The Palometa Club as a non-angler, let us show you the exotic flora and fauna of our reefs, lagoons, marshes, remote islands and jungle hideaways, or the hidden archeological treasures of an earlier civilization that built a dynasty along these wild, sublime shores.
Sian Ka'an BioPreserve
Sian Ka'an means "where the sky is born" in Mayan – an apt name for the 1.3 million acres of grass savannas, mangrove lagoons, white sand flats, and 70 miles of the second largest barrier reef in the world. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1986 the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is home to a variety of rare and spectacular creatures including ocelots, jaguars, manatees, crocodiles and hundreds of species of exotic birds. Within the depths of the Reserve the mark of the ancient Mayans can still be found. Dramatic temples and hidden tollhouses guard aquatic passageways carved through mangrove lagoons.
For the nature oriented, the Sian Ka’an is unquestionably a tropical paradise of superlatives. So whether birding, snorkeling, fishing, wandering miles of empty beach, exploring hidden ruins, or creeping through the jungle in pursuit of an elusive wildcat, the staff at The Palometa Club will gladly tailor an exotic Mayan adventure of a lifetime.
Within a short boat ride of The Palometa Club lies over 70 miles of Palancar Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world. Offering some of the finest snorkeling in the Northern Hemisphere, this brilliant marine paradise teems with an infinite variety of fish, rays, turtles, eels, starfish, shells, sea fans, corals, etc. Join us for a snorkeling eco-tour through the warm Caribbean waters where we’ll come face-to-face with a hawksbill turtle, photograph fish as colorful as a rainbow, or explore a sunken pirate ship.
Birding and Wildlife Viewing
Within the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve exists an incredible array of land, air and marine wildlife from howler and spider monkeys, white-lipped peccaries, pumas, brocket deer, tapirs, jaguars and margays, to manatees, caymen and sea turtles, to 339 recorded species of birds, including ocellated turkeys, parrots, toucans, great cuassow, white ibis, jabiry, roseate spoonbill, flamingos and herons.
Our guides were born and raised in the Sian Ka’an and know where to find the elusive creatures that call it home. So whether you want to add dozens of species to your birding lifelist, or spend a day in the jungle hoping for a glimpse of a wild jaguar, we’ll make it happen.
The Maya rose to prominence in the Yucatán around 250 A.D. Building on the inherited inventions and ideas of earlier civilizations they developed astronomy, calendar systems and hieroglyphic writing.
The Maya were noted as well for elaborate and highly decorated architecture, including temple-pyramids, palaces and observatories. They were skilled farmers, clearing large sections of tropical rain forest and, where groundwater was scarce, building sizeable underground reservoirs for the storage of rainwater. The Maya also cleared routes through jungles and swamps to foster extensive trade networks with distant peoples.
Around 300 B.C., the Maya adopted a hierarchical system of government ruled by nobles and kings. This civilization developed into highly structured kingdoms from 200 to 900 A.D., at which point it started to decline for reasons which are still largely a mystery. The Maya dynasty finally came to a close around 1200 A.D., although some peripheral centers continued to thrive until the Spanish Conquest in the early sixteenth century.
There have been no less than 22 Mayan archaeological sites identified within the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve (many still completely unexcavated), and several of these are accessible with the assistance of our local Mayan guides. In addition, we can arrange a tour to the Tulum ruins located only 30 miles north of The Palometa Club at the top of the Punta Allen Peninsula, Mexico.
The Tulum ruins are stunning, a stone fortress perched high on the edge of the Caribbean that should not be missed. A walled Maya city-state, Tulum is a large Postclassic site built in the 10th century that functioned as a seaport. The dominating structure of Tulum is the Castillo (castle), which served as a fortress as well as a temple. Tulum survived approximately 70 years after the Spanish Conquest after which it was abandoned.
If you are planning on traveling with minors, remember that all children 17 years of age or younger entering Mexico accompanied by only one parent must have a notarized letter of consent from the other parent stating the child/children have his/her permission to enter the country. Single parents need a notarized documentation of divorce decree or death certificate of spouse. Minors unaccompanied by either parent require a notarized letter of consent signed by both parents.