Built in the mid 1980’s, our lodge and grounds were was originally designed as a vacation home for a wealthy family from Mexico City. Around this time, fly fishing was starting to take root in Ascension Bay and a well-known Keys guide named Jan Isley struck a deal with the owner of the property to rent it out during the winter months. This was to be the very first fishing lodge in Punta Allen and was called Ascension Bay Bonefish Club (ABBC).
For many years, ABBC was the only fishing lodge in the area, hosting anglers from all over the world. Some of the biggest names in fly fishing history were regulars and once there was a 5-year waiting list for trips. Over the years, ABBC changed hands several times, but was always world- renowned for the quality lodge and top-notch flats fishing that they offered.
In 2014, the owners of ABBC made the decision to close their doors and take their interests elsewhere. At the time, an American named Daniel was in Punta Allen and was introduced to the Mexican owner of the property. The owner agreed that Daniel could take over the lease and let him try to start a new lodge. Unable to continue using the name ABBC, Daniel decided to call it Ascension Bay Lodge.
Not long after he rented the lodge, Daniel met Mari, a waitress at one of the only restaurants in town. Mari was a smart, beautiful, well-liked Mayan girl who had spent most of her life living in Punta Allen. They would eventually get married and manage Ascension Bay Lodge together.
Under Daniel and Mari’s capable management, the new lodge slowly but surely grew in popularity and saw more and more fishermen each year. In early 2018, the opportunity arose to purchase the property from the owner. Mari and Daniel decided to take on a close friend, George Grubb, as a partner and bought the property outright. They lightly renovated the lodge and continued to see increasing reservations. At the time, the lodge just had 3 bedrooms and could hold only 8 anglers.
When the covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020, the team made the decision to take advantage of the cancelled season and undertake a major expansion to the lodge. Ascension Bay Lodge reopened in 2021 with brand new facilities, 6 guestrooms, and a capacity for 12 anglers at a time. Daniel, Mari and George continue to host fishing trips and share this paradise with friends.
Mari and Daniel’s Wedding
By Christian Thrybauer