Permit are a saltwater game fish of which there are two types; the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific Permit named according to which ocean they inhabit. Both are very similar in lifestyle but differ in looks. The Indo-Pacific Permit have golden yellowfins, with the yellow hues shading their backs and bellies, unlike their more muted coloured cousin. They both usually inhabit shallow, tropical waters such as mudflats, channels and muddy bottoms close to shore. Feeding on a diet of crabs, shrimp and smaller fish, they cruise the flats in either a group or in solidarity, often with their dorsal fins sticking out of the water. In many saltwater fly fishing destinations, they are relatively abundant and locating them can be easy, but catching them can be a different matter.
With the eyes of a hawk, unbelievable hearing and sense of smell, they’re without doubt one of the most challenging fish to catch in both fresh and saltwater. To top it off, they get moody, ultra-suspicious, spooky, and will bolt at the slightest noise, movement, or vibration, often just simply refusing to cooperate. They’re famous for ignoring lures and flies, even when cast practically in their mouths.
The Permit can live for over twenty years and grow to over 50lb; in fact, the IGFA record is a fish of 60lb, landed from Ilha do Mel, an island off the coast of Brazil. But traditionally, an excellent average-sized fish would be between 10lb and 15lb. Although you can catch Permit on live crab and shrimp, catching one on a fly is a true art and a fly caught fish is the holy grail and considered one of the highest accolades. You don’t often get many second chances with Permit, so that first cast is all-important, and if you manage to hook one, expect them to put up a long, stubborn fight, running deep anytime they can.
Below are the top destinations in the world for Permit Fishing.
Thanks to its excellent fishing and easy access, the beautiful National Park of Los Roques has gained a reputation for being one of the best fly fishing destinations in the Caribbean, attracting travelling rods from all around the globe.
Think about a place where you can fish more than 100 miles of flats without seeing another fisherman. A place where the flats fishing is so good, you can catch seven fish species in one day and a place where you have a legitimate chance for a ‘Grand Slam’ every day of the year; that’s Canarreos.
Fly fishing is the emphasis of Mango Creek Lodge’s fishing operation, and the Lodge is Roatan’s premier saltwater fishery, presenting the opportunities for travelling rods to hook up with a coveted ‘Grand Slam’. Located in secluded Port Royal on Roatan’s East End, it’s just a stone’s throw away from some of the islands most productive flats.
Southern Belize’s Copal Tree Lodge is an idyllic high-end jungle hideaway overlooking the Rio Grande River in the ‘Green Heart of Belize’. Its location, setting, beautiful grounds, impeccable food, and service rank it among the finest destinations in the Caribbean, and it’s perfect for couples, families, and anglers alike.
This fishing epicentre known as Blue Horizon Lodge is renowned for its vast array of expansive pancake flats that teem with marine life, and its fabled waters are some of the best places in the world to fish for tailing Permit in shallow water. For decades, Blue Horizon Lodge has been known as 'THE' destination for hardcore Permit anglers.
Offering quick and easy access to miles and miles of firm, light bottom flats, Crooked & Acklins Trophy Lodge is perfect for classic wade fishing in skinny water. The flats stretch to the horizon, and travelling anglers can wade and fish as far as their legs will take them, for uncountable Bonefish and large Permit.
With only eight anglers allowed to fish the thousands of kilometres of waters in and around Zapata each week, many area's have never seen an angler. From a saltwater fly fishing perspective, the destination is in its infancy and is remarkable and a real jewel in Cuba's ecological crown.
Nubian Flats is home to some of the best saltwater fly fishing available with miles of untouched and unspoilt areas to explore. Previously these waters were inaccessible until now. With our partners, we can now offer two liveaboard fly fishing operations, one in the north and a longer trip in the deep south giving you access to some of the most virginal saltwater fly fishing around.
Cosmoledo Atoll in Seychelles is the ultimate saltwater fly fishing experience. Each week just 12 lucky anglers with 6 guides get to explore this vast area in search of a very impressive species list. If you are looking for world-class saltwater flats fishing, with everything from big Bones to monster GT'S then look no further.
Astove Atoll gives six lucky anglers each week the exclusivity of one of the wildest, most rugged atolls on the globe for a wide range of saltwater flats species. This is a wild, secluded and remarkably remote small-scale destination for anglers seeking adventure and a unique fishing experience not to be missed.
Alphonse Island needs to be experienced to be believed. It's famed for its world-class saltwater fly fishing for numerous flats species, quiet picnics on secluded beaches, sunset cruises with loved ones, mesmerising encounters with marine life and blissful pampering treatments all set within some of the most picture-perfect surroundings on earth.
Fly fishing Oman's vast coastline allows anglers to catch many different species that inhabit the Arabian sea and for many years it has been making fly anglers dreams come true. Our guides have a huge amount of knowledge regarding fly fishing for the different species and have played a huge part in pioneering some of these.
Ascension Bay in Mexico is home to some of the most fantastic Fly Fishing that Mexico has to offer, the guides are also some of the most skilled and knowledgeable in all of the country. GRAND SLAMS and SUPER SLAMS are very achievable and this is the perfect destination for the flats fishing Enthusiast.
Deep within the Indian Ocean, due east of Madagascar and 300 miles northeast of the island of Mauritius, lies an obscure and seldom visited atoll. St. Brandon’s atoll is a wade fisherman’s paradise blessed with enormous hard sand flats and staggering numbers of huge Bonefish making it on of the best Bonefish fishing destinations in the world.
The sheer amount of Bonefish makes the Bahamas the go to place for any diehard Saltwater fly angler and with virtually un-fished waters right on your doorstep plus some of the biggest Bonefish on the planet. Some of the best and well known flats are located just a stone throw away from your accommodation.
A true paradise where one can wade and sight fish to an impressive variety of species such as, Bonefish, Trevally including the ferocious Giant Trevally, the finicky Permit, Triggerfish, Bumphead Parrotfish and Milkfish. Farquhar is best known for the sheer diversity of species it offers anglers fortunate enough to visit her shores.
This great resort provides fantastic fly-fishing and provides a great safe, exciting and entertaining destination that you can bring and enjoy with your family. The beachfront location of this resort provides several amenities for your enjoyment, whether it is arranging for a massage in the lodge massage room or a day out on the flats.
Turneffe Flats is one of the world’s premier flats fishing destinations combining a remarkable fishery with excellent English-speaking guides, top-notch equipment and superior service. The ability to sight-fish for Bonefish Permit and Tarpon on any given day makes Turneffe one of the few places where a Grand Slam is always a possibility.
An angler’s paradise in the middle of stunning saltwater flats, the area is approximately 2600 square miles, a vast offshore wilderness where you will rarely see another angler, other than people in your own group. It has to be one of the best places in the world to fly fish for Permit Tarpon and Bonefish.
This is flat’s fishing far beyond your wildest dreams! The Isle of Youth lays 100km off the coast of mainland Cuba, nearly straight south of Havana. If Tarpon are a species on your saltwater fly fishing hit list then this is definitely the destination for you. There are good populations of both resident and monster migratory Tarpon.
With our Cuba partners, we now have access to the exclusive fishing rights on the designated Cayo Largo Natural Reserve, which encompasses some 140 square miles of saltwater flats and channels. This has to be one of the best places in the world to catch a grand slam and super grand slam all on the fly.
The Gardens of the King or Cayo Santa Maria is one of the most precious spots in Cuba and the Caribbean. Renowned as a Tarpon paradise, it's now viewed as one of the best destinations in the Caribbean for catching big Tarpon on the fly. As well as the big Tarpon, it's also home to all the traditional flats species like Bonefish, Permit and Snook.
Cayo Romano is the latest most exciting saltwater fishing locations to become available to ardent fly-anglers. Located on the North Coast of Cuba in the Jardines de Rey, it consists of a huge fishable area, which provides incredible opportunities for big Permit, alongside some really exciting Tarpon fishing on the flats.
Located at the southern end of Ascension Bay in the heart of the 1.3 million acre private preserve, Casa Blanca has established itself as Mexico’s premier saltwater fly fishing destination. For many years now Casa Blanca has mesmerised anglers with its endless expanses of turquoise flats providing the ultimate water for Bonefish, Permit and Tarpon.
Providence is the final frontier! It is the largest fishable coral atoll in the Indian Ocean. The hottest and newest destination in the Seychelles for all fly fishermen, who have ever wanted to target huge GT’s and monster Bonefish. This Atoll ranks among the best fly-fishing destinations in the world.
Average Customer Satisfaction Score 89%
"A huge thank you to everyone involved in planning my trip, I had the most delightful week. The fishing was exceptional and the Permit were very obliging, I landed both the Indo-Pacific and African-us species. The hotel was absolutely stunning also and the staff were incredibly friendly and made me feel most welcome."
"The fishing guides were exceptional and really knew the waters and fishing grounds. I landed some stunning Permit and an abundance of Queenfish, which fight incredibly hard and often came completely clear of the water. The boutique hotel was first class and the rooms and food were amazing."
"We loved our stay at Copal Tree. We were extremely impressed by the commitment and passion of the resort team. The food was fantastic and the bar was outstanding, a special thanks to Ducky! My husband absolutely loved the fishing too. Me, I loved the chocolate making!"