Today was to be the BEST day of our whole trip - our eagerly awaited full day of fishing & snorkeling at the reef with a beach BBQ in between.
After breakfast, we pack up our snorkel gear and head down to the pier to wait for Capt. Bicho and his son at 8 a.m. Bill & Frank from NY & NJ are coming along too – met them on the message board and hooked up to share the charter.
Bicho arrives and we spend a few minutes while they throw nets near shore to catch some sardines for bait. It’s been fun to watch the fishermen every morning following the pelicans along the shoreline – they are nature’s “fish finders” and when they dive bomb into the water, you know the schools of sardine are just below the surface. The sun's light on the water in the early morning while these boats drift past makes a great shot.
Today the wind was up and Bicho decides we’ll fish off the west side of the caye where he knows we’ll have great luck with snapper. Weather conditions seem to determine where the best fishing experience will be, and we’re happy to let him pick the type of fishing we’ll do. We’re just thrilled to be aboard.
After a short ride through the lagoon, we’re heading out to a spot where Bicho has created an underwater “shelter” to attract fish. We no sooner cast towards the dark area in a sea of turquoise when the fish start striking. It’s pretty much non-stop action from then on.
We move around a couple of times to try more spots and the action is always good. It doesn’t take long to have maybe 40 or 50 snapper – red, yellow and spotted. I think Bicho’s son lands the biggest one – it’s obvious he’s been doing this awhile, and he’s having just as much fun as we are. He and his dad never stop working to keep our hooks baited and help with the casting when needed.
The most excitement for Frank was when he thought he’d landed the mother of all fish! Turned out he’d snagged a ray…and boy, did he have his work cut out for him landing that. Bicho said he’d keep it and cook it up for a family member who is particularly fond of cooked ray.
It was just perfect to be out in the hot sun with the warm wind blowing, surrounded by the most beautiful turquoise colour of water I’ve ever seen. Soon we’d had our fill of fishing and we were starting to look forward to eating some of our catch.
I have to do this day in parts since the BBQ on the beach is a whole story on it’s own. I love fishing and I love snorkeling – but having someone cook you up a meal of fish you just caught, along with side dishes, on a tropical beach….well, that’s in a class all by its self!!!
To be continued…