~ Rainy season, Permit, Bones & more
The start of the rainy season this year was about three months later than usual. By the middle of September the Belize River was still green and very slow moving. Then the rains came.
That first very rainy day was also the first day of fishing for two first time guests. The guide wisely opted to fish the river because of the stormy adverse conditions out at sea. Twelve Tarpon from 5-25 pounds were brought to the boat; not bad for what looked like it might be a tough day. The following four days produced an 8 pound Permit, a 60 and an 80 pound Tarpon, a 15 pound Cubera Snapper, several Bones, Barracudas and many casts to schooling Permit. Before the rains started, fishing in the rivers and Flats produced good catches of Snook ranging from 4 to 15 pounds. Very good numbers of Permit were found in small and large schools, but seemed unusually reluctant to take many well placed presentations of crab and shrimp patterns. Bonefish were more cooperative, many were caught, several were tagged but none of the tagged bones were recaptured.
Still unexplained was the absence of the schools of the big Migratory Tarpon that are always here from early February thru June and July. Anglers who wanted to target Big Tarpon had to work much harder to locate the resident big ones, but persistence usually paid off with a few pushing the 80 pound size. A fishing film crew was here recently. The first two days included some rainy spells but three days were clear and sunny. They caught two Permit, several small Tarpon, Bones, Snappers and other species. We look forward to seeing the upcoming tv shows and will post viewing times at a later date.
In regards to anglers being apprehensive about 10 day rain forecasts for Belize, please be advised that rain, even short term heavy showers, most probably will not negatively affect fishing, unless the angler absolutely does not want to get wet, even with a raincoat. Fishing in rainy weather is not much of a problem except for visibility during a heavy rain which is usually short term, rarely lasting for more than half an hour. Predicting” weather, even with the Internet, for more than four days out is very uncertain. Unless there are currently specific weather systems in progress, ten day forecasts may be based on “average’ historical weather results for that time of year in that location. For instance, during the dry season in Belize, which is late January thru May, international 10 day weather forecasts for Belize will say 30% chance of rain.
During the rainy season in Belize, which is June thru January, international 10 day forecasts will say 80% chance of rain. Most Belize weather forecasts are relevant to the Belize Weather Bureau located at the Belize international airport, less than two miles from Belize River Lodge. The Belize Weather Bureau does not make forecasts for more than four days out, which is most understandable.
As to fishing in Belize, a light weight rain coat is always recommended.
The rain in Belize is usually warm and a welcome treat on hot days, except sometimes in December and January if a cold front at about 65 degrees is passing through. Complaints about rain usually precede the rain, rarely after a rain. Fishing is an outdoor activity, an experience in nature, rain is a beautiful part of nature. In 30 years we have had only two guests postpone a trip because of an approaching hurricane. Experienced fishermen have learned that: “Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get.”
If you have any questions regarding fishing in the upcoming months, please e-mail us. We look forward to hearing from you and visiting with you soon.
Mike & Marguerite
><((*> Catch and Release – Tarpon, Bonefish & Permit <*))><