Probably one of the MOST successful trip that Fishwest has hosted in Xcalak, Mexico! Lots of fish to the boat, lots of firsts and plenty of fun! Enjoy this Trip Recap: Acocote Eco Inn May 2023
Located about four and a half hours south of Cancun, Mexico sits the quiet fishing village of Xcalak Mexico. Xcalak (ish-ka-lok) “the twins” sits about 10 miles from the border of Belize and boasts a population of approximately 400 people, and is one of the most secluded places along the Mexican Caribbean. Xcalak is home to one of the best “Grand Slam” destinations on the planet and has prolific numbers of Permit, Tarpon, and Bonefish.
The team at Fishwest has been leading group trips to this Yucatecan paradise since 2017, but this last May was our first trip since 2021, and we were excited to be back once again. As in years past, the Acocote Eco Inn has served as “home base” for our anglers.
The Acocote runs completely off the grid and is powered completely by solar energy and features four suites, each containing two bedrooms, bathrooms, and a generous living / dining area. Coupled with the spectacular oceanside views, and tailing permit fifty feet from your door, the inn serves as the perfect backdrop for our angling adventures.
This year our group featured 10 eager anglers, a majority of which have never had the opportunity to fish for the plethora of saltwater flats species that the flats surrounding Xcalak have to offer.
After our arrival, overnight stay in Cancun, and our transfer to Xcalak. Our group was ready to hit the flats on day one with one mission in mind. PERMIT. Fortunately, for a majority of the permit in the surrounding area they went through the day unharmed and untouched.
However, our group did find some success as one of our guests was lucky enough to catch two grand slams in one day on his first trip to Xcalak, and on his first day permit fishing. To put that into perspective, that is the fly-fishing equivalent of winning the lottery. Let’s just say that Kent came back to the lodge as a happy camper! Couple that with the fact that our long-time friend, and OG Fishwest employee, Richard Lake found his first permit as well. After a fantastic first day, team Fishwest had 3 permit on the board.
The weather slicked out and the wind died, I mean, it was completely gone. The group had plenty of shots, made some amazing casts, were refused by most, but two more Permit were brought to hand, one by yours truly, my second & largest to date, and a second for Richard Lake in as many days fishing for them. This was a day that I will not soon forget because Richard got his Permit this day on his first cast. I couldn’t believe it. When all was said and done I found myself very thankful for such a fun day spent with a great friend.
Days Three – Five:
Tough on the group but for the best reason. The weather remained too calm. Not very often do we have a chance to say that the weather treated us too well out on the flats but that was not the case here. The wind machine remained off, the clouds were nonexistent and the temps on the old thermometer were sweltering. Leaders were stretched, tippets were thin (by saltwater standards) and the large fly offerings were put away in exchange for scantly tied patterns in size 8 – 10. Mikel Cope, a longtime friend of Fishwest, and someone with the best luck I have ever seen managed to bring in his first Permit under these conditions on a Spawning Mantis Shrimp from Umpqua that extended our total count as a group to 4.
The perfect way for our group to end the trip. The weather was once again perfect, and it lead to some great results out on the flats. The flats on the coast north of Xcalak were loaded with Tarpon and a few of the boats decided to shift their focus to these electric creatures. Boats were weaved through the intricate network of mangrove creeks into the lagoons of the Rio Huatch. It took some major effort to get back into this area, but everyone was happy that they made the trek. The area was brimming with juvenile Tarpon that were ready and eager to eat any flies that crossed their path. The ticket was the black and purple Tarpon Toad from Umpqua. I was able to complete the “trip slam” in a short amount of time on this day with the first fish I saw ending up in the boat after an acrobatic display. Karla Cope, another longtime friend of the shop had her sights set on seeing a Tarpon and we couldn’t be more excited that she was able to get the job done on the last day.
To top things off, and not to be outdone, Ron Irrgang, the self-proclaimed “Fishwest Permit King” was able to boat two Permit on his final day in Xcalak which brings his grand total of Permit landed to four. This is quite impressive considering that Ron has only fished for Permit on two occasions, both of which were on the Fishwest hosted trip to Xcalak. Which, if you are keeping score at home, meant that the Fishwest crew capped off the trip with an impressive total of 9 Permit for the week of fishing.
We are extremely thankful to the crew at the Acocote Eco Inn for once again for the hospitality. The delicious, home cooked traditional Mexican meals are always something that we look forward to at the end of the fishing day. Rob Mukai, the owner of the Inn is a gracious host and is one of our favorite people to swap stories with.
This trip, like others to the Inn was a wonderful experience and we are already planning our next adventure. If you are interested in joining, please feel free to give our staff a call at 435.783.6791