The Palometa Club, known for putting up big numbers of permit and world class permit guides, is an exclusive fly fishing lodge on the northeastern edge of the famed permit and bonefish flats of Ascension Bay in Yucatan, Mexico. Entering its eighth season of operation, the Club has also quickly become one of the most respected fly fishing lodges in the Caribbean for serious flats anglers.
It is an American owned and operated establishment and is the definition of a “mom and pop” operation. Highlights include tremendous hospitality, comfortable accommodations, incredible food, and an all-star staff. They hang their hats on a unique fishing program founded on the most experienced and professional team of English speaking guides in the region.
Punta Allen, Mexico is located approximately three and one half hours drive south of the Cancun International airport in the Mexican State of Quintana Roo. It is a quiet lobster fishing village south of the “Mayan Riviera” on a narrow peninsula at the northeastern point of Ascension Bay. It is hard to find a more charming and peaceful village in the Caribbean, with gorgeous beaches, friendly locals, a few lively bars and restaurants, and children walking barefoot through sandy streets.
Guests stay in a comfortable six-bedroom lodge located on the picturesque ocean-side beach of the unique lobster fishing village of Punta Allen. Anglers can book fully-inclusive, week-long fishing packages (which include transportation from Cancun) in their quest for permit, bonefish, tarpon, snook and more. Non-anglers can enjoy snorkeling, guided eco tours and archeological trips as the Palometa Club is situated within the famed Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a 1.3 million acre World Heritage Site known for its rich marine environment, exotic birds and tropical wildlife and vast array of Mayan ruins.
Kienes Fly Fishing Travel has been many times and taken dozens of guests to this permit rich water. The Palometa Club guests landed over 1000 permit in the first 8 years of operation and they only operated during a six month season!
If it is permit you are after, let Kienes Fly Fishing Travel book you into the Palometa Club.
At a Glance
Location: Punta Allen, Mexico, on the northern shores of Ascension Bay
Target Fish: Permit, bonefish, snook, tarpon, jack crevalle, barracuda and more
Time of Year: January – early September- with exclusive November dates now available
Lodge Capacity: 12 guests
Nearest Airport: Cancun, Mexico
Documents Required: Valid Passport
It is the diversity in species that inhabit Ascension Bay in such prolific numbers that is the main attraction for so many intrepid flats anglers. Boasting of perhaps the best permit fishery found anywhere, Ascension Bay is also a viable resource for all the species that make up the “Grand Slam” or the “Super Slam” – permit, bonefish, tarpon and snook. There are also frequent encounters with less traditional species such as barracuda, jacks, sharks, and much more. Unlike some destinations that are niched into one species, there is always something happening on the Bay no matter the conditions.
While Ascension Bay undoubtedly is an incredible fishery with loads opportunity, it takes the right guides coupled with a unique approach to realize its tremendous potential. By cultivating a group of guides that are hands down the best in the region, The Palometa Club has designed a fishing program unlike any of the competition on Ascension or Espiritu Santo Bays. Whether you have fished the saltwater all your life or even visited one of the other lodges in the area – be prepared to witness an entirely different and vastly more productive style of flats fishing.
The Club’s guides all speak English and are on the water over 300 days a year either guiding gringo fly anglers or fishing the commercial lobster season. Unlike other lodges in the area that employ seasonal guides from other regions in Mexico, The Palometa Club hires the best and local independent contractors from Punta Allen that are, by definition, professional fly fishing guides. They pridefully run their own boats, are serious fly tiers, epic casters, calm instructors, and collectively have decades of experience hosting North American anglers on Ascension Bay.
A 1:1 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 and all anglers are guaranteed one on one instruction. Having two guides provides multiple sets of eyes scanning for the next target. One guide will wade with the angler while the other guide will remain on the poling platform, managing the boat, keeping an eye on the school, and choreographing your approach for the best presentation. There are also scenarios where both anglers and both guides bail out of the boat to chase larger schools, thus getting everyone in the action at once.
We are not set on the traditional “8:00 – 4:00” rigid fishing schedule you may be accustomed to at other lodges. While boats push away from the beach at 7:30-8:00AM, guides are not under the gun to pull you off happy fish to meet a schedule. While they do generally try and spool it up at a reasonable hour (especially if you have a long run back to the house), the only constraint in play is to be on the beach before sunset in accordance with the laws of the Sian Ka’an.
When to Visit
For the 2016 season, the Palometa Club is open January 1-June 17 and July 22 – September 9. They are closed September 9 – January 5. For the 2017 season the Club will be open January 6-June 16 and July 21 – September 8, 2017.
There really is no “best” time to visit the Club as every week of the season offers pros and cons to consider. For the most part, guests should expect good fishing weather anytime we are open and operating, with all standard species available and plentiful year round. The southern Yucatan enjoys warm and humid temperatures and comfortable fishing conditions; however there are certainly idiosyncrasies to consider with each of the seasons when planning your trip.
The Club is located on the active beach right in the heart of the lobster fishing village of Punta Allen. It is a new two story structure built in 2005 and constructed of Mexican brick and mortar with indigenous hardwoods and tiles in the local tradition. Owners Dick and Kaye Cameron had their hands dirty throughout the design and construction of the lodge – and have designed the tailor made floor plan for fishing lodge guests.
Each room has a private bath 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 tastefully decorated and 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, cold beer and other beverages of your choice. Lunches are taken on the water or under the shade of palms and mangroves during a mid-day break.
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. Fresh caught ceviche and empanadas are also part of every happy hour.
The evening meal at the Palometa Club is not your traditional heavy and rich “fishing lodge” cuisine. Dinner is served family style featuring delicious local Caribbean and Mexican dishes like moja de ajo, pollo con mole, and chili rellenos, followed by scrumptious locally inspired desserts. Purified water is used for drinking and ice.
Guests first start the adventure by traveling to Cancun, Mexico. Cancun is serviced by almost every major airline carrier, and is a direct flight from Dallas / Ft. Worth, Houston, Miami, and numerous other international portals.
Guests must plan flight reservations to arrive in Cancun on Friday no later than 2:00 P.M. and schedule the return flight the following Friday no earlier than 1:00PM in order to make comfortable connections to the Club.
Once in Cancun, guests are met by lodge representatives and transferred approximately three and a half hours south to Punta Allen in a comfortable air conditioned van. The main highway from Cancun International Airport leads south at 100km/hour through the mega-resorts of Playa del Carmen en route to the ancient Mayan turned touristy town of Tulum.
From Tulum, travelers enter the Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve and are off through the peaceful jungle to the docile and romantic fishing village of Punta Allen. The entire drive takes approximately 3.5 hours under normal conditions. However, take note of the water based and helicopter option transfers in the event the road is in bad shape.
“The Road” and Transfers to the Lodge
The last 40+ kilometers of the road from Tulum to Punta Allen is often in some state of disrepair depending on recent weather patterns and the frequency of maintenance. If the road is in poor shape, the Club will offer a water based transfer from the top of the Boca Paila lagoon down to the lodge. This is a huge time saver and a comfortable, smooth alternative to the bumpy road.
Helicopter Transfer Options
For those of you who want to travel in real style, we have sourced a very reliable helicopter transfer option from Cancun straight to the soccer field next to the Club. Flight time is about one hour in a new Bell Jet Ranger chopper that will accommodate four passengers. Rates are approximately $5600 one-way unless we can coordinate outgoing guests to split the cost and avoid a “deadhead” flight back to Cancun. Inquire for Details if Interested.
Rates are double occupancy and 1 guide/boat per 2 anglers
Prices for 2019 and 2020 Seasons
January 4 - June 11 & July 12 - September 13
7 Nights / 6 Days Fishing (Friday – Friday) $4,350 per person
Shorter Week Itineraries (Space Available Basis Only)
Included in Package Price: 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
Not Included in Package Price: Commercial air to Cancun, Mexico; Additional alcoholic beverages outside of Happy Hour (BYOB welcome); Guide and staff gratuities; Fishing Tackle & Flies; Organized eco-tours; Laundry Service; Departure Taxes