Well fishing and food fans here is my End of November/December trip report
I arrived the day after Thanksgiving. Nov 24 Travel at that time can be pain in the ass, but all went smoothly. Went to Jets Bar in between flights for a cold one. I think Jet the owner got shorter, or I got taller. I go back and forth so much I even know people at the airport. All the security guys know me well. I make them laugh and they bust my chops and search me. I yell, “Do I look like a terrorist? Wake up, look at me, I am a cute teddy bear.” More laughs, and then I have to give them a new joke from the states. Nice guys just trying to do their job. Well the plan is to come down for a quickie trip. That is some fishing, good food and seeing my local friends. This trip I was blessed with good weather and a bonus… some board members were down also. Gela and Laurie Mar were down to raise hell on her birthday. What a fun pair!
THE LATE NOVEMBER /DECEMBER FISHING SCENE, NOV 24/DEC3 2006
TODAYS QUOTE FROM CAPT JEFF ….
FISHING IS THE JERK ON ONE END OF THE LINE WAITING FOR A JERK ON THE OTHER END ! !
Nice weather, not much rain, winds north-northeast 10 to 15 miles per hour. Tide was moving fast. They had some rain the weeks before but all was calm most days. Went out all four days with the old man in the sea Peter Graniel, a local guide. Anyway he says, “Capt Jeff your in luck, the snapper are biting like crazy inside the reef.” My kind of fishing, shallow water, light tackle action at its best. We used small live sardines or cut bait 2/0 hooks, small shot no wire, except when we fished for cuda.
Went out first day with Maya and Colette, neighbors from my home the “love shack” at Royal Palm. They’re great friends. I took them fishing months back for the first time. They loved it from the start and they are very good at it now, and as their mentor I am excited every time they hook into a big fish!!!!!!!!!! Day one was a great day. Fish were jumping on the line. Mutton snapper, they call them reds here, but they are not the real red snapper. Pete took us about ten minutes from the dock at Royal Palm to a spot about three hundred yards from shore in four feet of water, with big grass sea beds. The snapper were there in big numbers feeding up a storm, huge schools. We fished the calm waters and caught fish after fish, all nice size after two hours of nonstop action. Every cast was a fish or no bait. We filled a big bucket. We had enough, if you can believe it we were tired. We said Capitano Pete take us to the secret cuda spot. Pete has a spot at the end of the island in like two foot of water. We cast live sardines and hooked into barracuda. Anyway we go there and catch about ten cudas, we release the small ones and keep a few for some local folks dinner. Another great day on the water, living the fishing dream in paradise.
Day two it’s just me and another neighbor Johnny Bennett, a nice Canadian who’s here with his wife and son. She is working here, he is a stay at home dad and keeper of my reef at end of the dock. Myself, John, Collete, Maya, his family and some neighbors started an artificial reef at the end of my dock in Sept. We put in blocks of cement and old palettes and rails from the condo porches that were replaced. Anyway we have a new place to snorkel as the fish have come to live. It’s great for the kids to see. Anyway John is the volunteer reef keeper and he does a great job.
We fished the same area as the day before. Pete said the tide would change an hour early so we should go out a little early because when the tide changes the fish do not bite. We anchor and chum a few sardines to get the fish close to the boat and bam, they are around the boat and we are catching them one after the other. A leap job again, every cast is a fish or you lose your bait. We also fish for about two hours and the fish just stop biting. Pete says, “Told you so gringo, am I good or what?” Yes Pete you are good. He knew to the minute when the tide changed we would lose the fast bite. He is an amazing capt… he knows his shit. Again he has fished the local waters well over fifty years!! What do we do now my capt? He says let’s catch some lady fish and troll them over the shallow reef. I say we are game, let’s do it. We head north right near the cut that leads in outer reef. The sun is bright. Pete points to a black ball of something in the water, looks like sea grass to me. He says, “Sea grass, you think it is sea grass? Capt jeff does sea grass move, no.” I say what is it???????? A big school of lady fish feeding on something. He throws yellow jig head 3/0 hook with rubber trailer in and kaaaaaaaaaaaaboom… fish on. A silver fish jumps out of the water. Looks like a tarpon but it is not. He hands me the rod. The fish is jumping and peeling line, what a fight. I land it… see the photos. The fish is a foot and a half long. John throws his jig head in and another kaaaaaaaaaaaaboom… he catches his. We land four or five and lose four or five. The school moves fast and you need to chase them to catch them. Pete says that’s it. We will troll two of these in the shallow water two feet deep. Troll this for what? It is a big fish you are trolling Capt Pete. He says trust me. He baits the lady fish with two hooks, a slow troll and what looks like a submarine bites into our lady fish. Wham, wham, John strikes the fish again. This submarine looking fish jumps… a monster mother cuda five or six feet long, huge. Ok maybe for feet four feet, but a big fish. It slapped the water running off almost the whole spool of 15lb test line and makes one final jump. Gone. No way could we have landed the behemoth. What a fishing day. We go home with a real fish story about the one that got away.
Day three was about the same. Went out Sunday with John and his wife Tracy, owner of Monkey Bites Bistro and Hungry Monkey Sub Shop (see my report) and Christina, the owner of Sausage Factory, another San Pedro tradition. We fish half a day and catch a bucket of snapper and cuda. Another wow, wow day. We do something different and go for lunch at Rojo my favorite spot to eat gourmet fare. The lunch and company were wonderful... lots of laughs and nonstop action. After many drinks and fabulous food we go home too as we are just beat and a little tipsy. Another great day on the calm clear waters of San Pedro, my second home in paradise.
Day four was the same as the first three days with two hours of nonstop action catching lady fish or cuda. Just wonderful calm days but on day four we see a huge fin. We think it is the pod of local dolphin. We have been seeing them all week, but no… it was a big shark! This was a nine to ten foot bull shark moving very fast. It was heading north at a fast clip. It was only half way from shore to the reef. I can say first big shark inshore I have ever seen. They are there, you just never see ‘em!!!!! All in all, four great days of fishing. All trips were with booked with my buddy Steve Demaio, owner of Coconet Internet Café and broker for fishingsanpedro.com. He does the booking for seven great local guides including Pete Graniel. For info and booking ask for Steve, he will help you and is a great easy going guy. Telephone 011 501 2262835 or 2263090. And he takes MasterCard. A plus. San Pedro has some great inshore action packed fishing, whether it be the reef for snapper, big grouper, cuda, tuna, whahoo, or what have you. Or fishing the flats for bone fish/tarpon or permit. All the guides I use are great people that love to teach new people how to enjoy the fishing here. You need no skill, you will learn fast, no problem. And you will have a ball. You must try it if only for even a half day. It is dirt cheap, like $200US for the boat, not per person!!!! For a half day… 7 or 8am to 12noon, or afternoon trip 1 to 5 pm. Includes all soda, water, and hooks, bait, tackle, fish cleaning, and expert instruction. Try it, you will catch lots of fish for dinner and it will be one of your best days here guaranteed. You will live the dream for sure.
My dining out this trip was my usual places but I did get a chance to try some new places.
My week was dinner at Rojo. Took Gela and Laurie Mar out for her birthday. Great food. Rojo rocks. World class and of course one of the best in Central America. Did a Casa Picasso thing. Jen and Chris have a great place to go with a group that wants to get drunk. Killer drinks and ate great tapas and well prepared food with outstanding service. Also had dinner at El Divino at Banana Beach Resort, very good food, great service. Tim the owner has this place humming.
Also went back to Cho San Palace had good Chinese food. I love their house egg foo young. Real good, as good as the states. Also try shrimp fried rice and chicken with mushrooms. Got all good… big menu but stay away from the spare ribs??? Too tough. Trust me a good choice if you have the munchies for Chinese. Not Jade Garden but damn close.
Lunch back to Monkey Bites… great sandwiches and big breakfast specials. A must place for a quick bite…also John and Tracy have just opened Hungry Monkey Sub Shop in town next to Mickeys ON PESCADOR.A BLOCK FROM SCHOOL. I sampled in advance the subs as they were going to serve and asked me to go over the new sub menu. They asked my opinon… fabulous is all I can say!!! This place will be a winner. You see John’s cousin Vinny has subs shops in Brooklyn. They are world famous in Brooklyn. You have to wait in line ;to get a sub there. They are over stuffed with great meat there motto is you can’t beat our meat !!!! that’s so funny And John said he will bring that great over stuffed sub to little San Pedro. The locals and tourist alike will rave about this sub. As you know Belize is not the place for a great sandwich as it was once British Hondurus and the Brits make great tea, but a skimpy thin soggy sandwiches. So this joint should be a treat!!!!!!!!!!!!! FORGETABOUTIT… it will be a hit ,hit Well you know what I mean!!!!
Also went to Dave my neighbor’s place. He is above Fidos Bar and the restaurant’s name is Fidos Pasta and Steak. We went with my neighbors to try it. We had very good pasta, wonderful chicken parmesan, great pasta cooked to perfection, killer garlic bread, a must try, you will order lots of garlic bread. We feasted family style and tried it all. We were full from the pasta orgy so when dessert came we said no, but Dave sent out a sampling of the yummy desserts. Chocolate cheese cake key lime pie and ice cream with fresh fruit and homemade whip cream. Wonderful and it was free. I say if it is free it’s for me, thanks Dave. Never got to do the USDA prime steaks, but will next time. A cool place to go with families. Nice atmosphere on the porch above the beach, cool breezes, just lovely spot. Try it.
Also did Pedros Pizza and Sports Bar, a real good pizza pie and it’s a fun bar. A must. Friday night, lots off locals go for great pizza chock full with lots of good stuff on them and meet boarders who post on message board, and of course bad peter, his craziness and sarcasm is an island tradition. Just go there to tell him to bug off, he loves it and waits for tourists to give him lip. Also a fun time if you play poker. Wed and Sat they have a nice friendly game. And he welcomes all. He is really a nice funny guy who will give you the shirt off his back… just do not lend him money!!!!! And do not get close, he bites. Give his dog Charley a hug..She does not bite.
Stopped into the new Celebrity restaurant for breakfast up stairs at Belize Yacht Club. Because it was at BYC I should have known better. Walked in, nobody there, sat down looked at the menu. The owner came over and said he would wait on us as nobody showed up to work yet. I introduced myself and I asked him what type coffee he serves??? Caye coffee or Guatamalan coffee?? He said it was slow so he is using instant Nescafe… you gotta be freakin’ kidding me! With all the great coffee here I got up and left in a New York minute. Lots of places use Caye Coffee which are fresh roasted and ground on the island and readily available. Hope he wakes up and smells the coffee… no pun intended. We bailed out and went to Blue Water Grill and had a great breakfast. Cinnamon french toast and good fresh brewed coffee, delicious blend. Plus we got a bonus… a nice view of the sunrise. Does not get any better that this.
Again the week went fast, quickie trip but quickies are good!!!! Trust me I know. It was wonderful to hang with some great friends, meet some great new friends, eat great food, great fishing, and an opportunity enjoy fun happy times. Every morning I woke up was another adventure. This trip I made sure to help out those who less fortunate. I donated to some local charities that I have adopted… Holy Cross School, Lions Club to name a few. It is good for the soul to help out when you are blessed with good luck and have the money to live first class in paradise part of each month. I believe that it pays back dividends to your positive karma!!!! Here is to living the dream once more in paradise… I wish all a merry Christmas and a healthy and happy new year. Be back Jan 10 to report more of the dream…
The adventure begins.
john ,tracy ,christina a wonderful day on the water,smiling faces tell it all!!
the capt ,christina ,john and tracy we need to lighten up we are to serious ,who's your daddy !!!
john with his lady fish
my extended family at fidos pasta and steak,putting on a feed.
capt pete and whats left of a foot and a half lady fish ,monster cuda had a snack ,think we will need a bigger boat.
a small cuda ,action galore on light spin tackle john is in fishing heaven
the four of us a little tipsy can ya tell ??/rojo lounge rocks ,look at the sugar free dessert.yea baby.