Caye Caulker trip: DIY, guides, gear? - Fly Fishing Forum
Bonefish, Tarpon, and other Obsessions Turquoise water, silver demons on the fly

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Old 07-19-2006, 05:50 PM
package package is offline
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Caye Caulker trip: DIY, guides, gear?

New to flats fishing, but fish a bunch in the salt in Southern Cal, surf, bays, etc. Heading to Caye Caulker in April and need advise on gear, guerilla fishing w/out guides, guides, etc.

Guess I need a quicky overview on the whole she-bang. Been reading up in this forum and am looking at bringing:

6wt, two 8wts (my wife might fish a bit/backup) and a 10 wt. Would I really need a 12 for tarpon? I'll be buying some new reels and am considering Danielsson LW or HD, Tibor, WW Litespeed, Galvan Torque, Old Florida and about a million others. Might buy an Everglades for the main 8wt and go cheaper for the rest. That's what I'd use most at home anyway.

What about wading? Flats boots, if so, which? Any fishable areas right off the island, or am I tied to a guide?

Anyone's $.02 appreciated.

Jeff
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Old 07-19-2006, 10:45 PM
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juro juro is offline
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Sounds like the lagoon will provide DIY opportunities depending on accessibility, but it does list gators so dunno about the off hours wading

Kayak rentals seem abundant.

Only need the big guns for tarpon if going for the big poons, the 10wt is fine for "baby" tarpon which I think is a bit of a misnomer, 40# not uncommon in this class of fish.

I have not been to Belize personally but have read up on it; Caye Caulker sounds nice.

Many here have been to Belize so you should get some good info / search results.
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Old 07-20-2006, 08:21 AM
BigDave BigDave is offline
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The bottom is very soft around there which will limit your DIY possibilities. It is very grassy and the fish tail like crazy which is fun. 7 or 8 are good rod choices for that area for bones. There should also be some permit around so don't forget the crabs. In general we did best on small flies like Ben's Epoxy, Squimp, Missing Link in 6 and 8. DO make sure all or most of your flies have weed guards.
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Old 07-20-2006, 01:32 PM
package package is offline
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Dave/Juro:

Thanks for the info. I've been sniffing around for tips and appreciate your help. The trip is primarily R&R, so I'm not trophy hunting, but I am too squirrelly to sit on a beach and be a 24/7 sand flea. Small bones sound great! I'll probably bring a 10wt too, just in case. Good tip about the kayaks and weed guards.
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Old 07-20-2006, 02:26 PM
MarkS MarkS is offline
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Hey package...

Did my fist ever bonefishing at Caye Caulker, and have gone DIY there on 3 occasions....the last was about 8 years ago, so bear that in mind....Here's what I found....

The oceanside in "town" has an expanse of flats covered with turtle grass...there are fish there, especially at the ends of the day. Very tough to wade...kayak would be great, I did some fishing off the docks, which, though not ideal, worked.

If you go south on the island (below the "airport") there were hard packed sand flats that were very wadeable. These also had fish, and gave the opportunity for sight fishing, including at high sun...

The mainland side of the island was mostly softer bottom, a bit deeper than the ocean side. Less conducive to sight fishing, but held fish also.

The cut, dividing the island in two, had deeper water, current, and ALWAYS seemed to hold something willing to bite....some significant cudas in there so take at least some wire.

If i were to go back again, I would make sure to take some sinking lines or heads and fish out by the reef in deeper water....some seriously big jacks and cudas around.

I did fish with a "guide" for one day...can't remember his name...which is just as well, as i didn't think he was that good, though we did catch some bones together...I understand there are others available who it sounds like offer better service than I experienced...I'd take advantage of that for a day anyway....

have a great trip...I heartily recommend a snorkeling trip to Hol Chan and Sting Ray Alley....

Regards,

Mark
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Old 07-20-2006, 07:03 PM
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Thanks for the info on sinkers

I hadn't considered that, but maybe should have for fishing in the split and reefs. How heavy did you go with rods/reels? I was going to lug a 10wt in case there were some younger tarpon around, but am not sure it that's reasonable/necessary.
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Old 07-21-2006, 06:41 AM
BigDave BigDave is offline
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I would definitely bring the 10. It is probably enough for the average resident fish there. I fished Calker 2 days and there were lots of guys looking for tarpon just off the mangroves. I guess the island has a few resident schools.
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Old 07-21-2006, 07:24 AM
MarkS MarkS is offline
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Ditto with BigDave...take the 10....should be perfect for tarpon, and with a sinking line on would be just fine for the deeper water stuff....ie big jacks and the like....

I'm partial to shooting heads for deeper stuff, but one of the integrated lines with a fast sinking head should work just fine too.


Have a great trip...

mark
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