Here I go! Plane leaves in two hours.

denver1911

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Headed to El Pescador to fish Tue, Wed, and Thu. As this is my first trip to the Caribbean to fish, my goal is to chase lots of bones. No matter the size. Report when I return.
 

cletus

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We're thinking of doing a family trip there this spring (the bride wants sun and warm weather, I want to fish the salt for the first time) so I'll be interested in your report. Have a great time,

Eric
 

denver1911

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Ten bonefish first day today. One jack, a grunt, and a small cuda cut me off.
 

denver1911

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Fifteen bones on day two. Chased permit and tarpon on day three. No shots at permit. Two shots at resident tarpon, but no eats. Lots of shots at juvenile tarpon, but also no eats. Took a kayak out in the lagoon behind the resort and picked up five tailing bones before dinner.
 

chechem

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Fifteen bones on day two. Chased permit and tarpon on day three. No shots at permit. Two shots at resident tarpon, but no eats. Lots of shots at juvenile tarpon, but also no eats. Took a kayak out in the lagoon behind the resort and picked up five tailing bones before dinner.
Excellent. Look for tarpon at daybreak in the channels (you prolly knew that). A tarpon from a kayak would be loads of fun.

Keep the reports coming! :D
 

denver1911

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Back home now. Had a great time.

The resort:

The people at El Pescador were fantastic! The food was outstanding. The resort was all you'd expect. Just wow.

The weather:

Windy. From the east first two days. From the north-west on day three. Mostly sunny, but a few clouds we had to wait for, blind cast through, or move away from. All-in it was very good.

The guide:

My guide was a third generation guide for El Pescador. Twenty-one years old and a little cocky, high-strung, and impatient. This is the most negative things I can say about him. He put me on fish. Taught me how to do it (this was my first experience with bonefish, permit, tarpon, or flyfishing for any saltwater species except redfish).

Cocky? Well. When we idled over a school of tarpon and I asked if we shouldn't be drifiting more and running less, he said not to tell him how to do his job. Okay then.

High-strung? I thought he was going to kill me when I broke off the first bonefish of day two. It was a little comical when he said, in a very animated and agitated sort of way, "Why do you get so excited?!? It's just a little bonefish! You get all .. like this .. and like that .. and you loose him. Sheesh." I thought, "Why do YOU get so excited when I break him off?!? It's just a little bonefish right?"

Impatient? It really stood out on day three. We ran for 40 minutes to the flats to look for permit. We waded one for twenty minutes and saw nothing. He said, "Nothing here, let's go." Another ten minute run to pole for ten minutes. "Nothing here. Let's go over to the mainland." Ran for twenty minutes. Poled for twenty. Ran twenty, drifted maybe 45 minutes. Ran ten, drifted five. Ran ten, drifted ten. Ran back near the island (40 minutes), etc. you get the picture. More running around than fishing. Tip was less on day three and I told him I thought we ran too much and didn't fish enough.

Why do I post this? Not to be negative, but to share my experience.

The fishing:

All that and then some.

Day 1: Learning to fish for bonefish was my charge. We fished muds and I had many takes. Probably 20 and landed five. I struggled with line management in the wind and when I strip-set, I dropped the line with one hand or the other and just couldn't get it right. I was also wearing a pair of buff sun gloves and this contributed greatly to my mishandling the line. I switched to a pair of fingerless gloves and some lycra stripping guards on day two and this made a difference. We also poled a few flats sight-casting. I learned to see the bones darting about and spot them by the flashes. I picked up another five sight-casting. An EXCELLENT day for a first-timer I believe.

Day 2: Solving my hookup ratio problem and getting more experience with bigger, harder fighting saltwater fish was my mantra (I'm used to small trout and smallmouth bass). My goal was met. We did a combo of muds and sight fishing. I landed fifteen of about twenty takes I had. A much better ratio. The different gloves helped a lot as did my experience level.

Day 3: Let's go find a permit or tarpon! This was the day of more running and less fishing. A disappointment. We saw one large school of small permit, but didn't get a shot. Guide saw one tarpon that I never saw. I put the fly where he said, worked it as he said, but no eat. I saw another tarpon and dropped the fly where I should, worked it as I should, but again no eat. We then went looking for juveniles in the mangroves and found dozens of them. Lots of shots and follows, but no eats. It was fun, but would have been better with a hookup. I think with more drifting the flats and less running, we'd have had more shots and a better chance at an eat. We did stop to catch an obligatory bonefish for the day. After returning to EP, I took a kayak out in the lagoon to where the bartender said to find lots of bones. Was about a 45 minute paddle out. I waded one flat for about thirty minutes and saw nothing. I paddled to a different one and stayed in the boat. Then the magic happened. I started seeing fish, but wasn't sure if they were small bones or big mullet. Then I saw one with the beautiful blue tail. I began to see more, cast to a pod and hooked up. No joy. Looked down the calm flat to see one tailing toward me. I drifted in range, dropped the fly in front of him. Strip strip, pause, strip strip, pause, strip BAM! Landed him. Let him go, got organized, started seeing nervous waster, worked toward it, then the tails popped up. I dropped the fly in front and landed another. This pattern repeated with a total of five to hand and five lost. Then the lobster dinner at the lodge beckoned. Magic. This was one of the best experiences of the trip.

Would I go back? Did you seriously just ask that question? I'm already planning it. I will request a different guide. This one wasn't so bad I would never use him again, but I'd want someone a little more mature.
 
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duker

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Sounds like you had a great trip, the guide notwithstanding. I'm no expert, but I think you did very well for your first trip and landed an impressive number of fish. I've fished Belize twice, and come to the conclusion that saltwater fly fishing is so different from fresh that it's pretty much a different sport.

I know what you mean about going back--you get instantly hooked, bad pun intended. I recently booked a week at Turneffe Flats for next February.

Scott
 

jjc155

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Sounds like a great trip! I love Belize. Fishing muds is kind of a learning curve eh?

Unfortunately fishing for Permit can be that way (Day three), lol. Had countless shots on "not fishing for permit days" than I ever had on permit days, lol and it seems that when you have a guide that likes to fish permit the more impatience they are.

Glad you had a good time. Got any pics? How did you like San Pedro? Miss me Belize and Beliken.

Belize it!

J-
 

denver1911

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My time in San Pedro was brief ... to/from airport/El Pescador. This was a fishing trip. I am not a drinker so skipped the Beliken.

Here's the only pic I took on the water:



Not a picture guy at all.

Booked for another three days in February!!!
 

flyminded

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That's a good day or 2 of bonefishing most any where, congrats.

Wait until you decide to try DIY for dem bones.....the thrill of finding them and catching them on your own takes it to another level.
 

chechem

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That's a good day or 2 of bonefishing most any where, congrats.

Wait until you decide to try DIY for dem bones.....the thrill of finding them and catching them on your own takes it to another level.
Exactly. And you should give them feedback about the guide. That's just wrong.

I've known numerous guides in Belize, and they were all professional. All the guides in that country must be trained and licensed now (since ~ 1999). It cleaned up many issues. Saddens me to hear about one who is less than classy.
:thmbup:
 

michael15

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I'm trying my first bonefish trip to Belize in November. I'm also staying at El Pescador. I'm very encouraged by your review/report. I'm getting tired of casting into my pool in my backyard!!
 

jds108

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As I haven't done this kind of trip but hope to soon... I'm hoping somebody can answer a couple of questions for me:

Looks like a person just needs to book a ticket to get to Belize's big airport, then the resort gets you to the resort.

I'm assuming that one should bring their own rod, reel, and line. Do the guides supply the flies? I was looking at an "all inclusive" trip to Jurassic Lake in Argentina and the resort made it a point to say they despite providing all-day guide service, they didn't provide the flies.

The El Pescador webpage is full of info, but I didn't see this explicitly address.
 

denver1911

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As I haven't done this kind of trip but hope to soon... I'm hoping somebody can answer a couple of questions for me:

Looks like a person just needs to book a ticket to get to Belize's big airport, then the resort gets you to the resort.

I'm assuming that one should bring their own rod, reel, and line. Do the guides supply the flies? I was looking at an "all inclusive" trip to Jurassic Lake in Argentina and the resort made it a point to say they despite providing all-day guide service, they didn't provide the flies.

The El Pescador webpage is full of info, but I didn't see this explicitly address.
Yes. Get to Belize City airport. EP will book your flight to Ambergris when you make reservations with them. They'll pick you up at the San Pedro airport and take you to the resort.

You can go with or without rods. Thry have stuff you can use. Ed will address all your questions by email if you contact them. They don't provide flies. They cost $4.50 each at the resort. I'd take my own. The high price is not the resort, but the 40% tax on everything imported to the island.
 

denver1911

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Well ... this time Thursday I'll be sitting down to dinner again at EP. This makes my fourth trip to Ambergris Caye since the initial one I posted about in September 2016. Obviously it has an appeal. All but one of the trips were at El Pescador. One was to Coco Beach Resort where I went with my wife, son, and his girlfriend. We spent a week there and I DIY'd two mornings and went out with a guide from Tres Pescados fly shop two days. I am very excited to be headed back to the island and El Pescador!
 

markg52

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denver9111, how did y'all like Coco Beach? My wife and I stayed there Dec 2016 and absolutely loved it. Great place for an anniversary trip or honeymoon. Super nice resort and great food. I fished with Blue Bonefish Belize one day and DIY'ed it the other times I got to fish. Group of us fish bums from NW Arkansas are headed down to Blue Bonefish the first week of June this year. I'm super stoked to be headed back down for a solid week of guided fishing.
 

denver1911

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Coco Beach was great. We stayed in a two bedroom sea view villa. The price was right too. Worked great for my wife and I and my son plus girlfriend. We had a private balcony, kitchen, living area, two baths, and, of course, the two bedrooms. The pools were top tier. The food? Meh. Okay, but not great. El Pescador has better food. We ate at Rain and that was the best. Great food and eating outside on top of the hotel. Very nice!

I am in the Atlanta airport on my way home. Saw 70+ permit. Got shots at 15 or so. No hook-ups. Two took a swipe, but apparently just missed the fly then spooked. Of course we caught bonefish a plenty.
 
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