Jesse's (Probably Wrong) Opinion - Fly Fishing Blog

Jesse’s (Probably Wrong) Opinion – December 2021 Edition

Hello to my fellow tortured permit anglers. This updated blog to our site will updated by me each quarter with a new edition. This information is based on what I personally, and my guides are observing on our permit flats here in Xcalak. Be forewarned, do not take this info to the bank. If there is anything I’m absolutely sure about permit fishing is NOTHING is sure. There is not always, forever, or never in permit fishing. Anything can happen out there, so this blog is based on my hunches, feelings, superstitions, and failures. But is focusing mostly on successes. 

I say a lot that you can only truly learn from the successes of permit fishing. There is too many variables and intangibles going when a permit chooses to not eat the fly, so examining those non eats too closely in my (probably wrong) opinion is mostly useless. I keep a Permit Journal and recommend that anyone serious about catching these fish does so as well. The only entries in this journal are the successes. What I deem as a success is feeding and successfully setting the hook on a fish. Even if he breaks off or spits the fly later in the fight it is well worth examining the factors and variables when you trick a permit into eating our bullshit flies.

Consistencies I have found entries in the past few months.

  • When the north front comes in and the permit are hard to find on the beach (oceanside) they seem to pop up closer to the reef on the incoming tides. Also, north bay flats. “When the north is in, go north.”
  • The highest success rate right now of feeding a permit is finding the bigger schools in the bay and getting out on foot to approach and cast. This may change when the sargasso returns and the fishing on the oceanside gets more active. This is also how we are catching the bigger permit of 18lbs and higher.
  • Floating crabs draw the attention of these fish even when there is not sargasso.
  • The tan mantis shrimp that has been when of the most reliable hook up flies here seems to be losing its steam (maybe I’m just fishing it less). Still a must have in a size 4 and 6 in your permit box.
  • Beck’s Fleeing crab is the “hot or not” fly I have been calling it. When we catch one on the fleeing crab early in a week, we start throwing the hell out of it because they want it. Weeks like that tend to be hot with lots of hook ups. If we are not seeing success on the fleeing crab early, then abandon it as it seems to be a lost cause until something changes. What that something factor is, I cannot or have not yet figured out.

These are just a few things I have noticed from my fishing and the fishing of our guests. Things continue to change always in this forever wild environment. Its unpredictable and difficult, but at the end of the day that is what it makes it so fun.

All the best and happy hunting to you all,

Jesse’s (Probably Wrong) Opinion - December 2021 Edition

The Xflats


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