The Caribbean is always booked well ahead and with the addition of so many trips being rolled forward, space has filled fast for the 2021-2022 season but there are still some great dates available so don’t miss out. Here are just a few of our favourite Grand Slam (bonefish, permit, tarpon) and Super Grand Slam (add a snook) destinations.
The grand slam or super grand slam is something that all saltwater fly fishermen aspire to. Its definition has evolved over the years as fisheries in different areas of the globe have added their version of it. Originally it was coined in the Caribbean to mean the capture of a bonefish, permit and a tarpon all on one day. The addition of a snook converts it to the fabled Super Grand Slam; either one a lifetime achievement. If you are keen to reach this milestone in your fishing career then there are a few of our operations that should be on your radar.
Cayo Largo, Cuba
Cayo Largo is by far and away our most prolific Grand Slam destination with a lot of our clients reaching their goal each year. The national park is made up a series of cays, mangrove lagoons and flats that run for some 50 kilometres. The flats tend to be white sand interspersed with turtle grass ideal for those who want to wade. Channel fishing for tarpon is primarily done from the skiffs. April, May and June are the prime months although it does fish all year round (with a cautious eye to the weather at the back end of the year).
Punta Allen Fishing Club, Mexico
The lodge sits in the Heart of Ascension Bay and the small fishing town of Punta Allen, one of the Caribbean’s most productive flats systems. The bay features miles and miles of shallow flats, a perfect breeding ground for crabs, the cherished delicacy of permit, and the reason permit grow to world-record sizes here. The bonefish are plentiful, so your opportunities for landing these fierce fighters are numerous. Ascension Bay is world-renowned for its seemingly endless saltwater flats and fishermen come here primarily seeking the challenge of the elusive permit and bonefish, plus the chance to achieve a Grand Slam.
The lodge comfortably houses 6 to 8 anglers at a time in well-appointed twin rooms. Accommodation is shared but there are two rooms that can be taken on a single occupancy basis. Non-fishing guests are welcome, there are a limit range of activities that can be done including eco-tours and visiting Mayan ruins, but please note that Punta Allen is a small quiet fishing port with nice beaches.
Grand Slam Lodge, Mexico
The lodge is situated just north of the small town of Punta Allen offering good access by both road and boat from Cancun whilst maintaining a remote sense of freedom. The lodge has access to endless flats hosting some of the biggest permit in the world and enormous schools of bonefish. With tarpon and snook on hand too it forms one of the world’s best places to go for a Grand Slam or Super Slam. With all these fish around, it is evident why GSL’s wall of fame is filled with so many delighted Grand Slam anglers. It fishes all year round with prime time being February to early July and then again late October to early December.
The lodge has been designed primarily for anglers but it offers a very comfortable and relaxing experience for non-fishers too. Various day trips can be arranged for those who would like to explore the local area, try snorkelling or visit Mayan ruins or simply relax by the lodge pool. There are no fixed entry and exit days so trips can be tailored to suit.
Casa Blanca, Mexico
Casa Blanca is located on northern tip of Punta Pájaros, on the southern side of Ascension Bay and built right on the water edge overlooking a beautiful flat. Due to its location it offers access to a very different part of the bay to the lodges in Punta Allen and Grand Slam Lodge on the northern side. This side of the bay also offers some of the finest Caribbean flats permit fishing along with bonefish and tarpon. The fishing is predominantly done from skiffs rather than wading.
All rooms are spacious and well-appointed with remarkable ocean views, air conditioning, tile floors and mahogany shutters. Casa Blanca has ten seaside rooms and can accommodate 22 people comfortably. Whilst fly fishing is the main activity this pristine slice of paradise has much more to offer. Snorkelling and kayaking the turquoise waters, hiking and biking along 25 miles of private beaches and coves, touring the mangrove lagoons and the Mayan ruins, or simply indulging in a massage and a day of relaxation are just a few possibilities.
Turneffe Flats Lodge, Belize
Turneffe Flats Lodge is located on a private island and leans more towards being a fishing lodge. Having said that, it has far more creature comforts than you would expect to find in a fishing focused lodge. It the perfect place for anglers wishing to chase bonefish or permit on the shallow turtle grass flats and sandy cuts. It offers simple but very comfortable accommodation and is perfect for groups or couples looking to combine fishing, diving and kicking back and relaxing. Sea facing cabanas along the beach and two private houses work well for families or small groups of friends. For those not fishing, the more informal atmosphere is perfect for relaxing and unwinding. Kayaking, snorkelling or exploring the atoll are all available options. The surrounding reef and coral heads are a divers paradise as is Belize’s blue hole.
El Pescador, Ambergris Cay, Belize
A little closer to the mainland, Ambergris Cay is no more than a 15 minute hop in a Cessna. This long cay runs all the way up to the old Mayan channel which was dug centuries ago, from here it carries on all the way to the Mexican border. El Pescador is a longstanding favourite of ours and is one of the first fishing lodges in the area. The lodge is still owned and run by the same family and has a combination of lovely lodge rooms and private villas. The bustling town of San Pedro is close by for non fishers. For fishermen, Ambergris Cay is one of the best areas to target migratory tarpon in Belize from July through to September. For those not fishing, there are three saltwater pools to relax in and a variety of activities to choose from. From snorkelling and beach picnics to the mainland ruins of Altan Ha and Lamani. From ziplining through the rainforest to searching for the endangered West Indian Manatee, there is something for everyone.
For more information please contact Aardvark McLeod or call +44 1980 847389.