Belize - Fly Fishing Forum
Bonefish, Tarpon, and other Obsessions Turquoise water, silver demons on the fly

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  #1  
Old 09-18-2010, 11:03 AM
Bjorn Bjorn is offline
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Belize

Headed to Belize in November to fish out of El Pescador on Ambergris. Can't wait. This will be my first time to Belize. The bones seem smaller, but more plentiful. Rods in a 7 are often used over 8's and flies in 6's and 8's instead of 2's and 4's. Anyone who has fished there, can you let me know if I'm on or off the mark on those assumptions?
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Old 09-18-2010, 12:45 PM
ericnotthered ericnotthered is offline
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I've fished out of Caye Caulker a couple of times. I'd say your assumptions are pretty much correct, although the numbers of fish can vary.

Small shrimp or crab patterns (6-8) seem to be the go-to flies. Note that there is a lot of turtle grass on many of the flats, so bring some darker colours (greens). Weed guards on your flies can help when fishing over the grass.

A 7wt should be plenty to handle the fish, but remember that you get pretty consistently strong winds down there and you need to make long, precise casts. Some people over-line by one to help cut through the wind. Make sure you've got a good warm water line (cold-water lines will turn into noodles in the heat) and two or three hundred yards of backing.

I'm sure you know you need a decent disc-drag reel for the bones. Remember to rinse it in fresh water every night after use.

Good luck.

Ciao.

Last edited by ericnotthered; 09-18-2010 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 09-18-2010, 12:52 PM
Bjorn Bjorn is offline
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Thanks!

I have the reels, the lines and the rods, a 7, an 8, an 8/9 and a 9. Wondering about small tarpon and if I should look at bringing the 9 for that.

Started tying some 8's last night, but I'll look to put some weed guards on and tie some darker colors.

Cheers!
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Old 09-18-2010, 01:40 PM
ericnotthered ericnotthered is offline
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I've only caught a couple of smaller tarpon, so I'm not a pro, but I've done some research. I got my first baby tarpon off of Caye Caulker (casting into the channel at night) on a 7wt. I was lucky it was only about 20lbs, and even then it was a real challenge on that rod.

If you are thinking of chasing baby tarpon, I'd definitely take the 9wt. If you are going after adult tarpon, I think you may be under-gunned even with that. Note, however, that you aren't likely to have a shot at a big tarpon unless you go out with a guide. They should have a 11wt or 12wt in case you get a shot at a 80lb+ fish.

Good luck!
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Old 09-18-2010, 02:10 PM
flycaster99 flycaster99 is offline
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You'll find bones where you are going, and 7/8wt rod with floating line will help catch 'em. However, if you are being guided, I'd strongly suggest that you concentrate on tarpon as there is a very good tarpon fishery just out back of Ambergris. This could be one of your best chances to hook, jump and maybe even land tarpon. Bones are fun, but tarpon are something else. And given the opportunity to get at 'em, don't waste it.
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Old 09-19-2010, 01:49 AM
nmbrowncom nmbrowncom is offline
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i have not fished ambergirs, but i've researched it extensively in anticipation of a trip that got cancelled. i believe it is best known as a tarpon fishery-and a damn good one. i tend to undergun and was going with a 10wt. you may want to check around, but i think you may have your hands full with a 9 wt if you're looking for tarpon.

as for bonefishing, your initial observations-lots of smaller fish-is consistent with what i found out. i generally us a 6 wt for smaller bones.

don't over look the permit at ambergris. it's supposed to be one of the best places to land a permit although i don't know whether or not the time is right.

good luck and have a blast.
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Old 09-19-2010, 07:22 AM
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petevicar petevicar is offline
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Hi Bjorn
The bonefish are really small you can easily catch them on very light tackle.
There are baby tarpon and you don't need anything bigger that a 9wt.

The most interesting thing is the permit.

Belize is a place where you have a very good chance of a grand slam.

Pete
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Old 09-19-2010, 05:16 PM
Bjorn Bjorn is offline
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I've never caught or even fished for permit or tarpon, so I'm not sure what to expect. I need to talk to Lori-Ann to see if the big adults are there in November, or if we are only talking about 20 pound babies (I think I'd like that very much). Depending on what I find out, I may be buying a new 10 wt, or I may just stick to my 9 wt. rod I got for steelhead on the Babine a few years back.

There certainly will be some new species caught and I can't wait to get down there and see what Belize is like. I have a friend joining me who is about 5x the angler I am, so that is going to be great... I plan on learning A LOT on this trip.
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Old 09-19-2010, 06:20 PM
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Hi Bjorn
Baby tarpon and adults are almost like different species. The babies are very territorial and when you hook one they jump like crazy but do not run. Its very rare that you get into the backing. An adult tarpon - 60lbs plus is very different.

pete
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