Belize – November 2009

Five guys, 11 days in Belize.  Sounds like a good time to me.  This report recently surfaced on Kiene’s board and the author allowed me to post it up and share it with you good folk.  The trip wasn’t focused on bonefish, but on their saltwater kin, tarpon and permit.  Bones did make an appearance though.

Belize Bone

The location was the Westwind Hotel in Placencia.  The Westwind is pretty affordable with rates running from $65-95 depending on room and season.  Pretty good.

The Westwind gets good reviews from author, Phil.

We stay at the Westwind because Lisa and George treat us very well. It is located right on the beach and the sidewalk, the guide pick us up there at 4:30 or 5 am, and it is close to some of the nicest restaurants.

So… how was the fishing?  They fished with guides Bruce Leslie, Benji Eiley, and Arthur Vernon, all of whom can be booked through the Westwind (Lisa at the Westwind says the guides run $300-350 a day).  Here is what the fishing looked like.

We missed or jumped approximately 60 to 70 tarpon between the five of us and I think we only landed about 15….

We caught lots, and lots, and lots of 3 to 4 pound bonefish. I did see some much bigger in the 7 to 8 pound range (according to Bruce) but these were usually when we were sight fishing for tarpon. We also had the usually range of Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, snappers, barracuda, bonito, and jacks. Al got into some 15 pound jacks one morning and we also had some nice horse-eye jacks. I hooked two large cuda when they inhaled jacks I had on and another time, I cast to rolling tarpon, hooked a very small Spanish mackerel, brought it to the boat, and it was promptly inhaled by an amberjack of about 40 pounds. Bruce says that is the first amberjack he has ever seen in shallow water. I lost it when it took out 200 yards of line in 9.7 seconds and wrapped around an anchor line on one of the other boats.

One day Mike and Mack were with Bruce, and they each had a slam, starting with 50 pound tarpon, then with 15 pound permit and then the boners. Bruce said that was the first time in 17 years of guiding that he had 2 slams by 2 different anglers on the same day. Mack got his on his birthday and he did not realize just how amazing this was until the end of the trip. Two days later Mike Scott had a super slam fishing with Arthur Vernon. They had the small tarpon and snook by 8am, and the permit by 9, but they did not find the bonefish until noon. I thought this left plenty of time for another super slam but they went to Ranguana Caye for a beer instead.

Sounds like a good time… a very good time and pretty affordable, considering.

I don’t know what the DIY opportunities or lack thereof look like, but the math seems to add in favor of piecing together your own trip there.  Seems like you should be able to do 4 nights, thee days of guided fishing for two anglers for  under $1,000 each.  That sounds pretty good.

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