Belize sargasm issue.

Matt4.0

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I was on the verge of booking a Belize trip the wife and I have been discussing for quite some time. However, the sargasm problems have me second guessing the trip.

From what I’ve read the influxes are sporadic and unpredictable but last year was pretty bad...particularly in the spring/ early summer which is when we plan to go. (Last week of March).

My plan so far is to stay on Ambergris Caye, at a hotel close enough to take a golf cart into town when we want but not “in town”. Open to suggestions from those that have been there. (Including areas other than Ambergris)

My concern is twofold: one is of course the fishing. I plan to do 2 days guided and maybe some DIY for a couple hours here or there. One guide I’ve corresponded with (the only one who is actually responsive and will get my business for sure if we go), basically said if the sargasm is too bad on the east side we’ll go to the west. Kinda leads me to believe the guide will be much more limited on options than he usually would be?

Outside of fishing, we would like to be able to enjoy the beach when time allows. We aren’t the spend all day swimming or lounging on the beach type, but also don’t want to spend all of our downtime at the lodging location or beach-side restaurants staring at brown seaweed and smelling a sulphur/rotten eggs stench. (Which the sargasm apparently emits when it decomposes)

Thoughts and/or suggestions from those familiar with the area or perhaps traveled there last spring?
 

karstopo

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I’ve been to Ambergris Caye decades ago, but never realized they had any sargassum issues.

About every summer, Texas get outbreaks of sargassum and some years there are periods it makes fishing the surf and some other exposed areas difficult to impossible. In the very worst years, it piles up on the beach and then rots and it does stink. Here’s a photo of the worst type of year.

I’ve never heard of any way to predict whether it will be bad or minimal or absent. I like a little of the sargassum around. It’s full of little shrimp, crabs, and fish and I think the fishing is better when there’s some of the seaweed floating in with the tide.
 

chechem

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I've visited Belize more than 30 times, but don't recall seeing this much Sargassum on a beach. It's always out there, and the fish gather under it offshore (for trolling it's great). But it sure makes a mess of flyfishing.

If I were there during such a presence of Sargassum I'd hire a boat for offshore fishing or seeking a clear area for bonefish. It's real patchy, and likely there are plenty of places to fish. If nothing else, go into the mangrove channels for some young tarpon.
 

denver1911

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Been to Ambergris several times, including February last year. Wading on the east side is possible, but challenging due to the sargassum. I did it for a few hours here and there as you described. Any fly fishing guide is going to take you to the west side almost exclusively anyway. Most good resorts clean the sargassum off their property daily. This has been my experience in the five or six times there over the past few years.

BTW, I leave Saturday for Thatch Caye.
 

chechem

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Been to Ambergris several times, including February last year. Wading on the east side is possible, but challenging due to the sargassum. I did it for a few hours here and there as you described. Any fly fishing guide is going to take you to the west side almost exclusively anyway. Most good resorts clean the sargassum off their property daily. This has been my experience in the five or six times there over the past few years.

BTW, I leave Saturday for Thatch Caye.
Yeah, the sand flies (biting gnats) nest in the dead sargassum unless it's removed. Most Belize folks figured that out long ago. Plus it's ugly.

Have fun at Thatch!
 

markg52

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As Denver said, most of the east side resorts rake their beaches daily. If you want to play in the water, go to Secret Beach on the west side. It really hasn't affected fishing on my two trips down there, the latest being last June, but that trip was all in boats with guides. The first trip I did some DIY and just avoided the pockets where it had kinda piled up. It does get a bit funky in areas where it gets stuck and begins to rot, or ferment, or something. I can hardly wait to go back down again.
 
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