The amazing thing about working with Yellow Dog is that you have access to over 190 different lodges and operations. That number can seem overwhelming when deciding on a destination – thankfully, every program director has personally checked out the lodge, accommodations, and fishery at each of those destinations. With so many destinations Yellow Dog can cater trips exactly to your preferences. Some people enjoy luxury, and some people enjoy a bit of roughing it. For the adventuresome angler, someone seeking an experience a little more off the grid, the following lodges made the list.
Turneffe Flats Lodge – Turneffe Flats Lodge is on the Turneffe Atoll making it a secluded spot for the adventuring angler. In fact, it’s so secluded the atoll can only be reached by a transfer boat to-and-from Belize City which is an hour and a half to two hours long. However, once on the atoll, Turneffe Flats offers one of the most diverse coral atolls in all the Caribbean. The flats making up the fishery are 250 square miles most of which is wadeable. Bonefish are the target for most anglers. With large numbers of fish, both beginners and experts will love it. In addition to bonefish, occasional permit are found tailing on the flats as well as species like barracuda, tarpon, snapper, and snook all residing in the waters.
El Pescador Lodge – Located on Ambergris Caye, El Pescador is a perennial favorite for Yellow Dog clients. Anglers will travel to Belize city where they will catch a flight to Ambergris which is usually a 15-minute flight. The fishery offers chances at tarpon, permit, and bonefish, however, sight fishing for tarpon on the flats may be the most popular. Resident tarpon in the 20 to 80-pound range are common whereas migratory giants in the 100 to 200-pound range are found in late spring and early summer months. Snook, jacks, snappers, and barracudas also provide for endless entertainment on the water. Cameron Davenport oversees the Belize programs for Yellow Dog. Be sure to contact him with any questions or for more information.
Crooked Island Lodge – This is the most southern lodge Yellow Dog works within the Bahamas. The secluded island is one of the least pressured in the Bahamas, therefore making if one of the most productive fisheries. The flats hold astounding shots at bonefish as well as permit. Many times anglers can find themselves on the white sand flats fishing without another human in sight – you’ll have one of the best fisheries all to yourself. If you’re still yearning for more excitement be sure to go night fishing on the flats to make some memories you’ll have for a lifetime.
Chester’s Bonefish Lodge– Situated on Acklins Island, Chester’s is one of the most southern lodges Yellow Dog books. For those people looking for a DIY vacation, this is an excellent option. Bonefish are the mainstay of the lodge and fishing is mostly done by wading on the expanse of flats. Again, this is one of the less frequented lodges in the Bahamas, and it’s not uncommon to be fishing the flats only to find yourself alone and with the fishery to yourself. The fishery is also home to snapper, jacks, mackerel, sharks, and barracudas. For people who would rather opt for a guide, the lodge does offer guide services. And a few of the guides do use skiffs. If interested, contact Doug McKnight for more information.
Jardines De La Reina. However remote and unpressured, it’s important to remember that it’s not untouched – anglers from Europe and Canada have been fishing Cuba for more than 15 years. But by no means should anglers not be excited. The entirety of Jardines De La Reina is roughly the same size as the Florida Keys, and with strict fishing regulation, it’s not uncommon to only see a dozen other anglers over the course of the week. The most popular species to fish for in these waters are tarpon, but bonefish, permit, snook, jacks, snapper, and barracuda can all be found.
Isla de la Juventud – Guests will stay aboard the Avalon Fleet I mothership. Again, this is live-aboard operation is in the thick of the mangrove wilderness of the Canaries Archipelago area. The name of the game in the fishery is tarpon. The fishery holds world-class sized tarpon as well as large numbers of resident tarpon in the 30 to 80-pound range. Aside from the awesome tarpon fishing, there’s large numbers of bonefish, permit, snook, jacks, snapper, and barracuda. Be sure to contact Kristen Tripp for further information on Cuba.
Grand Slam Lodge – Grand Slam is located in the sleepy little fishing town of Punta Allen, Mexico on the Yucatan peninsula. With the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve right out its back door, it literally sits in the middle of the tropical wilderness. Ascension Bay offers a diversity of flats species including, bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook, barracuda, jacks, and snappers. Ascension Bay is one of the few places that can boast as one of the most productive permit fisheries in the world. Add on top of that chasing tailing bones, and fighting the acrobatic tarpon and there’s a reason Grand Slam is repeatedly a client favorite.
Espiritu Santo Bay Lodge – Just south of its larger neighbor Ascension Bay, Espiritu Santo Bay is found in the pueblo of Punta Herrero – home to only 95 lobster fishermen. The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is the backdrop to the lodge, and it’s not difficult to feel off the grid in the tropical wilderness. Since it’s not quite as popular as its Ascension Bay counterparts, and with strict angling rules on the number of boats allowed on the bay, fishing pressure is minimal. Fish your heart out for the numerous juvenile tarpon in the bay, or take some shots at bonefish, permit, snook, barracuda. Contact Shaun Lawson to begin planning your trip to Mexico.