Bonefish, Tarpon, Permit, Saltwater Grand Slam, Snook
Destination Type
Fishing Style
Flats, Sightfishing, Wading
Fishing Days
Why We Go
  • Dedicate angling days to targeting permit
  • Take advantage of fishing with both a senior and junior fishing guide
  • Have opportunities at other Grand Slam species – bonefish, tarpon, and snook
  • Enjoy an intimate and fly fishing-focused lodge setting

The Palometa Club (“The Permit Club”) is an exclusive fly fishing lodge on the northeastern edge of the famed Ascension Bay, which caters to fly anglers who are serious about stalking permit, bonefish, tarpon, and snook. The Club is located on a picturesque beach near the quaint lobster fishing village of Punta Allen and features a six-bedroom lodge. Guests fish in the pristine, 1.3 million acre Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve with the assistance of both a senior and assistant guide in each boat. This adds another set of eyes to spot fish, help with line management and also allows for chances of chasing fish while wading. Non-anglers can enjoy snorkeling, guided eco-tours and archeological trips. Standard, week-long trips run Friday to Friday, and shorter trips can often be arranged upon request.

Fishing Program

Palometa means permit in Spanish, and the Palometa Club is the first fly fishing lodge in the world to focus on permit fishing. Simply put, Ascension Bay is probably the best place on the planet to catch a permit on a fly and the guides at the Palometa Club work hard to give guests that opportunity. Pairs of anglers fish out of pangas with both a senior and junior guide, both of whom are local and speak English. Permit caught in Ascension Bay average eight- to 15-pounds, but fish approaching 30 pounds are caught annually. Perhaps the most challenging and coveted saltwater trophy on the fly – like a steelhead or Atlantic salmon – permit can be difficult to catch and one fish to the boat in a week is a real accomplishment. However, there’s always the chance for more, and guests at The Palometa Club have landed as many as three in a day!

Ascension Bay is also a premier fishery for bonefish. Bonefish here are in the three-pound range and there are also smaller, “schoolie” fish that are easy to catch, making this a perfect destination for first-time flats anglers. There is also a class of fish that are larger – six to eight pounds – and these fish are much more challenging to catch. Ever since a commercial netting ban was enforced, the size of bonefish has been increasing and double-digit pound fish are now caught every season. Tarpon are also found throughout Ascension Bay and range in size from 10 to 20-pound “babies,” found in the mangroves, to migratory fish well over 100 pounds, which show up on the flats in the spring. Schools of fish in the 30- to 50-pound range are sometimes encountered while searching for permit and experienced anglers always keep a tarpon rod strung.

Because the lodge is so focused on permit and maximizing the multi-species potential of their fishery, it’s no surprise that more Grand Slams (permit, bonefish and tarpon all caught in one day) are realized in Ascension Bay than at any other saltwater destination in the world. Add a snook to complete a Super Slam, perhaps the greatest saltwater angling achievement possible. It’s certainly not easy, but it is doable, as Ascension Bay also supports a healthy snook population, with large numbers of fish averaging 8- to 12-pounds caught each year.

Palometa Guides:

A great aspect of Ascension Bay is that you can wade fish and/or cast from the front of the boat; it pretty much depends on your preference and what species you’re after. Bonefish provide a great opportunity to wade the endless hard-packed white sand flats the bay is famous for, while the search for permit usually requires using the boat to set up properly for a good shot. Fishing the flats with The Palometa Club involves fishing two anglers to a boat with two guides. That means two sets of highly skilled eyes looking for fish. The boats are traditional pangas retrofitted with poling platforms and a wide casting deck on the bow. The double-cockpit design is terrific for line management and the overall, larger-than-a-normal-flats-boat, size provides great stability and comfort for traveling across the Bay. And you won’t believe how adept their guides are in poling and positioning the boat. Most experienced anglers consider them some of the best they’ve ever fished with.

The guide corps is made up entirely of local fisherman born in Punta Allen. They each grew up fishing Ascension Bay and know it intimately. They are all members in the local Cooperativa Pescado and own their own boats. From November to June they work exclusively for The Palometa Club in established teams of Guide and Junior Guide. Each of them speak good conversational English and they truly rival the best fly fishing guides anywhere in the world. During the week they rotate anglers and guides to give everyone a chance to fish together. The lodge keeps a white board hung on the patio with each days guest/guide combinations for the following days fishing.


The Palometa Club is situated on the working beach in the lobster fishing village of Punta Allen. Colorful fishing boats and lobster traps share the high water line with palm trees and sea plum, and the area bustles with activity early in the morning and again at day’s end. The lodge was built as a brand new structure in the fall of 2005. Its construction is classic Mexican brick and mortar, featuring indigenous tiles and wood and colorfully painted in the local tradition. It is the first fly fishing lodge on Ascension Bay to offer 24-hour electrical power, air conditioning, wireless internet, and effective mosquito control. The two-story lodge features six bedrooms – three on each floor – and each bedroom has two double beds. The rooms have plenty of space for clothing and gear, and each has its own air conditioner and ceiling fan. There is a private bath adjoining each bedroom with shower, lavatory, and sink. On the first floor is a large dining room, adjacent to an open kitchen and a library/living room. On the second floor there is a fly tying study. There are also several patio spaces and the wonderful, outdoor “Kaye’s Bar.”

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. Hearty boxed lunches are prepared for the fishing boats and typically include sandwiches, fruits, desserts, ice water, cold beer and other beverages of 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 happy hour at “Kaye’s Bar,” which serves complimentary margaritas, cold beer, and local rum drinks as well as fresh ceviche and empanadas. The evening meal is served family-style and features delicious local Caribbean and Mexican dishes like moja de ajo, pollo con mole, and chili rellenos, followed by scrumptious locally inspired desserts.

Your Hosts:

Upon your arrival at The Palometa Club you will be met by your hosts Mike and Maureen Gifford. Mike and Maureen are Calgary, Canada natives who have been friends and guests of The Palometa Club for over a decade. Mike and Maureen have been helping manage the lodge for the past few seasons and have proven to be kind, attentive and organized hosts.

Additional Experiences

Although the main attraction to the Palometa Club is undoubtedly the world-class fly fishing, many non-angling activities and adventures are close at hand and offer guests the chance to escape civilization, relax, and enjoying the beauty of Ascension Bay. Guests can experience guided snorkel trips, eco-tours, and trips to ancient Mayan ruins. Birding trips yield chances to see over 300 species and jungle tours may reveal many other spectacular Mexican inhabitants. The Palometa Club also has an in-house massage therapist available to guests for a fee. All non-angling activities can be discussed and paid for on-site with the managers.


Day 1: Arrive Cancun (on Friday no later than 2:00 pm)

Days 2 - 7: Full days of guided fishing

Day 8: Depart lodge for Cancun (Friday morning for flights departing Cancun after 1:00 pm)

Rates & Details

2024 Rates: Per person based on double occupancy

  • 7 night/6 day package: $4,750
  • 6 night/5 day package: $4,250
  • 5 night/4 day package: $3,750
  • 4 night/3 day package: $3,250

Included: Accommodations and meals at the lodge, round-trip ground transportation between Cancun and the lodge, guided fishing, Happy Hour beverages (margaritas, beer, local rum drinks), non-alcoholic beverages, telephone & wireless internet, taxes

Not Included: Airfare to Cancun, additional alcoholic beverages outside of Happy Hour (BYOB welcome), staff & guide gratuities, fishing tackle & flies, departure taxes, additional activities, laundry service

Note: Please call for non-fishing packages

Species: Bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook, jacks, and barracuda

Season: Year-Round

Capacity: 12 anglers

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