Jerry J. Farber


Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Macabi March 2011

Our love for the pristine torqouise flats was definitely rekindled on our most recent
trip to Ascension Bay!!!!!     MY new sales rep and consultant, Bryan Adolphe, and I
spent 7 days in fishing paradise in April……..not only was the weather spectacular,
the fishing was as well !!!!.   It should be noted that although primarily a fishing trip,
the eco-tourism was on full display as well with sightings of manatees, loggerhead
turtles and even a salt water croc!!!!!!!!    Bryan is an avid fly fisherman and I am
not so I brought my spincasting gear as I usually do.     The combination works well
and I would urge fly fishers to bring some spinning gear as well……….here’s why,
while Bryan spent more time on the casting platform on the bow of the boat I was
able to cast my spinrod at the same time without agrivating tangle-ups………in fact
our lines never intertwined all week.      Firstly, it keeps the second person involved
instead of just sitting waiting for your turn.    Secondly, I was able to catch many
fish from this position as I cast blindly into the deeper pools.    Also I could be
ready for differnt species of fish as they presented themselves on the flats.

Of course the wind was strong at times but that is a given. We were still able to cross
the Bay and fish some flats I had never seen before.      Captain Victor and his junior
guide Neto worked very well together.     Victor also brought in Aaron to guide us
into the hidden lagoons accessed only by ancient Mayan channels.  This was the
highlight of the trip as we marvelled at the navigating abilities of this young man!!!!
We wove in and out of the mangroves as we made our way in. In places the channels
were too narrow for the boat so the guides used a machete to widen it where
necessary. In some place the boats length caused problems as well as the corners
were tight……..Bryan and I helped push the boat along as we tippytoed precariously
from one mangrove branch to another!!!!!!      The smile on our faces proved we were
enjoying the adventure to the fullest.    When we finally broke thru and into the
hidden gems we were not disappointed as the lagoons were teaming with baby
tarpon.     Hooking and landing them was a different story!!!!!!!!        Bryan hooked
many many fish before finally landing one.     I struggled with my spinning gear to
make the proper presentation to these elusive mangrove edge dwellers. At lunch
Bryan broke the lip off of one of my plugs so it would not dive so deep, I was still
skeptical but it was worth a shot.     Shortly Bryan landed his first tarpon and I
took to the bow as others were still in the area.     A few ill advised casts later,
I finally laid my lure in perfectly and the willing tarpon took it!!!!!!!!!  What a fight!!!!
He jumped and thrashed his head side to side but never came loose and soon I
was posing with my VERY first tarpon!!!!!…….sooooooooooo exciting!!!!!!

The trip in itself was all a highlight BUT certain happenings always stand out in
your mind.     For me it came on the last morning of our fishing trip. Bryan had
hooked and landed his first ever permit the day before and I hooked one as well BUT
my drag was set a little tight and the powerful advasory broke off.  I was
disappointed and did my best not to pout or brood over opportunities lost. As we
scanned the surface for the telltale sign of sicles and fins I vowed to myself NOT to
waste another chance.      Finally, we spotted some “happy” permits feeding near
the surface and approached with care.     On my third cast I was able to land my lure
on the far side of the permit school and drag it thru.   Again, “the criminal” worked
it’s magic as the permit inhaled my jig and the fight was on.  Tentatively I adjusted
the drag in small increments and let the mighty beast run when he wanted to. I’m
sure my victory yelp was heard as far as Tulum as I eased the highly-sought-after
permit close and Victor snatched it up.      After some hurried pictures the beautiful
silver glistening fish was released to fight another day.      A sense of
accomplishment and contentment settled over me, I had completed the Grand Slam,
not in one day but in one week………My trip was complete!!!!!!!!

The next day as we prepared to leave, mixed feelings of happiness and sadness
prevailed…….sad because the trip was over BUT happy because it was soooooo
much fun and such a fabulous experience!!!!!!      We made a vow to return
SOON (perhaps next year????)       I encourage any one that enjoys fishing to try
this once in their lifetime, BUT, be careful, you may find the flats luring you back
time and time again………I know it’s got me hooked……literally and figuratively!!!!!!!

Jerry J. Farber