APRIL 11, 2010
For the past three weeks the weather in the area of Belize River Lodge has been just about as perfect as any angler would dare to wish for, with sunny skies and calm to light variable winds. And the BIG TARPON have been doing their tarpon thing; sometimes just “peopling” or showing off their presence on the surface, then diving out of sight for a few minutes, not the least bit interested in our flies or lures. Other days they just lazily looked at the flies and turned away, staying just close enough to keep us interested. Then suddenly, if you were in the right place at the right time, these big fish jumped all over your flies and lures. The aerial acrobatics of these big fish have thrilled many anglers in recent weeks.
Dr. Tim jumped 20 Big Tarpon in three days of fishing, had one on for forty minutes, others for several minutes, a few almost up to the boat, but not a single one actually landed. Still the “thrill of a lifetime” he said.
In five days Dr. Lee had on several big fish, but landed none. One big fish literally broke and took away his big fly rod. Thrilled by the action but not too happy about not landing any of the many Big Tarpon he had on, he extended his stay for two more days. He then landed three on the full moon of March 29th and one more the next day. He had made an excellent choice to stay the two extra days to get four Big Tarpon of 90, 100, 105 and 125 pounds. Not a bad birthday present!
Brothers Tim and Mark fishing three days each got a Big Tarpon, 90 and 125 pounds respectively.
Dr. Aaron Adams of Bonefish and Tarpon Trust and Mike attached research satellite tags to three Big Tarpon they caught. We have been speculating on where these big fish might go from here in the next 5 months. Will they end up in Yucatan, Cuba, Florida, Venezuela? Or maybe they are residents and will stay around Belize River Lodge.
One not so thrilling Big Tarpon story is the big fish that attacked a young angler’s fly in another outfitter’s boat. As this young angler stripped his fly closer toward the boat the Tarpon suddenly charged the fly, came clear out of the water, over the side of the boat, slammed the angler in the leg and knocked him and his rod completely overboard. The big fish, still on board, proceeded to break two more fly rods inside the boat. Many more Tarpon from 80-140 pounds were jumped or hooked, but it was not only Big Tarpon that kept our guests excited.
Permit, Bonefish, Snook and Small Tarpon action completed a few Grand Slams. Cudas, Snappers, Triple Tails, Cobia, Jacks and Ladyfish contributed to BRL’s reputation for a wide variety of some of the most exciting game fish species.
Many Bonefish were also tagged and fin clip samples taken for DNA testing. Look out for follow up results of Tarpon and Bonefish Trust research in our future fishing reports.
John landed a very nice 16 pound Permit making this his 50th Permit landed. Ted made his second trip back to BRL this April, and he and Eric landed three permit with Raul.
I fished one day with Mick; now I know why he is so successful at catching fish. He consistently made perfect casts to many very elusive Snook, until they give in and slammed his flies.