Fly fishing Ascension Bay in Mexico is one of those truly special flats destinations around the world. It is a year-round fishery with excellent fishing for the main Caribbean species; bonefish, permit, tarpon and snook. Whether a first-time flats anglers or seasoned hand there is exciting fishing to be had in this part of the world.
Despite being a year-round destination, Ascension Bay is 19° North of the equator and therefore it experiences seasonal weather patterns. It is these seasonal variations that create exciting fishing opportunities within the bay. Below we have given a summary through the seasons.
Spring fly fishing in Ascension Bay
The months of March, April and May are largely considered prime time in the Caribbean, it is undoubtedly the busiest time for anglers as the cold fronts of winter have generally cleared and the weather is generally very comfortable for fishing. Permit are usually around on the flats in good numbers, including the biggest pelagic permit as they have a shallow water feast before they move offshore to spawn. The bonefishing is consistent throughout the period and the resident tarpon are increasingly active as the weather and waters warm. The snook fishing will slow over the spring months as they are a fish that prefers the cooler winter waters.
Summer fly fishing in Ascension Bay
High summer, June, July and August, can get hot and humid, the winds also typically drop so it is a time for anglers who don’t mind the heat and infrequent short dumpings of heavy rain. Generally, it is the quietest time for anglers in the area but an exciting fishing period. At times the flats can go as flat as glass and the black permit fins can be seen a long way off… it doesn’t make them any easier to catch! Bonefish are generally targeted throughout the flats systems but some of the more sheltered areas can get a bit too hot, fortunately Ascension Bay has no shortage of bonefish flats. The warmer waters through the region also bring in large migratory tarpon, and it is not unusual to see fish of 100lb+ up on the flats. Sargassum weed can make an appearance along the Mexican coast at this time, it doesn’t cause too much disruption in the bay but can create some great fishing opportunities. Permit, tarpon and bonefish can hone in on areas where the weed has collected to feast on crabs and baitfish that come to the weed for food and refuge.
High summer does coincide with the Caribbean’s hurricane season (June to November). Many anglers actively avoid this time but the fishing can be fantastic and the reality is that hurricanes are irregular and the period is largely unaffected. If looking to travel at this time it is sensible to check that your travel insurance does offer coverage in the event that your trip is cancelled or curtailed.
Autumn fly fishing in Ascension Bay
September, October and November, mark the end of the heat of summer. Air and water temperatures cool slightly but the winds typically remain relatively low opening up new fishing opportunities. Permit, bonefish and tarpon are still very active throughout this period, and as the autumn progresses, we see barracuda, jacks and snook start to feed more frequently on the flats. Autumn storms can hang around a little longer than in the summertime, but generally the fishing can be good through them too.
Winter fly fishing in Ascension Bay
Winter time, December, January and February, is a great time to escape the cold and damp weather of the northern hemisphere to get your fill of warmth and sunshine. Bonefish remain fairly consistent at this time, permit and tarpon can be more fickle but regular warm spells get them feeding more consistently. Cold front can push down from the north at this time which can slow the fishing for bonefish, but these fronts also cause the tides push water out of the mangroves to the north forcing the snook out onto the flats. This provides an excellent chance for some spectacular snook fishing.
If you would like more information about saltwater fly fishing in Mexico please contact Alex Jardine or Olly Thompson, alternatively you can call our office on +44(0)1980 847 389.