Below is our final fishing report for 2009. We have enjoyed visiting with everyone this year and also enjoyed corresponding with all of our fishing friends. We hope that you enjoy our final 2009 fishing report and look our for more in 2010. We wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2010!
Mike, Marguerite, Misha
& the BRL family.
BELIZE RIVER LODGE
DECEMBER 15, 2009
By: Mike Heusner
The big shots from around the world, including the President of the US and the Prime Minister of Belize are in Copenhagen this week to discuss climate change and how to save the world. Actually, the current phase of climate change may be responsible for producing good fishing here at Belize River Lodge.
THE BIG MIGRATORY TARPON are here, three months early!
Their traditional arrival in mid February is one of the most predictable events of our fishing year. Due to a relatively mild rainy season this year the Belize River is already running almost clear, a full three months ahead of normal. Climate change or just a cycle of low rainfall for this area? El Niño?
I recall a similar situation in 1995 when the hydrologist at the Belize weather bureau was seriously concerned about the unusually low rainfall that year. At that same time we also had a great influx of Big Tarpon, leading the old guides at BRL to relate that they had never ever seen so many Big Tarpon before. It was as if these big fish were here for a “Big Tarpon” convention. 1995 was also the year that about 17 Tarpon, ranging from 25 to 80 pounds literally jumped into our boats. Fifteen of those were free jumping, not at the end of anyone’s line. I’m curious, and trying to find out if the El Niño situation in 1994-1995 was the same or similar to 2009-2010.
El Niño. The experts report that it seems likely the present El Niño will either strengthen further or remain at moderate strength during the next few months. Therefore, the good news for Big Tarpon fishing at Belize River Lodge is that “El Niño is expected to persist through March-April-May 2010”.
Some fishing experiences November and early December 2009.
Nov 2-4: Many Big Tarpon in the bay, rolling and tailing but few takes, only one landed plus 2 Bones, 10 lb Cuda and 1 Snook.
Day 1: Two guests arrived at the Belize International Airport about noon, out fishing by 1:30, first fish an 85 lb. Tarpon, several great jumps and a 1 hour 20 min fight, caught on Black Death Bunny, one Bonefish on Borski Slider.
Day 2: Worked big rolling and feeding 3 digit Tarpon, one for 2 jumps with Black Death Bunny, jumped 2 others, but pulled 3/0 Puglisi fly out of the big bucket mouth, later in the same area one Trippletail and Crevalle Jack with same 3/0 Puglisi
Day 3: Ten Bones some up to 5 lbs, all on the same #6 Kwabbit.
Day 4: Fished Belize River, jumped 3 schoolie Tarpon, landed one plus a Bay Snook, all on Green Bunny, Black Death got no takes, slow day but great outing with Howler Monkeys, Crocodiles, Iguanas and lots of birds.
Day 5: Three Bones on Kwabbit, two medium Tarpon on 1/0 Puglisi Paradise, Green Deceiver refused from right under Snook nose, Snook and Tarpon had lock jaw today.
Day 6: Jumped 3 more triple digit Tarpon on 2/0 Black Death Bunny, third fish on for 35 minutes and 6 jumps, 14 Bonefish on same #6 Kwabbit, finally after 3 days of good casts right on nose of Snook, one finally took the fly and got hooked. Instead of running into the mangroves this Snook ran along the outer edge of the mangroves, cut the leader on the outer roots.
Nov 17-21: Two anglers with spinning gear, saw lots of Permit, cast to some, none landed, several small Tarpon jumped, none landed. They enjoyed catching a variety of Snappers for dinner, including a very nice Cubera, saw many big Tarpon, jumped 130 pounder, broke off after 2 jumps, caught 6-8 Ladyfish, one cut in half by Cuda, chased several more, 1 Snook on a fly, and 1 big Jack, they did not want or fish for Bonefish.
Nov 27-Dec 1: Fly and Spin. Landed 2 TrippleTail, twelve Bones, 40 inch Cuda, 7 small-medium Snook, surprised and landed a Bonefish on a big popper. Cast to schools of big tailing Tarpon several days, one 120 lb. Tarpon to side of boat after 1 hour 20 minute fight, another big one straightened Yo-Zuri hook, one 90 pounder for about three minutes but this fish fell on the line on third jump and broke off. 115 pounder for 20 minutes, one 100 pounder for just one jump. Followed school of about 50 big Permit, many good casts to them, crab fly snatched up by Bonefish two times.
Nov 29- Dec 4: Fly and Spin.
The day before the full moon was a good day for Jack and Steve.
125 lb. Tarpon on for 45 minutes, 6 jumps, wore through 80 lb leader.
150 lb. Tarpon, 2 jumps in first minute, straightened hook on big Mirrolure;
3 bones on fly, one on Wiggle Jig; 8 lb. Snook in and out of mangrove roots;
Pursued 2 schools of Permit, hooked one fish estimated at 11 lbs. on 10 lb. spinning with Wiggle Jig for about 45 minutes, school followed this lead fish for about ½ mile across the flat, 8 times almost to the boat then finally landed for the day’s Grand Slam of Bone, Permit and Snook. Jack said this was his best fishing week ever!
Dec 4-9 Two guests arrived BRL at noon, right out to fish, into big Tarpon at first stop, hooked up one about 110 pounds, next morning tailing big Tarpon, landed 65 pounder on Black Death. Other days they jumped several more big ones, landed a few Baby Tarpon, Bones and Snook and one Grand Slam.
Update – after over a year of waiting, on September 14, 2009 the Minister of Fisheries signed legislation to protect Tarpon, Bonefish & Permit, all very valuable and popular game fish. These three game fish may not be in anyone’s possession except in the act of catching and releasing.
TARPON, BONEFISH AND PERMIT ARE
NOW LEGALLY PROTECTED IN BELIZE!!
And remember if you are looking for your 2010 Saltwater trip. . . below are a few of Raul’s thoughts for the upcoming spring.
2010 is around the corner and many of our guests remember those unforgettable moments they had when they were in battle with the mighty Silver King and they cannot wait for their next encounter. The flash backs of that leaping giant that elevates itself up to 8 feet high and seems to stay suspended on the air for a very long time makes many anglers even more anxious to get back to Belize River Lodge.
All the black sickle shape tails of the Permit moving restlessly on the flats and feeding as if the end of the “Flat” is near, have many anglers full of anxiety to get on the plane and come to Belize and fish the BRL flats.
For those laid back anglers who do not need to be as intense in their fishing, they can always chase the less illusive but very strong Bonefish which are known to many of us as the “Ghost of the Flats”.
The juvenile Tarpon and the Snook are always here to provide a challenge to any angler who wants to test their casting ability and performance around the mangroves. It is always extremely exciting to try to hold back a Snook or a baby Tarpon from going back into the mangroves, which is what the first instinct calls for. It is amazing to see when a Tarpon or Snook’s survival instincts kick in, the tarpon – just jump; even under a branch, any tarpon would come crashing through the brushes making the experience, even more memorable.
So remember, BELIZE RIVER LODGE is the place where a lot of fishermen dreams have become a reality and we all await you with the warmest hospitality, excellent food and very hard working guides.
After the excellent fishing, the most important reason to visit Belize River Lodge – it is really easy to get to! No small plane rides, no deep water crossings! BRL is located near the International Airport; a big advantage, if you can only get away for a few days – maximize your fishing time and schedule a ½ day on your arrival or departure day. Belize is serviced daily by American Airlines nonstop from Miami, FL and Continental, nonstop from Houston, TX. American Airlines also has weekly flights from Dallas, TX; Continental nonstop from Newark, NJ; TACA nonstop from Houston and Los Angeles via El Salvador; US Air nonstop from Charlotte, NC; and Delta nonstop from Atlanta, GA.
Note: Due to the fact that Belize River Lodge is just a few minutes away from the Belize International airport our guests arriving around midday can fish the first half day and also the last half day when their check in times are after 1:00 PM. These half days should be scheduled when booking so we can have a guide available.
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