Fishing Report – Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get
MAY 31, 2014
Some oft heard fishing expressions:
Saltwater fish don’t appreciate my beautiful false casting.
No, no, the other nine o’clock.
Over there, over there, no, no, not there.
I hooked a 25 pound Permit, but it weighed only 15 pounds.
Several very late cold fronts, windy and cloudy conditions extending well into the middle of May have again proven the expression: Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get.
Adverse weather conditions on the sea again proved that Ole’ Vic Barothy was most insightful and forward looking when in 1960 he selected this location on the Belize River to build this fishing lodge. The Belize, Sibun, Manatee Rivers and the canals, creeks and lagoons in between were again very productive alternates to the sometimes breezy and choppy Flats.
Several returning anglers and many first timers with the help of our very experienced guides were still able to have very satisfying and productive fishing and catching experiences despite the sometimes challenging conditions. The extensive and unlimited fishing environment when fishing from Belize River Lodge also produces a wide variety of sport fish species, including small and very big Tarpon, Snook, Permit, Bonefish, Barracuda, Jacks, Ladyfish, Mackerel, Cubera and many other Snappers, Goliath Grouper (Jewfish) and Bay Snook (Guapote). All these species were caught regularly in May.
Two species of Snook rarely caught in Belize were the Sword Spine and the Calba, caught by the same angler on the same day along with a Bay Snook and Common Snook. Snook fishing was definitely an exciting experience for all anglers. Young Eli caught his first Snook and had it for dinner. Sizes ranged from an average 8 pounds to 24 pounds.
The Big Migratory Tarpon arrived late this year but did not appear to be in the usual large numbers of recent years. Tarpon in the 80-135 pound class were caught and successfully released, more were jumped and hooked with some fights lasting ten or more minutes before escaping. Cathy Beck landed an 80 and 100 pound Tarpon May 1st and 2nd. We are all still talking about Dick’s 85 pound Tarpon that he fought for exactly four hours and five minutes, including seven times into his backing and six times to the boat. Yes, that fish vigorously swam away when released. Just imagine the tale that fish is relating to the fish world.
Lots of Small Tarpon supplied fast action most days, in the Rivers and Flats. On a good day some anglers jumped 10-15 fish and landed 4 or 5 in the 12 pound size. Sixteen year old Dean landed five Tarpon ranging in size from 18-25 pounds. When conditions on the Flats were favorable guests enjoyed Bonefish and Permit action. The biggest Permit was 25 pounds, verified by the Bogga Grip. Many more were cast to and some smaller ones caught.
Grand Slams were landed by five different individual anglers. One Slam included included a 100 pound tarpon. As usual many boat Slams and Super Slams were shared by both anglers on the boat.
Several days of adverse weather conditions brought out some spinning gear. Successful spinning lures were Backbone Jigs for Bones and Permit; Mirrolure Top Dog and BRL tube lures for small Tarpon and Cudas. The most successful flies were Black Death and the big black Tarpon Snake for big Tarpon; deep diving Half and Half Clouser jigs for small Tarpon and Snook, and the Spawning Shrimp for Bones and Permit.
As we enter the annual “slow season” please be reminded that “slow” is not due to availability of game fish species at BRL but to slow or low tourist traffic to Belize. All species are here but guest traffic is traditionally lower between July and October.
Belize River Lodge is easier than ever to get to from the gateway US cities of Miami, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta and now a non-stop red eye flight from Los Angles on Delta Airlines. United is scheduled to start a direct flight from Chicago to Belize in December 2014, another good option for getting here.
Belize River Lodge’s close proximity to the Belize international airport means no small plane rides, no deep sea crossings; thus making first and last half day fishing a distinct possibility, depending only on arrival and departure times. Check out our “slow season” special package rates.
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