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Hey folks,

 

Excited to be heading to Belize in July. Couched under my "40th Birthday Present", I started pitching it to my wife four or five years ago, and it's officially got the green light. Even my toddler daughters approve, too. 

 

I'll be posted up on Caye Caulker July 18-22, and I'm excited to be down there when the bigger poons are on the move. Other misc. details: the new moon falls on the 20th. 

 

I think I'll carry an 8-11wts down with me, (including my 10wt CTS Affinity X-Herb Special (my first build)).  I'm also bringing down an older T&T Vector and a Bauer M4 reel to donate to the local high school fly fishing program on the island.  

 

If anyone has landed in that neck of the woods, I'd love to hear about your experience. Any insights you can share about tides/moons, water temps, feeding habits, etc. I'm sure I'll get it all from the guide, but I need something to preoccupy my time with.  

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I was in Belize about 10 years ago in February  Fished with a local guide and there were bonefish everywhere.  Didn't target poon but you couldn't miss with the bones.  Good luck and have a fun trip

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I fished El Pescador for my 40th some years ago in September.  Amazingly, I got a grand slam on the first day and earned my name on the wall next to guys like Yvon Chouinard and Kirk Deeter.  I am not nearly in those guys' league - I just got lucky.  All this to say, I'm no expert.

 

I do have 2 pieces of advice. 

 

#1, the guides are known for being very un-pushy and pliable - even if the client is 100% wrong.  These are not Keys guides that will swear at you for blowing a cast.  The caution is that if you push back on them or think you know better, they'll most likely shrug and let you flail around on your own all day.  As always, listen to your guide.

 

#2, the bonefish in Belize are plentiful, but small.  The guides at Pescador basically only fish #6 xmas island specials in pink or orange, and I fished a 7 weight for them.

 

Good luck!  Great fishery.

 

 

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Thanks, to all. I'll definitely have quiet a few of the Christmas Island Specials. I think I'll end up with a bonefish/permit box and a tarpon box. Caye Caulker is south of Ambergris and north of Turneffe, and the fishing is quite comparable. I opted for this one because it's a bit of a slower speed, and though not as plush and all-inclusive as El Pescador, there's a laid back vibe and my costs for fishing/lodging are less. 

 

 

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You should really think about what rods you want to bring in 2 separate ways.

1. Bring lots of gear because you cant easily replace much down there if needed. The bones are small so a 5 and 6 at would be fun to fish in the afternoon at the beach. A 10 for tarpon should do.

2. Don't bring anything you don't want to lose on a trip. 

 

I had an 8,9,10 rigged on the boat but used the 8 80% of the time. Had some laid up tarpon for a few hours with the 10.

Assume the guides won't have flies or tippets for you so bring what you need and a little more.

Flourocarbon tippets!

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9 mins ago, chicky said:

You should really think about what rods you want to bring in 2 separate ways.

1. Bring lots of gear because you cant easily replace much down there if needed. The bones are small so a 5 and 6 at would be fun to fish in the afternoon at the beach. A 10 for tarpon should do.

2. Don't bring anything you don't want to lose on a trip. 

 

I had an 8,9,10 rigged on the boat but used the 8 80% of the time. Had some laid up tarpon for a few hours with the 10.

Assume the guides won't have flies or tippets for you so bring what you need and a little more.

Flourocarbon tippets!

I've fished a couple of times in belize and mexico during the summer.  It's fly fishing so it can always blow but the prevailing weather pattern tends to be very calm in the summer.  Almost too calm and fish get spooky, so lighter rods, leaders etc tend to be better (most of the time). We barely ever stopped to fish for the bonefish and only certain times of the day/ tide for tarpon.  90% of the fishing effort was for permit.  Like somebody said above, be very clear with your intentions with your guide. If you want to permit fish and actually catch one, typically you need to stay focused on permit and pass up other opportunities. YMMV.

 

Oh, and it will be blazing hot.

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The tippet/leader thing can be overwhelming. Obviously it depends on species, size and weight, but lots of guides (including the one I go out with in Flamingo, FL), just go to a straight 40 to 80lb mono, especially with tarpon. I’m more inclined to build my tapers with mono in the butt and mid sections and shock tippet- more of the Bruce Chard approach. Fluoro for the permit and bones. 
 

Thanks again for all the input. I’ve never fished outside the U.S., and I’m making a concerted effort to mentally frame this as a great chance to learn a lot, hopefully catch a few fish, and come back with a personal appreciation for another fishery. 

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There is a bar "Lazy Lizard" at the cut north side of the island. Good spot to fish at night. Know of a few guys that have been spooled there. There are docs on lagoon side that you can feed tarpon from. Restaurants sell sardines. They would probably chase you out of there if you fished.  I fish San Pedro more often, but there are some good articles about Caye Caulker. Think Drake had one about DIY bike bonefish. I use the 7wt  for bones.  Ken Coc is a guide on Caulker. I would reach out to him. Ask if there is some DIY spots you can bike too. Would also book a charter with him.  He has won that Tres Pescados grand slam tournament a few times. Dudes the ****. Ill be down there in 3 weeks. 

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3 mins ago, junior44 said:

There is a bar "Lazy Lizard" at the cut north side of the island. Good spot to fish at night. Know of a few guys that have been spooled there. There are docs on lagoon side that you can feed tarpon from. Restaurants sell sardines. They would probably chase you out of there if you fished.  I fish San Pedro more often, but there are some good articles about Caye Caulker. Think Drake had one about DIY bike bonefish. I use the 7wt  for bones.  Ken Coc is a guide on Caulker. I would reach out to him. Ask if there is some DIY spots you can bike too. Would also book a charter with him.  He has won that Tres Pescados grand slam tournament a few times. Dudes the ****. Ill be down there in 3 weeks. 

Good stuff. I/we are booked with Chasin' Tail and Ken, and this whole trip is set up with Yellow Dog. To your point, I imagine I'll want to continue to do some DIY a little bit. There are a couple of operations in Belize that look really appealing, but I think Caye Caulker will be a nice introduction to destination fishing for me. It seems like a pretty relaxed vibe, and I've heard great things about Ken. Staying at Sea Dreams.

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That’s funny. I was just listening to Jim Bartschi on a podcast yesterday talking about that very thing. 

19 mins ago, Where R All The Fish said:

There is a major risk in Belize for fisherpeople... ceiling fans! Watch out for them- they’re everywhere and have an appetite for rods.

 

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12 hours ago, Where R All The Fish said:

There is a major risk in Belize for fisherpeople... ceiling fans! Watch out for them- they’re everywhere and have an appetite for rods.

I was on a trip in the Bahamas once where a buddy was so fired up the morning of the first day fishing -  as he was carrying his three fly rods out of the house, he yeee haw'd and simultaneously stuck all three of his rod's into a ceiling fan. Humor.

 

The moral of the story was it didn't effect the trip one bit because fly fisherman always bring way too much stuff and there was plenty of extras to go around.

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I was in Turneffe a few years back around the same time of year. Man was it good fishing. As said above there will be plenty of bonefish but they will be small. I normally fished them out in front of the lodge i was at early in the morning before going out with the guide and didn't fish for them with the guide unless we saw a big one (very rare) or if i needed one for a slam at the end of the day. For bonefish many flies worked but an #8 olive bonefish bitters tied blind or a #10 ep turneffe shrimp tied blind worked great. For my permit my guide said any fly would work as long as it was a #4 olive beadchain avalon. I did catch a permit on a bonefish bitters too so other flies will for sure work.I heard from other anglers at the lodge that kung fu crabs and ******s both got bit well. It was kinda the same for tarpon. EP peanut butter in black and purple was the one fly to have. Went 13/18 during the week on 100lb poons and never used another fly. Never had a poon there turn it down. Only tip I have is use long leaders. It seemed to be the ticket on the bonefish and permit. 14-16". 

 

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