April 6 to MAY 12, 2008
WEATHER was a factor with winds up to 20 knots at times; unusual at this time of year, but our unique fishing locations at BRL afforded all anglers lots of opportunities. Our extensive mangrove system of cayes protects many of our flats from the winds, and along with the productive Belize and Sibun rivers allowed everyone full fishing days even on the windiest days.
BIG TARPON: Ten big tarpon, size 80-176 pounds were landed during this period. The largest being 176 pounds by measurement. All were photographed and successfully released. Most were caught by fly fishing and a few by spin fishing with lures. Many, many more big tarpon were seen; and jumped. Some anglers had them on for just a few seconds while others had many exciting minutes of heavy action. These fish were being found anywhere from the nearby mouth of the river, Tarpon Cove and channels all within 25-45 minutes of the lodge or just a few minutes from the M.V. Blue Yonder. Many more SMALL TARPON, ten to 75 pounds were also caught during this time and along with permit, bonefish and snook, we had a total of eight grand slams landed; quite an accomplishment for only 5 weeks of fishing.
Many guests targeted snook to help fill out their day or slam. They enjoyed casting to snook - trying to make the perfect cast into the mangroves to lure the snook into taking the fly/lure. Most SNOOK landed were 5-8 pounds with a few up to 12 and 14 pounds.
Lots of PERMIT were seen rolling in with the swells just before breaking on the reef. Many were caught on the flats just inside the reef or on grass and mud flats. A large school of about 200-300 permit are being encountered quite regularly. This school has fish from about 5 to 30 pounds. They are sometimes just lolling around and show no interest whatsoever to crab patterns expertly presented; at other times they are feeding and go after anything in sight. Anglers have enjoyed not only fishing but watching these magnificent fish move across the flat feeding, as many have great stories to tell. One angler made the perfect cast into the feeding school and got an immediate hook-up. Excitement ruled; however, he came away frustrated and laughing at the angler’s bane, he landed a beautiful snapper, who was feeding among the Permit.
Two anglers with little BONEFISH experience each caught 20 bones one morning. They had claimed not to be interested in bonefish but did not pass this up. Talk about a wonderful experience, they said that many times they had double hook-ups.
Ladyfish, Tripple Tails, Barracudas, Jacks and Snappers rounded out our usual variety of species.
Over the last two days a father and two sons landed a 70 pound tarpon, fought two other 70 pounders for 38 and 20 minutes and caught several bones, a small snook, some jacks and barracudas. While the men were fishing, the ladies visited the Belize Zoo, Xunantunich, Cahal Pech, Lamanai and Altun Ha Mayan sites.
If you are thinking of fishing the summer or fall, below are a few excerpts from the last few year’s fishing reports. Every year the weather differs, but this can give you an idea of what to expect; as quoted often, “climate is what you expect and weather is what you get”. If you would like to see the entire report, please visit the BRL website at www.belizeriverlodge.com
and look for the fishing report page.
VERY GOOD WEATHER was the dominant condition for October and November and no hurricanes or tropical storms affected us here in Belize this year. As we had beautiful weather this fall, the Flats were in good shape most of the time for bones, small tarpon, snook, permit, cudas and snapper.
TARPON: The biggest tarpon landed during October and November was about 80 pounds. Though these two months are not considered the best time of year for really big tarpon, quite a few fish in the 50 – 75 pound range were landed; however, most tarpon landed were in the 15-20 pound size.
SNOOK: The biggest snook landed was 14 pounds with several caught about 12 pounds. The average size snook regularly caught were about 7-8 pounds. Guests had a fun time fighting these fish.
BONEFISH: Bonefish were dependable as usual. One gentleman had an exceptional day and landed 31 bones in a two hour period. Of the 31 caught, a couple Bonefish were in the 4 to 5 pound range.
PERMIT: A few permit were caught during this time. Anglers were able to cast to some big schools of really large permit many times throughout October and November.
October 31, 2005
Tarpon action rewarded those four anglers' last minute choice to come to Belize. Up-river at this time of year the action is mostly from snook with sinking lines and from baby tarpon ranging 6 pounds to 25 pounds, but I cautioned that some 80 pounders would definitely be mixed in with the youngsters. One angler opted to take only his two five weights but assured me he was prepared for anything that went for his fly. While the other three anglers got the action they expected, Penn actually did hook and got three spectacular jumps and about five minutes of fast action from a grand dame of about 85 pounds. Penn claimed that those five minutes of action were well worth the extended trip from Yucatan to Belize and he stayed on for three more days after his fishing buddies left. He landed four snook on his five weights.
Here are some episodes that were excitedly related after a day on the river. Rick and Maureen: "jumped 25-35 & lost count; Rick boated seven, Maureen boated three. There were 3 double hookups; any and all colors of flies and plugs, surface and sinking and one big tarpon of about 80 pounds jumped near the boat, our best day in Belize".
November 13, 2005
Snook have been plentiful along the mangroves near the flats and as usual can be quite obstinate, living up to their reputation as being elusive and taking a fly when they are just good and ready. Accurate casting is usually rewarding.
Paul and Collin had an excellent day of bonefishing and landed one baby permit on the flats. They also had great action up river for baby tarpon while enjoying the jungle river atmosphere of their "fishing eco tour".
Charlie fished the flats 4 of 5 days, got 4 snook on flies, one permit, and missed landing the bones and tarpon.
Very good numbers of snook gave them enough opportunities to prove it. Along with snook, they also caught bones and tarpon for the back country grand slam on their first day at Belize River Lodge and continued to enjoy all three species for the next two days.
Targeting BABY TARPON from 8-35 pounds was also very productive and exciting even for our regular returning guests. Those new to fishing for "baby tarpon" are now also hooked on this size and species. Even when not landed, the acrobatic jumping of the baby tarpon was most impressive.
The weather in Belize this past August and September was mostly beautiful; very little rain, sunny and generally clear skies; very typical of August. ____________________________________________________________
November this year was a mixed bag of rain, sunshine, calm and cold with a record matching low of 48 and a high of 88 degrees, including beautiful sunrises and sunsets.
TARPON caught were most often in the baby tarpon category running ten to twenty five pounds with a few up to 50 lbs. Several resident big ones around 80 pounds were seen and jumped but not landed.
SNOOK in November is usually a safe bet and those anglers that could hit the spot were duly rewarded again this month with some really nice catches. Best catch was a 20 pounder; this fish must have wanted her picture taken and seemed to escort the school of smaller fish out into an open flat leaving the safety
of nearby mangrove roots.
OTHER fish caught included barracudas, several types of snappers, bat fish, needle fish, puffer fish, grouper, sharks, a 20 pound Jack Crevalle and many smaller ones.
July 19, 2007
On their first fishing trip to Belize Jim and Ruth Miller of the Dallas Fly Fishing Club fished 3 ½ days at Belize River Lodge.
DAY 1. The first full fishing day. Though it was very windy with heavy overcast and some showers all day, the guide found clear protected flats and tailing bonefish. Jim landed 20 bones and several others got away. At the end of the day he said "I'm hooked on bones".
DAY 2. Because of continuing tough weather conditions on the flats the guide opted for the Belize River. This turned out to be a very good choice, as Jim jumped 22 small-to-medium size tarpon and landed 7. Not a bad day for a first time tarpon fisherman. This day's quote: "I'm hooked on tarpon".
DAY 3. Looked much better weather-wise so the guide suggested they go look for the big tarpon on the flats and channels. Another good move as Jim hooked his first 100 pounder and imbedded in his mind forever the following exciting eight minute sequence: "three spectacular jumps, one very long fast run, guide cranking up the engine and chasing the fish to recover line, one more leap, big fish falling on the line, she's gone!"
December 9, 2007
Four Back Country grand Slams, several permit, tarpon, snook and bonefish were landed during the past two weeks. The very exciting and wild fighting Ladyfish seemed to be more active than usual and were encountered several days in a row in different places. Two anglers landed about 30 fish one day. A few hooked Ladyfish were taken advantage of by hungry Cudas.
Steve and his thirteen year old son Hunter enjoyed catching tarpon, bones and snook during the week with four other friends from Jackson Hole. Hunter on his second fishing trip to BRL got his wish and landed a very feisty 20 pound barracuda. Dad battled a 130 pound tarpon for an hour and forty five minutes before his 80# shock leader wore through