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Hi All!

Am a new member and thanks to everyone for accepting me.

I am planning a Sea Kayak trip in The Cayes of Belize in the next few months. It would be on a real budget, sleeping in tents or hammocks (plus an occasional b&b to wash down). Fishing as well as kayaks are so uninvasive.

Anyone interested in joining me?

Or alternatively pointing me in the right direction, any help advice would be greatly appreciated.

Marco
 

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Well Marco sounds a fascinating trip.

It’s a few years when I was in Belize and then we fished out on the Barrier Reef from a lodge on Turneffe Atoll – it’s not technically an atoll, just shaped like one.

So just a few observations.

Firstly the fish. The flats can be loaded with shoals of Bonefish. Whilst they’re normally small fish, sub 3 pounds, bigger fish can show and, whether it’s unique to Turneffe, you’ll occasionally see ‘Golden’ Bonefish. I suspect they’re some form of genetic abnormality – more Salmon Pink in colour – and they’re usually right in the middle of big shoals, so targeting one specifically is next to impossible. But they do occasionally get caught!

The somewhat deeper flats – 3 to 4’ - will hold reasonable numbers of Permit. And in specific locations Tarpon, but these can also be found around the mangroves. Also in the shallow water and the channels you’ll encounter Jacks, Snapper and Barracuda.

If you’re tempted to get out and wade watch the coral (ocean) flats, you’ll need rigid soled wading boots. And there are tiny ‘nasties’ in the water that can inflict bites and draw blood, so it might be worth wearing lightweight trousers. Also the later in the year you go, leading up to the hurricane season you’ll start to encounter mosquitoes.

In terms of camping on the more remote cays just be careful of being too close to the mangroves. Apart from the mosquitoes there are some quite large constricting snakes on those islands. I’ve seen pictures of a 16 or 17 footer and also the scars from the fangs on one of the guides’ backs. There are also freshwater crocodiles on the islands. (I’m sure I’ve got a picture still of an 8 footer that we hooked up one night whilst spinning for Jacks.)

It might also be worth viewing the postings on the Caribbean & South American forum on www.reel-time.com . That can prove a useful starting point for information.
Dave
PS The rivers can also be productive and on one, up near the Guatemalan border there's a big lake where we caught Peacock Bass but, at certain times of the year, Tarpon can be encountered. It's near the ruins of an impressive Mayan city.
 

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I suppose it was seeing that BBC documentary during the week about the impact of conservation measures on Saltwater Crocodiles that made me thing of this. Since they've been protected, and in that they're quite territorial creatures, congestion is forcing many out of their native rivers. They're migrating, some towards Darwin and coming into conflict with tourists and cattle ranchers. I seem to recall approaching 300 had to be removed from Darwin Harbour last year.

Well, the Belizean authorities similarly prevent the killing of saltwater crocodiles and they're now appearing on the islands on the Barrier Reef, some 30 miles offshore.

Just be careful! The one that my friend foul hooked - you can see the yellow jig in the base of the tail - is only a 'baby'. Mummy and Daddy though could be out there!
 

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