09-30-2006, 10:01 AM
I am entertaining the thoughts of going to Turneffe Flats Lodge end of November or beginning of December for primarily Bonefish but it looks like a good permit spot also. Does anyone have any information or advice on this location. This would be my second bonefish trip as I spent a week on Long Isalnd (extremely tough conditions all week in March) so I am still new to this. Any information will be greatly appreciated.
09-30-2006, 10:54 PM
Turneffe Island, and Belize in general are good to great for permit, but the bones tend to be smallish and around Turneffe very heavily fished.
You should try Acklins. Only heaven is better.
10-01-2006, 10:07 AM
Having never been to Acklins, I cannot compare the two. I have been to Turneffe during the "off" season and can give you two good reasons why that's a good time to go. First of all, Craig and Karen reduce the price during that time so the trip is a bargain compared to March-April. Also, the flats have not been heavily pounded since the previous spring. True, the bones are fairly small, but if you've only been bonefishing one time I doubt that'll bother you much. The fact is you should get far more shots in Belize than you're likely to get anywhere in the Bahamas. Also, Turneffe is a good spot for permit and getting better all the time. I've found the guides aren't yet really good permit guides (or maybe in all fairness are not good at guiding from a boat---time and distance, etc.) but you will see permit if you make the decision to go for them. Often, the permit fishing is done in the morning, and then one wades for bones after eating lunch. Plus, the boatride out to the island is a blast.
10-01-2006, 03:18 PM
Having fished both, way more bones and way more territory in Acklins. Turneffe has the resident schools at Grassy that are fished every day all day (at least between 9 and 4), and the lagoon fish, though a bit larger, cannot be waded for the most part. The mudding hole is full of 8 inchers, that love to eat 6 inch Clousers. The guides tend to get very excited over a five pound fish that they claim is ten (few of them I fear has seen an eight) Much better bottom for wading and seeing fish for the beginner on the Acklins sand vs the grass and coral of Belize. Size will matter after a few 1 pounders. And if you want a lodge stay, Acklins Island Lodge is much cheaper and much nicer, and run by great owners and crew. As for the permit the ones in Acklins eat much better per shot. You will not see as many, but you can be sure they have not been cast to weekly. Turneffe will give you a better shot at large tarpon, but not in the fall.
That said, you would have a great time at either place. (But there is a reason many of the saltwater vets on this board keep heading east rather than south.)
10-02-2006, 11:22 AM
Not sure how this turned into Turneffe VS. Acklins, but I would highly reccomend Turneffe Flats. It's a true wilderness experience which happens to feature excellent staff and service. Leapord rays, crocodiles, etc. seemed prolific even within close proximity of the lodge.
The promotion they are running right now is unbeatable just about anywhere. I'm tossing around the idea of a return visit myself.
There are bonefish everywhere. Thousands stack up and tail inside the reef which can be a good situation for a novice. As others have mentioned they are on average smaller than BS fish but larger than what you will find on the mainland/ambergris.
The guides are top-notch. No funny characters on borrowed boats or no-shows to worry about.
BZE is considerably farther south than BS so you are subject to fewer cold fronts.
There are lots of nooks and crannies to get out of the wind at Turneffe which is always a plus.
Many guys like Jack Samson beleive Turneffe to be one of the top permit fisheries in the world.
I was there last October and saw ONE other flats boat in 9 days of fishing. Not what I would call a high-pressure environment.
PM me if you need more info.
10-02-2006, 06:38 PM
Thanks folks for the information the price is what initially caught my attention. It looks like the bones are smaller based on what information I was able to find. In March on Long Island I only landed 9 in 6 days and that was only due to Phillip Cartwright taking me south to an area that he has and they were mostly in the 1 to 2 pound range. In fact I only saw one bone out on the flats that truly would have gone 10 pounds. We just had bad conditions when we were there in March. So even if I got into some small fish it would be fun. Plus the opportunity is there for Permit so that would be another benefit and experince to try.
I will investigate Aklins in the mean time and see what that looks like.