26
Sep 16

What’s happening in Belize, anyway?

There is a lot going on in Belize… but it might be easy to miss. It doesn’t make the news like… well… none of these places really make the news, but you know what I mean.

A not-small Jack from Belize.

A not-small Jack from Belize.

Leonardo DiCaprio is a dique.

There is a caye not too far from Savannah Caye called Blackadore Caye. Leonardo owns it and he wants to put a super luxury resort there. Now, it is very much not what this area needs. It is pristine and putting a resort there will make it less so. They bought the place legally, so the building they want to do on the island can’t really be stopped… but they aren’t content with building on the island, they want to put some huts out over the water, like you see in French Polynesia. One problem… such structures are illegal, unless you know who to bribe and what wheels to grease. So… basically, Leonardo is a dique. Here is a page put together by Orvis that lays it all out.

Belize netting

Belize has some great C&R legislation, but netting is a whole other issue. Gillnets and fish traps operate all over the country… and that’s not good for a country that depends on tourism for 35% of all jobs. Here’s some info on the netting issue.

Belize is a beautiful place. I honeymooned there back in 2012. I had my first trip in 2010 and ended up lucking into a grand slam. It is a place I think of often. If you’ve been there, you are probably in the same boat as me… hoping it doesn’t get screwed up.

 


24
Sep 16

Rethinking Rethinking Belize

I was toying with the idea of taking my daughter on a daddy-daughter trip to Belize for Spring Break to snorkel and fish and to take her somewhere she hasn’t been before.

Then… then we had a horrible weekend with her behavior being so amazingly poor I had to rethink the whole Belize plan.

But now I’m rethinking rethinking the trip. Spring Break is in April, a long time from now, so making a decision based on her behavior now seems pre-mature. Also, she’ll be 10 by then, in the 4th grade, and she won’t be my little girl much longer. The idea of a trip, alone, with her dad, might not sound so good in a few years and this is a great chance to make a life-long memory.

So, the trip is back on.

The plan, for now, is Caye Caulker. A short-ish trip. Arrive Monday, leave Friday. A day of fishing, a day of snorkeling, a day of lounging around and seeing the town.

It gives me something to do some tying for and will almost certainly be my next tropical fly fishing outing (although, it is possible I’ll get some redfish involved in one of my now frequent New Orleans business trips, but I’m not counting that just yet).

They grow up fast. I’m back to thinking I should maximize the memory making while I have a chance.

The girl and her dad

The girl and her dad


12
Sep 16

An Adventure, maybe

So, I’m looking at maybe having an adventure with my 10 year old this coming Spring. Sure, it is hardly even Fall at this point, but I’m trying to be a long term planner.

This would be a trip with just she and I. I’d do Yellowstone, but most of it would be under snow at that point, or could be, which would make planning hard.

I’d do the Keys except those are American prices and can be high.

I’m aiming low, in terms of price.

So, I’m thinking about maybe doing Belize. Belize can be expensive, but it doesn’t need to be, and Southwest flies to Belize. Planned out far enough, it isn’t so bad.

Thoughts? Ideas? Inspiration?


05
Aug 16

Yellow Dog gives Hurricane Earl Update

This link from Yellow Dog Fly Fishing gives a rundown of fishing operations in Belize and the impact Earl had.

Some operations were impacted more than others, but no one lost their life and no one was totally leveled, so that’s good news.

Belize is a special place for me. I got a Grand Slam fishing out of El Pescador in 2010 with my friend Shane and I honeymooned here in 2012.

Glad to hear operations have mostly made it through the hurricane.

Honeymoon Bonefish

Honeymoon Bonefish


03
Aug 16

Dammit Earl!

Some bad news for Belize, Mexico and Honduras… Earl is coming and he likely will become a hurricane some time tomorrow.

Earl

Not good.

Thoughts are with those in the path of Earl.


18
Mar 16

Getting schooled on photography

Here’s a pretty cool opportunity. Yellow Dog is putting on a photography school… IN BELIZE. How awesome would that be?!?!

Instructors include Jim Klug, Bryan Gregson and Jess McGlothlin.

I’ve had the privilege to be on a boat with Jim and to see his approach to photography (which is the kind of focus the Cookie Monster has toward cookies, and by that, I mean intense and singular).

I know a lot of you want to take better pictures of your time out there and these instructors, and that place (El Pescador, one of my favorite places on earth)… I mean… how could you NOT count that as one of your all-time highlight experiences???

Sounds like an awesome opportunity.

October 22-28, 2016, El Pescador.

Awesome shot by Jim Klug.

Awesome shot by Jim Klug.


12
Feb 16

Emerging Disasters

There are two things happening in the world of flats fishing right now that are just major bummers.

First is Florida. Billions of gallons of nutrient rich polluted water are pouring out of Lake Okeechobee and the impact to inland fishing in Florida is likely to be fairly disastrous. The Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie River are taking the main brunt of this and their estuaries are going to have a hard time surviving. A sad situation with deep roots.

Next is Belize. Leonardo DiCaprio (DeCrapio??) is getting attention for his environmental actions and not the positive kind. Blackadore Cay, bought by DiCaprio a few years back, is the site he plans to build some real BS eco-resort that disregards local laws and the importance of the area to the people who live there now and make their living from the waters just off the shore of Blackadore.

Now, just because you’ve had to mentally go through those two total BS stories… here’s some eye candy in the form of some pretty bad-ass looking fish.

I kind of always thought Milkfish looked ugly… but I’m changing my mind on that.


21
Jan 16

Blackadore Disaster

Raise a hand if you’ve been to Belize.

A not-small Jack.

A not-small Jack.

Wonderful place. I love it there and really hope to hold my wife to her PROMISE that we could return for our 5th anniversary (we honeymooned there), if not sooner.

If you’ve fished there, you know one of the reasons why it is special… the diversity and quality of the fishing. The Belizians have gone further than most in putting in place protections for their game fish, which is to be applauded.

So, leave it up to some Hollywood nitwit to ruin it (or at least some of it).

Blackadore Caye is a located within view of Savannah Caye, one of the prime spots to go hunting for tarpon. It was at Savannah that I hooked (and lost) my first tarpon. It was where I landed my largest jack (maybe 20 pounds?). It is not a great place for a resort, but that is what Leonardo DiCaprio is doing.

This is the disaster of a resort.

This is supposed to be eco-everything. No fossil fuel use. Composted waste. All solar/wind. They make it sound like a godsend.

I can’t imagine it will be anything short of a disaster. You just can’t build something like that in a place like that and have it be zero impact. The thing that will be impacted first will likely be the fishing at Savannah Caye. More boat traffic isn’t going to do anyone any favors. It also seems the resort will make the island off-limits to the locals because the clientele for a place like this get uncomfortable when there are un-uniformed/non-drink-serving brown people around.

This map would seem to suggest that the Belizian people know what they want to do with Blackadore Caye:

Seems like the people of Belize want Blackadore to not become a resort, but seems like Belize isn’t going to get what they want from Leo.

Funny thing. Leo accepted a Golden Globe recently and dedicated his award to native people.

That’s some grade A hypocrisy right there. Leo should listen to Leo on this one.

There is a Facebook page for Defend Blackadore Caye. Join it. I just did.

Blackadore Caye, as a resort, is a lessening of everything Belize really is. It doesn’t need improving on, not like this, not by Leonardo.

 


20
May 15

The Fieldworkers Club goes to Belize

Right? I mean… who wouldn’t want to?

I like this concept.


23
Feb 15

A victory for Belize and for us

This is what a victory looks like:

The Government of Belize through the Cabinet has approved the proposed expansion of Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The decision taken to approve the expansion of the reserve was made on February 17th following the completion of minor adjustments made to the original draft proposal. The decision brings the project one step closer to fruition following years of lobbying by marine environmentalists on Ambergris Caye.

In this day and age of zero-sum politics where your victory is my loss, it is unusual to see something where everyone wins. The expansion of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve is the rare win-win. Maybe there are some developers out there who lose, but I really don’t mind that, not one bit.

Expanding protections around Ambergris is fantastic. It is a special place and deserves not to be exploited to death and then left to rot.

The people of Belize win by ensuring that their natural heritage stands a better shot at survival, of thriving. With that natural gift come the tourists and the jobs and livelihoods. And we, we the tourists, the anglers, we get a better shot at that grand slam and the peace and quiet and serenity that comes from the flats when it is just you, your guide and the wind.

Fantastic and congratulations to Belize!

Belize Bonefish

Belize Bonefish