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Bonefish, Tarpon, and other Obsessions Turquoise water, silver demons on the fly

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Old 11-11-2009, 01:27 AM
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Weird Fishing in Belize

Hey, Gang,

Survived Hurricane Ida

Actually, just saw it forming off Honduras way to the south. Got some of the fringe squalls, which totally put paid to our sight fishing for bonefish (probably 70% cloud cover for the week I was there), but had an illuminating stay nevertheless.

If anyone wants whom we stayed with, send me a PM. I cannot recommend this establishment too highly. Incredibly professional combined with incredibly laid back and reasonably priced (whatever that means to fly fishers).

A litre of Cruzon Rum costs $8. Why am I not living there?

Anyway, my big idea was to fish for baby 'poons. I have never (even now) landed a tarpon, but, from all I've experienced, they are my numero uno gamefish (shoving steelhead and silvers a bit aside -- one plus for the salmonids, though: you can eat them). I hooked about twelve during my week's stay and landed none. Nonetheless, I was totally accurate in my dreams of what tarpon are as game fish. I had a couple on for more than two jumps and was amazed at the stamina for such steelhead-sized fish (we only fished for babies). The leaping ability I was prepared for, but now have experienced and can appreciate. Wow! I wish I were rich and could spend about 12 months a year fishing for these beasts.

The lodge we stayed in was wonderful: the management certainly understood the Hooknose Society and its needs and proclivities: target fish; a place to sleep; food; knowledgeable and hard-working guides; beautiful, exotic scenery; and lovely maidens serving mai-tais etc. around the clock (I lied about the last).

Hurricane Ida was building in the vicinity and this compromised our fishing severly. I think over the entire six days of fishing with very experienced guides I landed a couple of snook (small to medium) and that was that. Others in our party did very well on bonefish, but I didn't. Hooked one and landed none. My best day of fishing, I landed none but hooked maybe seven poons averaging twenty pounds.

We fished keys; flats and mangroves; jungle rivers (black water, tight, drooping mangroves); and dive boat docks. I liked being out on the perimeter far more than the jungle scene, but one of the Hooknosers pronged a 70#plus poon an hour up the river and fought it almost to tailing. You never know.

I'd go back in a heartbeat, although I think I would want to avoid the "rainy" season. Mid January, I'm thinking.

Fish available were baby and mature tarpon (three to one hundred pounds ), permit, snook (to twenty pounds), bonefish (small: tiny to four or five pounds), and other fish of dubious renown but respectable prowess.

Lots of cool birds, too, although I didn't see any flamingos.

Again, if any of you want detailed information, send me a PM. I plan to write a feature for the Forum based on my experience. Lucky Juro.

Cheers,

Eric
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:15 PM
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Great report, sounds like you had quite a time. In the FWIW Dept, It's much harder to get a good hook-set in the smaller Tarpon than in the large ones. Some (Moi?) would say, "there's Tarpon and then there's other fish".
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Old 11-12-2009, 02:09 AM
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Sounds like an awesome adventure Eric - can't wait for my winter trip! Thanks for the report
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Old 11-22-2009, 02:47 PM
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Eric, sounds like you were there when I was. I am not a big poster here but I'll post my report.
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