Les C., a single angler, fished approximately half day each day. Fishing as a single, Les had the boat all to himself and so by noon found himself a little tired. Even though he came in early each day the fish kept him busy. Les saw and fished to schools of Bonefish each day and caught several. He also saw and cast to many tailing Permit; but no luck. He did, on the other hand, catch a few nice Snook which he immediately released. He cast to schools of small Tarpon, jumped many and landed a few. The same day he hooked and got several jumps from a 150 pound Tarpon before losing it just as he brought it in next to the boat. Les really enjoyed a “Great Tarpon Day”. The following day Les landed several small Tarpon, Bones and Snook and claimed his personal “Week’s Grand Slam”.
Les C was exceedingly complimentary about his trip to BRL. He enjoyed all the meals served and also loved the lunches on the boat. He was happy to come in each day and found it enjoyable to spend time talking to the staff, Marguerite and I, while sitting on the porch; he found it relaxing taking in the beauty of the river, the trees and greenery. Everything was enjoyable including the fishing areas, the weather and the rain ~ “I am sitting here and I can’t find the words to express the emotions I am feeling about Belize River Lodge and I am so sorry for anyone who is not here to share this experience” by Les C..
Later in the week while Les was still at the Lodge, Mike S. arrived from Southern Belize to fish 2 days with us. On his arrival day, he started fishing at 9am, and caught several small Tarpon. Next day he hooked five big Tarpon over a five hour period. One of the Tarpon, about 70 pounds, broke his 100 pound leader as he brought it up to the boat. Mike S had an “awesome” two days at BRL using an intermediate line for big Tarpon.
When Marguerite and I came out to the Lodge in the early 80s, first as managers, then in 1986 as owners, the guides of that time, Mr. Phillip, Mr. Jimmy, Mr. Richard used to talk of a fall large tarpon migration. These big fish still come in during the September to December months but are fall less predictable than our Spring large Tarpon migration. If you are here when these fall big Tarpon are, fun times for you.
In May the weather is usually very pleasant and favorable for fishing at BRL, but this year we had many days that were very windy with gusts up to 25-30 mph. It came with rain, heavy clouds and some thunder storms. Even under these weather conditions the big Tarpon were still here in good numbers and many were landed at 80, 100, 150 pounds. Many more were jumped, hooked and lost after some brief or long fights. Anglers who caught big Tarpon for the first time were thrilled by the dramatic action of these big fish and vowed to return for more thrilling experiences. Many different flies were effective but the winner of them all was the Black Snake.
Snook fishing was also very challenging for several anglers as these so called illusive game fish are usually fished for along the mangrove shorelines. Several in the 15-24 pound range were landed after challenging the anglers to make accurate casts to them. The average size Snook caught was about eight pounds; most were released, however a few were kept and enjoyed in a delicious Garlic Fish dinner.
After 20 years, Marguerite and I happy to welcome Bob and Annie back for another BRL adventure. The highlight of Bob and Annie’s trip was when they got into a school of big Tarpon. A 70 pounder jumped three times and broke a 4/0 hook and got away, all part of the fun! They also cast to several Permit but although they didn’t have any no takes on Permit Annie caught a 36 inch Cuda and several Bones. Bob also caught a good number of Bones.
Eric and Ian arrived at the Lodge just after midday so were able to fish the first half day with Guide-Captain Pedro. Though very windy they saw Tarpon and caught a nice Snook. Other days they caught several Cudas and their guide worked hard and achieved in getting Eric a BRL Grand Slam: Tarpon, Bone and Snook.
A father and daughter fished together here in early June. Frank fished BRL for many years with his dad, after missing 10 years of BRL action, he brought his daughter Alex back to see what he all the fuss was about. As Frank loves big Tarpon and Permit, he fished with Guide-Captain John and Frank landed and released a 150 pound Tarpon. The following day his daughter lands and successfully released a 130 pound Tarpon after a two and a half hour fight, quite an experience on her first trip to catch her first Tarpon. They also caught a 25 pound Jack, a 15 pound Snook and a 15 pound Tripletail. One day they landed ten small Tarpon. Both Frank and Alex are looking forward to a return in 2023.
In June, we had a lovely group visit, all friends of group leader, Jim B. Some of the group fished and some toured sites around Belize. The guest touring saw Maya temples, a coffee farm, canoed into cave systems, kayaked the Belize Olde River and also visited Long Caye Outpost and enjoyed a beach day. The anglers enjoyed everything from landing snappers, to snook, bonefish, Tarpon and one of the group, using 30 pound braided line on spinning gear fought a 150 pound Tarpon for five hours, he almost succeeded in landing it, until his rod broke into several pieces. He was so disappointed but was happy for the thrill. They were a little late for dinner but his friends and family didn’t mind waiting to sit and enjoy the story with a delicious BRL dinner.
David made a return trip to BRL this July and fished with Guide-Captain Claud. He caught 16 Ladyfish, several Snappers and some Bones, made many casts to schools of Permit and saw many big Tarpon. He had one on for 45 minutes before breaking his rod into many pieces. He also caught Snappers and Jacks. David reported that evening that today was “My best day of fishing, ever!”
Nick H enjoyed a brief visit to Long Caye Outpost fishing with Guide-Captain Mike T. He enjoyed fishing the Flats, mangrove cayes and the Belize River where he got pictures of Birds, Howler Monkeys, Crocodiles and Iguanas. Nick jumped two Tarpon and landed three Snook and some Bones and his fishing buddy, Sean landed a Permit. On Nick and Sean’s last day they were able to squeeze in some additional hours of fishing before heading to the airport. Just before it was time to come back to the lodge he hooked and started fighting a big Tarpon which, of course, he was eager to land it. After fighting for a short while, his guide told him it’s going to be either the fish or meeting their flight on time; sadly he had to cut his line and head back. For more on Nick Honachefsky’s trip, please see the article in 2022 Shallow Water Angler – “Chasing Shadows in Belize” (page 52)
Bob W., made his second trip in 2022 back to BRL in August fishing with his favorite guide, Pedro. Bob landed a 30 pound Tripletail, a 70 pound Tarpon, several Snook and Bones and cast to many Permit. He was able to fight a 100 pound Tarpon for about 20 minutes before the Tarpon cut the line and swam away.
Ray and Barry S, fished BRL in mid-August, and got into a school of small Tarpon one day on the river and got 15-20 up to the boat, the biggest one about 20 pounds. They also landed and release three Snook. There were heavy clouds and rain most of the days but that did not seem to affect the fishing as the juvenile Tarpon really turned on after the storm.
In early September, Barry P enjoyed a weekend in Belize and had three days of fishing. His first day was a very rainy day but he was able to catch and land many small Tarpon. His next two days he caught Bones and Snappers and saw many Permit and a big Tarpon that he cast to, but unfortunately the big Tarpon and Permit eluded Barry. He has something to look forward to on his next trip.
One noticeable system we saw this year was the large numbers of Tripletails in the bay just outside the river near the Tarpon holes. Usually every year they would come in about a day or two before the big migratory Tarpon arrived and leave about a month later. This year they stayed for about five months. I hope they liked it enough to do it again next year.
Below is an array of pictures that guests have shared with us. More were taken shared, below is just a mix of the last few months in no order what-so-ever.