22
Mar 13

Belize Tarpon Tagging Expedition

Adam Marton and El Pescador are teaming up to do something kind of cool. Below is what they are saying about it.

Tarpon Tag

Tarpon Tag

Did you ever want to be a Marine Biologist for a day and play a significant role in the effort to protect and understand global tarpon populations?  This is your chance to actually help answer the “$64,000.00 Question” —  Are our fish, their fish? Is it possible that the giant tarpon we see late in the summer every year in Belize are the very same fish anglers see in the Florida Keys in May and June…  In July of 2013, for the first time in history, join us for a completely unique opportunity to become an elite member of the expedition that will help unlock the answers to the global tarpon migration code.

Join Adam Marton at Belize’s El Pescador Lodge and Villas for this first ever Tarpon Tagging Expedition.  Armed with the most technologically advanced PAT & SPOT satellite tags, the goal of the expedition is to land, successfully tag and release two adult tarpon that migrate annually to the world renowned Long Key zone of the Northern Belize Fishery.  After tagged tarpon are successfully released, the expedition will be enabling scientists from the University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science to study global movements, habitat and behavior of the fish for up to 6-months.  The results of these data sets will ultimately be used to enable fisheries managers, anglers and government officials from around the globe to make even more intelligent decisions about how to properly manage tarpon populations around the world. Our combined efforts to enable intelligent decisions to be made are the cornerstone in ensuring our children’s children will have the opportunity to enjoy the Silver King for generations to come.

 This is most probably a once in a life time experience to fish and advance science with an elite group of concerned anglers from all over the world.  After very careful consideration of annual migration patterns, optimal moon and tidal phases, the dates for this 7 night expedition are July 10-17, 2013. There are a very limited number of spots available for this expedition.

The 7 night/6 day Tarpon Tagging Expedition package (based on shared standard room and shared guide) is US$3,150.00/per person. To book your spot on the expedition please contact your travel wholesaler, local fly shop or Ali Flota at El Pescador, alissa@elpescador.com – 1-800-242-2017.

Love this place.

Love this place.


28
Dec 12

Obligitory – A look back at 2012

I was reminded by Troutrageous that it was time for me to look back at 2012.

What a year, eh? I had highlights in my personal and fishing lives. It will be a hard year to surpass, really. So many wonderful things happened. I can’t help but feel like a very lucky guy.

Here is what 2012 held for me.

I welcomed 2012 in at the Yaak Tavern in MT where I had the very strong suspicion I had met my future wife.

I got a chance to go to Cuba with Jim Klug and a bunch of writers. Amazing experience that included my magazine worthy Tarpon shot.

Photo by Jim Klug, Tarpon by Cuba

Photo by Jim Klug, Tarpon by Cuba

My divorce got finalized.

I got engaged.

I discovered the joys of pier fishing with my girl who loves sharks and loves being my fishing buddy.

The girl and her shark.

The girl and her shark.

I got married.

A good day.

A good day.

The honeymoon brought me back to El Pescador in Belize.

renee and bjorn El Pescador
I got two saltwater trips in, which for me, being fully employed and having split custody of a 5 year old, is a pretty good trick. Cuba and Belize are kind of choice locations and I feel very fortunate to have been able to visit both in 2012.

It has been a very, very good year.  I’m looking forward to what 2013 will bring.

I have one trip lined up already. This is to Grand Bahama for Spring Break. It will be my intro to the Bahamas for my little girl and my new wife. I’m thinking this could be a good thing.

All the best to you in 2013 and thanks for reading and taking part in the blog.


28
Sep 12

My big Belize fish

Belize is not known for big bones. A 7 pounder is a monster, a 5 pounder is a pretty big fish and the fish you mostly catch are around 2 pounds… schoolies, fun, fun fish and lots of them (like, a whole lot).

While I was out back in the lagoon I managed to catch my biggest Belizean bone to date. I’m going to call this fish around 4 pounds (maybe 3.5?).

Good times.

Not huge, but big enough to be fun.

 

 


19
Sep 12

The King’s Court – Belize 2012

I am up early, 4:30 AM, the last day at El Pescador. I could fish for bonefish, and I love bonefish, catching as many as I have time for, but I’m starting to understand things about flats fly fishing. When the King is holding court, you attend.

Tomas, my guide for the day, is waiting for me before the sun breaks over the horizon. “I should have told you last night to leave at 4” he says. I think a 5 AM push off is pretty good, especially in the light of it being the last day of my honeymoon.  My wife is in bed, asleep I hope and I’m off to hunt tarpon between Ambergris and the mainland. As we get into the panga to depart the air is still, the water calm, the silence loud. It is pure smoothness as we slide through the water, heading West.

Soon, our first stop. A mangrove island full of bird calls. The sun is just emerging, but is hidden behind a wall of gray. Clouds coming from the East have stalled with no more wind to carry them. One massive cloud sits above us, seemingly forgetting its race across the sky, content to look down on Ambergris, on us.

Stillness

The water, still and unmoving, reflecting the grey underbelly of this huge cloud, is indistinguishable from sky. We try to peer into sheets of cold, grey steel.

We wait and watch for rolling fish. There is only stillness and birdsong.

Reel up and run.

The cloud has not moved. The air is still. The sun is climbing. The water still impenetrable. The fish hidden.

Reel up and run. This time all the way to the mainland where the same story is told. We have not seen a fish.

We run back to the East and find a break in the clouds, but the glare on the water is still difficult, still like trying to see through polished steel.

Totally still.

The air remains static and while we finally have the lights on I now grasp the other disadvantage of a windless day on the water. The heat. It is hot. Really hot. I try to find even an inch or two of shade from the low gunwales on the bow of the panga to provide respite to my baking feet.  The light blue deck is molten.

“Gulp.”

Tarpon breaking. We see them. They are in range and I make the cast, landing the light 3/0 bunny 3 feet in front of the lead fish. He charges, inhales, I strike viciously and the fish bolts into the air. I bow, the fish lands and the fly parts company with the fish, excused.

Damn.

“We’ll get the next one in the boat” says Tomas.

He’s wrong.

The next one I won’t see in the glare and I’ll put the fly right on his head. He’ll bolt.

The next one is too close to the boat to cast to.

The next one is 30 feet too far away.

The next one isn’t interested.

The next one I line.

The next one I can’t see and again put the fly on his head, which he is not keen on.

As we search for fish the wind is an absent player, but in place of the wind is the heat. It is smothering, intense heat. I have sweat dripping down the backs of my legs. My shirt is soaked. My feet, even through my polarized lenses, look bright, fire red. I feel like I am losing gallons of water a minute, but I’m hesitant to take my eyes off the water to get more fluids. I don’t want to miss the King.

The next fish I spot just as Tomas is about to point it out. I say “Tarpon, 12 o’clock” and point my rod. Tomas says “yes!” A school of 5, maybe 7, heading right at us. I cast, a good cast, and the lead fish charges the fly and crushes it. I strip set, feel the fish and then, inexplicably, sweep the rod. The fly is out, but the fly is still in play. I strip again and the second fish charges. I set. I feel the fish. I set again. The fish leaps in the air. I bow. I still have the fish. I start to think about getting the fish on the reel, getting ready for the battle. The fish jumps again and I bow and the fly… it unbuttons.

Tomas has no complaints. He says I did everything right, on the second fish.

Tomas does not say we’ll get the next one in the boat.

The next fish I cast behind.

The next fish comes with a gang and follows, chases the fly too close to the boat, but the school is still there. I cast in the middle of the milling fish and one smashes the bunny before I can get ready. The chance is gone and so are the fish.

There is no next fish. I realize if we actually find another fish I wouldn’t have the time to fight it. The trip is done, the honeymoon is about to be too, but this was a good day. I got my shots and I just didn’t convert. This is why we play the game.

A beautiful, wonderful, windless day in Belize.

“If it were easy, everyone would do it” says Tomas.

 

 


17
Sep 12

Back to reality

OK all… I’m back after a wonderful week at El Pescador down in Belize for my honeymoon. We had a lot of really great experiences down there and I’ll run though the more fishy of those here over the next week.  I also managed to do a little fishing.  The new Mrs. went out with me one day and we had a good time on the flats, which was kind of a big deal.  Other times she got a massage and I’d go out in the lagoon in back. Hard to complain.

One thing I was really very proud of was that I managed to catch a couple of dock fish.  Dock fish are kind of hard, in my limited experience.  Not big, but a good dock fish.

My first fish of the trip, from the El Pescador dock!

 

 


07
Sep 12

These next few days

I didn’t write a post last night, I was writing my vows for  my upcoming wedding (Sunday). Yes… I actually do mention bonefish in the vows. No, really.

These next few days are likely going to be kind of a whirlwind and I’m betting I won’t have much time to post here on the blog, although I’ll try to post a few little pictures and things like that.

I’m thinking I’ll reply my last trip to El Pescador over the next week, as that is where I’ll be for my honeymoon.  Funny thing is I might actually run into a couple of BOTB readers down there, which should be fun.

So, stay tuned… I’ll be riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight back.

 

It will be good to be back, especially with the Mrs.

 

 


06
Sep 12

The last piece of the puzzle for Belize

The last piece of gear I needed came today… a 10 wt. Sage Response loaner. I’ve put on the Lamson Lightspeed and a clear int. sink and I have in mind mangrove channels and baby tarpon. I close my eyes and see a 25 pound “baby” emerging from the leafy darkness, frantic casting, the fly landing close, the fish seeing it, charging, opening it’s dumptruck mouth and inhaling the fly, quickly turning away, and then the chaos. Holding the line tight to keep the fish from running into the mangroves and ruining all hope, the fish will leap, high and repeatedly, putting holes into the still water with every jump and crash. The fish will be subdued, maybe not the first, but I’m hoping the 4th or 5th shot might stick. I’m predicting some shrieks from the newly minted Mrs., and I’m expecting awe and if it comes together, I’ll have it, because it is that kind of experience, it inspires and commands awe.

That’s what I have in my mind. That’s what I want to not only experience, but share.

Anticipation

 

 


21
Jun 12

Savannah Caye to the highest bidder

While coming up with interesting new potential office locations for the little startup I work at, I came across a listing for Savannah Caye.

OK, I was kind of goofing off for a minute or two and I came across a listing for Savannah Caye… as in, Savannah Caye, Belize.

I know this place. I fished there with my friend Shane when we were down at El Pescador in 2010. It has a 16 mile long tarpon flat full of big fish when the migratory tarpon are in.  It’s expansive and fairly productive. I botched my first tarpon there and landed my biggest Jack.

I can’t believe someone can buy it. It makes me wonder if someone really should be able to.

The price is $3.5M and it makes me sad that someone could easily scoop the thing up and build something stupid there.  They could dredge a channel, put in a fake beach and generally screw it up.

Damn.

Anyone want to go in with me to buy this thing?  I could easily gather up $200-$300. We could set is aside from development.  The world has enough fancy resorts, but it has all too few places like Savannah Caye.

Anyone?

Savannah Caye Jack

 

Here in the States Larry Ellison just bought most of Lani… $500-$600M.  Dear god.


28
Apr 12

My next fishing trip – my honeymoon

So, for those of you keeping track, this last year has been a crazy one for me. I got back from Andros in April of last year to a critically low Domestic Tranquility Index that kept finding new lows, like, Congress Approval Rating kind of lows. That went on for a while until it was clearly not sustainable anymore.

Attorneys, stipulation orders, custody orders, new digs, new furniture, 50/50 split… ya know… just pure joy.

Now that is mostly all water under the bridge (but not like the tides kind of bridge where it flows one way in the morning and the other in the evening, this is permanent kind of flowing under the bridge).  I moved beyond bitter or angry or sad a long time ago and that left me open for something wonderful.

That something wonderful and I are going to get hitched come September.

And… looks like the honeymoon will likely be at El Pescador.  Yeah, I like the direction we are headed in already.

It will be good to be back, especially for the reason why.

 


04
Feb 12

El Pescador holds Tournament to Benefit BTT

A tournament at El Pescador featured tagging of bones, permit and tarpon. Sounds kind of awesome. The tournament was held by El Pescador for the benefit of the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust.