“If you want to catch a permit on the fly, there is no question that you stand a better chance here than any place I know.”
– Lefty Kreh
The Palometa Club is an Canadian owned and operated boutique fishing lodge located on the famed flats of Ascension Bay on the Yucatan Peninsula. As the name implies, Palometa (local colloquial word for Permit) Club is tailor made for anglers in search of a specialized fishing trip targeting the most elusive and glorified of all saltwater species.
Palometa Club’s scientific and sophisticated approach to permit fishing techniques, tackle, and methodology is unmatched. Over the years, the Owners have assembled, hands down, the best crew of guides in the region (2 Guides and 2 Anglers Per Boat or 1 on 1 guide : angler ratio). While the brand and reputation for success is geared around permit, guides don’t neglect the other species of Ascension Bay that make the fishery so diverse. Bonefish, tarpon, snook, jacks, barracuda, sharks, and many other reef species are also available year round.
Opened in 2006, the lodge offers comfortable accommodations, a lively atmosphere, and incredible Mayan-Mexican cuisine. The Palometa Club is anything but a “fishing motel” – rather a laid back, comfortable, fun, old school fishing lodge in the purist form.Location
Punta Allen, Mexico is located approximately three hours south of the international airport in Cancun. Guests travel from Cancun in a comfortable van to Tulum before hopping in boats for a comfortable water transfer to the beach in front of the lodge. Punta Allen is a quiet lobster fishing village south of the “Mayan Riviera” on a narrow peninsula at the northeastern point of the world famous Ascension Bay. The pavement ends in Tulum, and with it so does the hustle, crowds, and resort development in the hotel zone. This is the authentic, ecologically rich Yucatan Peninsula with dense tropical jungle and 1.3 million acres of the Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site, and genuine old Mayan Mexico. It is a safe little corner of the Yucatan that is remote enough to remain pristine, but easily reachable in a day with direct flights to Cancun from Calgary via West jet.
The Canadian owned Palometa Club is one of the newest of the lodges located on Ascension Bay. In almost no time it has also quickly become the most respected. It is tailor made for anglers in search of a specialized fishing trip targeting the most elusive and glorified of all saltwater species – the permit. Of course they don’t neglect the other species of Ascension Bay that make the fishery so diverse; however as the name implies, Palometa (Mexican colloquial word for Permit) Club, has built a program that caters to dedicated permit enthusiasts. It is the definition of a “mom and pop” operation with tremendous hospitality, comfortable accommodations, and a crew of revved up guides chomping at the bit to go chase the mighty palometa.
Fishing Ascension Bay
The lower Yucatan is known for offering one of the most species diverse saltwater fishing experiences available in the Caribbean. From shallow sandy flats to backcountry lagoons, it is a fishery that offers different styles of fishing for numerous species including bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook, barracuda, jack crevalle and more. Palometa Club runs traditional Mexican Panga boats with comfortable seating, poling platforms, customized rod storage, and a nice casting deck. Unlike smaller flats skiffs, pangas make the run on choppy days across the bay manageable and still access the skinniest of flats.
Depending on the conditions and what species you are targeting, it may be possible to get out and wade skinny, hard, sandy flats for bones, pole and wade in a little deeper water for permit, or lurk the lagoons and backcountry mangroves for tarpon and snook. You also never know when you are going to run across a hungry cuda, a school of hard pulling jacks, or any myriad of other species such as tripletail, grouper, snapper – or even cobia. Ascension Bay has it all.
Guide Angler Ratio
The Club uses one guide for each angler (2 anglers and 2 guides per boat). This is not to be confused with one proper guide and one “apprentice guide” that serves as a boat driver. Each angler gets their own experienced guide dedicated to ensuring no fishing time or opportunities are wasted.
Palometa Club runs a program designed to target all of the different flats species available on Ascension Bay, but with a particular emphasis on targeting permit. Ascension Bay is known as perhaps the greatest permit fishery in the world, with 90+ square miles of sandy flats and isolated islands protected by a barrier reef along the eastern edge of the bay. It is a shallow and seemingly endless fishery that is chock full of perfect permit habitat. Encounters with huge schools of teenager, 5-12 pound permit are pretty much an everyday occurrence, and you will get your shots at the smarter and more solitary beasts up to twenty or thirty pounds. On his recent trip, Mike landed a fish estimated at 30 pounds!
The Club’s scientific approach to permit fishing techniques, tackle, and areas fished is very evident in the guides’ infectious enthusiasm and obvious desire to get the most out of every second in the fishing day. The guide staff is constantly comparing notes, tweaking fly patterns, and exploring new areas to find fish. The Palometa Club has succeeded in creating a culture of revved up guides with a smile on their face and genuine love of chasing permit – all of which translates to more opportunity to close the deal and get one in the boat!
Even though permit are the high profile species, it is impossible to ignore the great bonefishing on Ascension Bay. Yucatan bones are typically smaller in nature than bones in the Bahamas or other Atlantic / Caribbean fisheries, however are found in huge numbers year round. The tremendous population of bonefish makes this a great destination to consider for beginner flats anglers looking for some easier reward. Ascension Bay has extensive, hard sandy flats that are great for wade fishing as well as deeper flats better fished from the boat – which also allows for possible encounters with permit or tarpon as well.
Although there are definitely a lot of small “schoolie” bonefish that are easy to catch, there are also sometimes encounters with larger bonefish in the 4-7 pound range at times. Ever since the commercial netting ban was put into place 18 years ago, we are beginning to see a larger age class of bonefish in the Bay again.
Baby Snook and Tarpon
Although you should not consider Ascension Bay as a dedicated tarpon destination, there are plenty of juvenile “baby” tarpon in the vast backcountry lagoons in the area. A majority of these fish are residents which remain in the area throughout the year, providing anglers with consistent opportunities for completing the fabled Grand Slam. Adult migratory fish often busting the 80-100 pound mark also begin to show up in the beginning of May and numbers will increase significantly through July & August. Snook are also definitely worth the effort of poling around the mangroves, with multiple 20+ pound trophies landed each season.
There is a wide variety of underrated, under-fished species in Ascension Bay that will match the skill of the most sophisticated anglers. The fishing for jack crevalle is certainly not to be overlooked, and barracuda are also at the top of the list of alternative species. This wonderfully fast species can be caught on the fly or with conventional spinning gear. Don’t forget about snapper, grouper, cobia, tripletail, and ever some offshore opportunities with the right conditions.
The Club property is located on the active beach right in the heart of the lobster fishing village of Punta Allen. It is a newer two story structure built in 2005 and constructed of Mexican brick and mortar with indigenous hardwoods and tiles in the local tradition. Each room has two double beds with comfortable pillows and linens, individual air-con control, a ceiling fan, and operable window, and large spaces and storage for clothing and gear. Unlike many simpler accommodations in the region, the lodge is equipped with 24 hour electric power, wireless high speed internet, super cool air conditioning, and effective mosquito control. There are six bedrooms (3 upstairs and 3 downstairs), a fly tying study, library/living room, and a large dining room adjacent to the open kitchen. There are several outdoor patios and a beautiful outdoor bar. The style and culture at the lodge is very refined and professional, but also VERY laid back and charming.
“Kaye’s Bar” stocks complimentary margaritas, cold beer, and local rum drinks during happy hour. The day begins at sunrise with mugs of rich Mexican coffee followed by a traditional hot breakfast of cereal, eggs, bacon, ham, juices, toast and pastries. Hardy box lunches are prepared for the fishing boats and typically include sandwiches, fruits, desserts, ice water and other beverages of your choice. After the day’s fishing it’s cocktail time at the outdoor beach lounge where icy margaritas and sweet pina coladas help punctuate the recounting of the day’s adventure. Dinner is served family style featuring delicious local Caribbean and Mexican dishes like mojo de ajo, pollo con mole, and chili rellenos, followed by scrumptious locally inspired desserts. Bottled water is used for drinking and ice.
7 NIGHTS / 6 DAYS FISHING – $4350 USD PER PERSON
(Shared room/Shared Boat)
7 Nights accommodations; 6 Full days of guided fishing; All Meals; Ground transportation to lodge; Happy hour beverages (Margaritas, Beer, Local Rum Drinks); Non-alcoholic beverages; Telephone Calls & Wireless Internet; Mexican VAT tax; Laundry Service
What’s not Included
Commercial air to Cancun, Mexico; First night accommodation at the Courtyard by Marriott Cancun Airport if arriving after 2:00pm; Additional alcoholic beverages outside of Happy Hour (BYOB welcome); Guide and staff gratuities; Fishing Tackle & Flies; Rental Rod & Reel Outfits ($20/day); Organized eco-tours; Departure Taxes
Terms and Conditions
A fifty percent deposit is required at the time of booking in order to confirm all reservations. Final balance is due sixty days from departure. All deposits and/or final payments are non-refundable. Refunds or credits cannot be issued for fishing time lost due to inclement weather. Receipt of deposit and/or final payment is acknowledgment that registrant has read and accepts the cancellation, refund and responsibility clauses. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Or call us at 403-288-3474 for further information!!