FISHING REPORT MAY 31, 2012
Climate change has proven to be the appropriate expression for weather as well as fishing this year. From flowering trees to migrating Tarpon, there was a noticeable change from traditional patterns. The Mayflower bloom was a few weeks late as were the arrival of the big migratory Tarpon. As the Mayflower went to seed and then flowered a second time the Big Tarpon moved out and then back as if following signals from that beautiful tree. The brilliant red-orange flowers of the Royal Poinciana were a little less dramatic this year and so was Big Tarpon activity during the month of May. Instead of the average 4-5 inches of rain for the month of May, this year we had 16 inches of rain from May 17 to the 31st. The rainy season started very early this year and lots of overcast skies and rainy days in late May made fishing for all species even more challenging than usual. Even though the rivers flooded earlier they were still very productive for Small Tarpon and Snook.
A few highlights: Eighteen large Tarpon from 80-135 pounds were caught and released during this time and six 12 weight fly rods were broken on these fish. Many heavy leaders and big flies were lost to a lot of other big Tarpon that got away, including several after more than an hour’s fight, sometimes to just short of the rod tip.
Bill wanted just a few Bonefish; he got 26 Bones plus a Ladyfish, six Jacks, Snook, Cuda and Snappers. Jon wanted a Tarpon and got a 100 pounder (and heat stroke). Jeff got two Grand Slams while fishing just two half days and a 100 pound Tarpon another day on a broken 12 weight rod. Barry and Cathy saw and photographed more Permit than they had ever seen anywhere. Ten Grand Slams and eighteen Permit were landed ranging in size from one and a half to twenty five pounds.
Despite rainy days lots of small Tarpon and Bonefish were also caught on the Flats. Two anglers landed 9 Tarpon out of 13 jumped. Anglers who targeted Permit were most impressed with the great numbers of Permit of all sizes that were seen in so many big schools. Many evenings exciting and dramatic stories of epic battles with big Tarpon landed were compared to tales of those “that got away”. Many anglers new to salt water landed their first Bonefish, Tarpon and Snook.
In late March, a satellite tag was attached to a 106 pound Tarpon caught by a BRL guest in our immediate fishing area. Satellite reports for the following eight weeks from that Tarpon tag shows that fish moving around within a 10 mile radius of its tagged location including the shoreline of downtown Belize City. We believe this fish to be one of the migrants that arrived in our area in early March and we are very curious to see where she will go in the next four months.
Belize River Lodge hosted the First Annual Bonefish and Permit Tagging Challenge in mid May. In addition to tagging thirty six Bonefish and three Permit with spaghetti tags, DNA samples were taken from several tarpon of all sizes in many different locations. The Second Annual Bonefish and Permit Tagging Challenge is scheduled for May 18-24, 2013. There are still some spaces available if you would like to participate in a great fishing and science experience. We look forward to our continuing research relationship with Bonefish & Tarpon Trust for better management and preservation of these important game fish species in the waters of Belize.
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Looking forward to the next few months, Bonefish, Tarpon and Snook are the main species targeted during fall fishing, however, Permit are still around in good numbers. Jacks, Snappers, 'Cudas, etc are also options if you like more variety. If you are interested in fishing from the main Lodge or Long Caye, please e-mail email@example.com for more information on our deeply discounted package rates.
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