Casa Viejo Chac is situated in Punta Allen, a small village at the north end of famous Ascension Bay, which along with the nearby mangrove lagoons and inland river system, offers a range of prolific waters inhabited by permit, bonefish, snook, tarpon and several other inshore species in astonishing quantities.
Although the abundance of permit is the area’s main draw, and the guides tend to make those black-sickle-tail phantoms the primary target, anglers may choose to go after another or various other gamefish. After all, this part of the Yucatan is known for producing flats slams with striking regularity.
At Casa Viejo Chac, it’s the norm to have two guides on every boat. The more seasoned usually takes the helm and handles the push pole, the other one helps with fish-spotting and also aids anglers with their tackle rigging and fly line management to maximize fishing time and boost the odds for success.
Although visiting anglers here do much of the fishing from the forward deck of a panga propelled quietly from the stern by a guide with a push pole, wading is both possible and encouraged in various spots. It’s common practice, in fact, for the angler and a guide to hop out of the boat together to stalk a sighted permit on foot. That’s why bringing flats-wading footwear, which ensure good footing and protection against any sharp coral and rocks, is highly recommended.
Every fishing day begins at 8:00 am, shortly after breakfast and a short 3-minute walk with the guides to a nearby mangrove cove where the pangas are kept. The boats return at around 4:00 pm, and there is always an ice-cold beer or cocktail waiting for you at the lodge to celebrate any memorable catches.
As is the case with most fishing lodges in the Yucatan, the guides at Casa Viejo Chac are equipped with 23-foot super pangas, an open-boat design commonly used throughout coastal Mexico and Central America. They are roomy, seaworthy and pretty lightweight, so they also float shallow and don’t require a large outboard to carry two anglers and two guides, the usual load. Plus, the pangas feature a spacious casting deck at the bow, comfortable seats and gunwale rod racks.
The lodge does NOT have any fly outfits to lend guests, so you must bring you own gear (and at least one spare rod and reel), as well as plenty of flies, leaders and other essentials, like a rain jacket, flats-wading footwear and polarized sunglasses.