MexicoMexico is an incredible country – though less so with each Walmart and Hilton put in. Gone are the days of hand rolled tortillas and cool Southern Yucatan culture. One thing is for sure, wherever you go, half your food will be purchased at a Costco. That's not to say that's a terrible thing – now you're unlikely to get a bad case of the trots. From a fishing perspective, it's still pretty amazing.
Outside of the Florida Keys and Belize, this is your number three destination for permit. Every morning the boats pile out of the lodges at Punta Allen...on a big day up to 75 of them...all headed for permit. And this is permit central. Not tailing paradise like Belize, but think huge schools and two guides per boat that are as fine as guides come. They work in tandem on the forked devils and have come up with innovative approaches to the fishing program that still blow me away. This is the way it will go a big part of the time. The guide shouts, school of permit at 10 o' clock. Guide #2 jumps out of the boat with your rod and starts getting your line ready. You look at him, a short in stature Mexican, noticing the water is damn near to his shoulders...jump out reluctant to get your balls wet and begin the chase. What these boys have figured out is Pangas are loud and permit are smart. For these deep wading shots, you'll push forward to the point where you regret being such a lazy, office bound pork chop, and wonder how on earth you as a six foot plus man can't keep up with a four foot tall Mexican guide.
Your guide still on the boat is shouting to Guide #1, the one pulling you by your fly line, in Spanish fifty yards to your right. It's a full on chase to get up on the fish, but when you do these permit eat. Chances are if you head to Punta Allen, you'll head home with an aquatic rash from wading wet and at least a permit to your name. Do we recommend it? Heck yeah. But as usual we're not going to sell you a bill of goods that you'll be nice and dry on the front of a Hell's Bay throwing to tailing fish. The lodges are exceptional from a service and cuisine perspective and it's a fun place to be.
If you are after baby tarpon, and the big ones that won't eat drive you mad, this is your place. Not a place we've been, but we've heard great things on the fishing front. We'll update this once we've seen it with our own eyes.