Archive for the ‘Caye Caulker’ Category

Seeing is Belizing

Posted: February 18, 2015 in Belize, Caye Caulker, Fly Fishing

Sitting back here in Perth a week or so after being to Belize, seems like it was a year ago. Yes we finally got back to Belize for 10 days of fishing, relaxing and a few thousand Belikin Beers!!!

I had a significant birthday late last year (50th), so while I was traveling to the US for work, we took a side trip to beautiful Belize, and in particular, the little coral atoll of Caye Caulker.

I had been here before but with limited to no success, with only one or two Bonefish landed, and hooking up on a Permit – not landed. It was also as windy as hell last time, so I promised myself that I would try and fish whenever I could, depending on weather and the gaps in between beers!!

Prior to arriving on Caye Caulker, I purchased a new 10wt Fly Rod, a new Orvis Recon. Chris the Manager from the Houston Store once again fitted me out fully for the trip. Thanks to Chris and his team. I also own a 8wt Orvis Hydros, and I think now with the Recon, I’m pretty set for saltwater unless I want to go after the really big stuff – Tarpon etc. That’s what I told my wife anyway.

We (my wife Vanessa and I) arrived on Caye Caulker after a fairly un-eventful flight from H-Town to Belize City and a short boat/ferry ride to Caye Caulker. The only downer is the absolute crap service from United Airlines in what they call their First Class seating. Nothing but a disgrace. But I won’t let that spoil a great trip. Getting through customs etc on arrival was very quick and easy. For those that want a few cocktails while in Belize, you can buy all of this on arrival at the Belize City Airport. Great selection and prices. Although beer is very cheap at bars, spirits and wine is expensive. We stayed at Caye Reef apartments on Caye Caulker, and the manager Bobby arranged for Jason, a local driver to pick us up from the Airport and drop us off at the Ferry Terminal. We had an hour or so to wait at the ferry. Terminal, so what else to do but have our first ice cold Belikins!!! 

For the first 3-4 days I waded the flats right in front of our apartment, picking up the odd reef fish in the channel between the two islands. The tide was perfect in the mornings, just on sun up, and fishing this area is fairly productive but also very scenic and relaxing. I must thank a local expat for A) giving me a few tips on the tide etc, and B) for giving me a few flys he uses. Local knowledge is everything. So thanks Jack.

Veiw of the flats from Caye Reef apartments

My good mate from New York arrived one day late due to snow storms, but Rick soon got into the swing of things with the local beverages and food. Rick and myself actually share the same birthday, just he’s still a year younger so I have to take him under my wing!!!

Our first guided trip we organized was with a well renowed local Fly specialist. Ken from Chasin’ Tail. Armed with Fly Rods and the odd beverage, we boarded Kens boat and headed out to chase us some Bones, Permit and maybe a baby Tarpon. Pretty much for the whole day, Ken had us on fish the whole time. In the end we landed 4 Bonefish, and 3 Permit, using both the 8wt and 10wt, as well as a spinning reel baited with a small crab.

Ken and myself with my first Permit

We did try for a baby Tarpon, but the creek where Ken like to try was full of offshore weed. The Bonefish and Permit did however give us more than enough entertainment  for the day, with them taking my flyline very much into the backing and Rick losing more metres of braid then he retrieved.

A nice size Bonefish

Rick and his monster Permit

Our second organised trip was delayed for a few days due to bad weather, but we finally got out onto the reef and deep sea to try our luck “Bottom bouncing” with some bait. We hooked up with another well know local, Esley Usher. The day wasn’t totally successful, but we did get a few small reef snapper which we did start to use for bait (whole), which I caught my biggest ever Barracuda on. After a few beers, and a nice leisurely ride back, Rick grabbed the left over “bait” (10-12 inch snapper) and put his Chef skills to work turning it into Sashimi.

Nice Barracuda

Like all good things they must come to an end, but not until after a very quick visit from Rick’s wife Tina  who could only come down from NYC for the weekend. As such, not much more fishing was undertaken, but we did ccatch up for a few more beers, polished off the duty free, told a few more fishing stories, and reminded ourselves of what we would do if (when) we came back to Belize. We all agreed it would be for longer. Although Vaness and I had a full 10 days, another 4 or 5 would have been great. But then again, after 14 days, we’d probably say 21 days………. Take out the fishing, and there’s  still heaps to do and see, or not. Just chillax.

I fully appreciate Belize is a long way from Australia (just south of the eastern side of Mexico), but if you can, do yourself a favour and get down here before it gets spoiled.