FEBRUARY 4, 2011 (Posted very late, sorry)
All of us here at Belize River Lodge appreciate the return of many repeat guests, one for about the 25th time and some others for the sixteenth or more times. We were also very pleased to welcome many first timers to BRL; most have promised to return again to catch a bigger one, the ones that got away and to see another bird. Fishermen are all optimists and we hope their visits are signaling the economic upturn.
Since November Belize has had one “cold front” after another. Cold fronts for us mean temperatures down to maybe 56 at night and 60s to 70s daytime, sometimes with rain and wind. Most of the cold fronts late last year and early this year were relatively dry ones, with little or no rain and with the highest winds occasionally up to 25 mph. However, there was not a single day when anglers were seriously affected by weather conditions. The usually productive Belize and Sibun Rivers provided great alternatives to the sometimes breezy wide open flats and cayes.
Resident big Tarpon are now being joined by a few of the early migrants immediately following arrival of Tripletails in late January. They are not yet being seen in good numbers but a school of about fifteen big Tarpon are probably some of the early migrants. As the Belize River has been clearing up to a pretty olive green some happy and acrobatic dolphins were the first to arrive, passing by the lodge just about everyday, followed by a few manatees. Good numbers of big Tarpon will surely be right behind in just a few more days. Last year we tagged three big Tarpon with satellite tags but they turned out to be either residents or migrants that stayed closeby.
Snook, small Tarpon and Bonefish have been around in very good numbers and many were caught almost every day in November, December and January. Just today, Feb 4 an eight pound Snook was landed and many more were cast to for a good part of the day. A few nice Snook in the fifteen pound range were landed and. One angler with spinning gear landed 10 Snook in the 8-12 pound size and one at 14 pounds in the same day; all were released.
Permit: The smallest one caught was about 2 pounds, the largest 18 pounds. Permit are around and in very good numbers for those willing to put in the time.
The largest: Tarpon 90 pounds, Snook 18 pounds, Jack Crevalle 20 pounds, Red Snapper 12 pounds, Cubera Snapper 24 pounds, Barracuda 54 inches. Very good numbers of smaller ones of all these species were caught.
Most Tarpon jumped and caught were in the 10-15 pound size. Some days the ratio of Tarpon landed to those jumped was 1:4, other days 1:6. On quite a few days the small Tarpon completely disregarded all attempts to get their attention, at any depth. They just kept rolling or “people-ing”.
A few Grand Slams were caught but not many anglers really pursued the Slam. One angler who got a Grand Slam unsuccessfully made several casts in an attempt to complete the Super Slam.
Flies that worked for Bonefish: Snapping Shrimp, Bonefish Special, Crazy Charlies and Gotchas in size 6 & 8.
Flies that worked equally well for Snook and small Tarpon: Deceivers, Bend Backs, Half & Half, in chartreuse/white, blue/white, red/white, in size 1/0, 2/0 and 4/0 Black Death.
Lures that caught Snook and small Tarpon were Fire Tiger Bombers, Mirrolures and floating and sinking YoZuris. Mike’s Wiggle Jigs were the most productive for Bones, Mike’s tube lures for Cudas.
Several fishing couples and none fishing partners took a few days to go on very interesting and satisfying tours to Maya Sites, River, Reef, Mangrove Cathedrals, Miami Beach, Belize City, Belize Zoo and Bird Watching (Jabirus and Toucans).
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