Belize fly fishing report, belize permit fishing, bonefishing belize - Turneffe Flats Belize
Weekly fishing reports from the fishing guides and guests of Turneffe Flats. Check back each week for updates on weather conditions and bonefish, permit, and tarpon fishing success.
Weather: The first two days of the week offered beautiful weather with sunshine and minimal wind. Towards mid week, a cold front developed with strong a strong NE wind and some light rain. Fortunately, the last day brought sunshine, a light and great fishing conditions.
Temperatures: varied from 75 to 85 degrees.
Water temp: 75- 78 degrees
Wind: Light winds early in the week picked up from the NE mid week and then becoming light by week end.
Tides: High tide moved from early morning to early afternoon during the week.
Moon: March 12.
Summary: We had a group of anglers from Dillon, Montana this week. Some hadprevious salt water experience and those who didn't picked up quickly and enjoyed all that Turneffe Atoll has to offer. Two permit were landed and several more were hooked but lost. Several anglers landed some bonefish in the five to seven-pound range, and one tarpon was.
Tom F. and Terri F., of Missoula, MT, joined us for a return trip with son, Scott. Scott was only able to stay for half of the week, but he found time to fish with both of his parents. While one parent fished with Scott, the other enjoyed our Atoll Adventure program or lounged at the pool. Scott had a number of permit shots but unfortunately didn't connect. After Scott left on Wednesday, Tom and Terri fished for the remainder of the week together. They primarily enjoyed wading the flats for bonefish with Dubs and also spent time hunting for permit . They landed plenty of bonefish with some in the 5-6 pound range, and they had a couple of permit eats, but none to the boat.
Jon A. and Brad P., from the Anderson and Platt Fly Shop in Dillon, MT brought a group of friends including Bill and Leann F., Carol and Craig S., Neil N., Ed S., and Josh J., who enjoyed fishing with Willy, Daniel, Dion, Pops, and Mark. The group rotated fishing partners each day and Bob N. landed his first permit on day two. Dave landed his first tarpon while fishing with his son, Murph, and Mike noted on several days that it was the best day of his life. Django had a busy week being the first boat out each morning and then spending an hour or two wading the home flat after returning.
The group included several families and we enjoyed an unusual number of children who did some fishing but primarily enjoyed other activities. While the guys were out fishing, mothers and children enjoyed the Atoll Adventure with eco-tour guide, Abel. Several of the young boys were excited about fishing and were often found on the dock in the afternoon and evening catching snapper and barracuda.
March 4-11, 2017
Weather: Weather conditions were less than ideal this week with brisk winds switching mid week from East to the Northeast with the onset of a cold front mid week. The front brought large swells which affected fishing on the seaward flats. Fortunately, the rain showers were mostly at night and the wind dropped on Thursday and Friday allowing better opportunities to bonefish on the seaward flats. Temperatures varied from a low of 74 to a high of 81 degrees.
Water temp: 77-79 degrees
Wind: We had a fairly strong breeze from the East early in the week, switching to the NE mid-week.
Tides: High tide was in the late afternoon during the first half of the week and then switched to early morning late in the week.
Moon: First quarter moon was on March 5.
Summary: Several guests spent their week primarily focusing on permit fishing ; however, strong winds, cloud cover and high swells on the flats limited fishing areas and made casting difficult. Despite challenging conditions, we managed to land three permit and plenty of bonefish.
Russ M. and his son Russell M., of Nashville, TN, joined us for their first fishing experience in Belize. They came specifically to hunt permit and Russell spent the first night tying crab patterns for permit. They saw multiple permit each day, and mentioned they had more shots at permit this week than anywhere else they had previously fished. On day two, Russell landed his first permit of the week. On Wednesday, he hooked what they thought was a 20+ lb permit. The fight lasted about 30 minutes, but it, unfortunately, broke off before it could be landed. On his final day, Russell landed a nice 14 lb permit to end the week. Although Russ, Sr., did not hook a permit, he did land a few snook and a bunch of bonefish.
Patrick and Linda S., of St. James, New York, joined us for their first visit to Belize. Linda enjoyed snorkeling and eco-touring with Abel, while Patrick fished with Dubs. Patrick was interested in catching permit and also wanted to hunt for large bonefish. On day one, he was very pleased about landing a 7lb bonefish. He enjoyed wading the flats with Dubs, and catching bonefish at in shallow-water conditions.
Jeff P. and Tina P. from the Fly Fishers Place Fly Shop in Bend, OR, brought another great group of anglers including Michael L., Jon E., Michael C., Phillip S., Jeff and Tracy B., and Gary and Karen St L. This group of friends rotated guides and fishing partners throughout the week. On Jeff’s second cast of day one, he hooked and landed the first permit of the week. When he got back to the dock at the end of the day, he joked about how easy permit are and how it only took him five minutes to hook one. The rest of the group had plenty of permit shots and hooked a couple. They landed bonefish and several other species including jacks, barracuda, and trigger fish. After each day of fishing, the group met on Jeff and Tina’s porch to talk about their day and enjoy a cocktail before dinner.
Feb 26- March 4, 2017
Weather: For the beginning of the week, anglers enjoyed bluebird skies and light wind. Some clouds settled in the last half of the week, and the wind picked up making casting a little tougher. Temperatures varied from a low of 73 to a high of 82 degrees.
Water temp: 78-80 degrees
Wind: For the first few days the mild breeze was light from the SE. It picked up and switched to the NE midweek through Friday.
Tides: High tide was from mid morning to early afternoon.
Moon: New moon was on Feb 25.
Summary: Sunny days and great tides made for good fishing conditions early in the week. Towards the middle of the week, the wind picked up although it was still manageable. Several people this week focused on permit, and everyone reported getting daily permit shots. Plenty of bonefish landed, although bonefishing was challenging at times.
Sean V. and Bo B. from the Silver Bow Fly Shop in Spokane, WA, brought a great group of guys including Sam W., Gary S., David L., and Robert G. Most of the group had some previous salt water experience, but this was everyone’s first fishing trip to Belize. They had a great time fishing for both permit and bonefish, but also wanted to target other species. During their visit, they cast to trigger fish, barracuda, snapper, snook and parrot fish. They spent several evenings on the dock casting to different jacks and snapper. On day one, Dave landed his first ever permit while wade-fishing on the seaward flats with Daniel. On day two, Robert landed a nice 15 lb permit. Bonefishing was steady throughout the week and several anglers also landed barracuda and triggers. Bo noted, “This is such a special place, and I love how much fishable water the Atoll has to offer. It seemed like we were in a new area everyday.”
Cathy and Rick P., of Cheyenne, WY, enjoyed a Combination Fishing & Atoll Adventure vacation. This was their first salt water fly fishing experience, and they enjoyed fishing for bonefish and permit. Landing their first bonefish on their second day, they also had several permit shots. The second half of the week, Rick and Cathy enjoyed snorkeling and doing various eco-tours with Atoll Adventure Guide, Abel. Rick also spent some time unguided time casting to bonefish on the home flat.
Bill S., Tom S., Mark T., Greg M., and Bill B. of Ohio and South Carolina chose Turneffe Flats for their annual spring fishing trip. This group has enjoyed annual fishing trips together for the past 12 years, and this was their second trip to Turneffe Flats. During the week, they rotated guides and fishing partners. They mainly came to hunt permit, although they also enjoyed wade fishing for bonefish on our seaward flats. They had multiple permit shots throughout the week, and came back to the dock each day with big smiles and stories of something new and interesting.
Jan 1-7, 2017
Weather: Temperatures varied from a low of 79 to a high of 85 degrees. Very little rain was present and we had good fishing conditions
Water Temp: 80-82 degrees
Wind: SE 5-15mph, diminishing in strength and shifting to N 5-10mph on Thursday afternoon
Tides: High of 0.5 ft at 12:30pm on Jan 1st
Moon: First Quarter Moon Jan 5th
Summary: We had a small contingent of anglers this week and the majority of our anglers combined their fishing with either diving or our Atoll Adventure eco-tour. Overall it was a nice week of weather and fishing and we had some great catches to report.
Mark and Max G., of Dallas, TX was a father-son pairing that stayed with us over the weekend from the last week of December. They had started their stay chasing bonefish with both anglers planning on vying for permit. On the morning of Jan 1st, Mark caught not only his first permit, but congrats the first permit of 2017 at Turneffe Flats. Congrats to both Mark and guide Daniel! With pride at stake in this competitive father/son relationship, Mark added to his tally with a second permit the next morning. Mark reported what made these two fish especially memorable was that he was able to land one while wading and one while fishing from the boat. The pair additionally caught bonefish and triggerfish while wading our outer flats. Max was caught off-guard with the explosion of a nice cubera snapper. The fish seemed to come out of nowhere to annihilate the popper that he was tossing casually. Pics of these pics and more can be seen on our Facebook page. Mark and Max left discussing the dates of the chasing migratory tarpon as well as giving Max the chance to catch up to his dad on the permit count.
Steve, Carol, Carolyn, and Stephanie B., of Denver, CO was another family present this past week. Combining their love of diving and fishing, the family rotated room in the skiffs while fishing with guides, Dion and Kimbral. The family started off the week with Carol gaining her open-water dive certification and joining the entire family in Tuesdays’ trip to the Blue Hole. After spending their first couple days diving, the 4 anglers took to the skiffs chasing bonefish and with Steve developing a case of permit fever. Stephanie and Carolyn reported landing over a dozen bonefish in their first day of saltwater fishing. Over the remaining three days, the family reported good catches and continuous action with our bonefish. Unfortunately, Steve did not land a permit, but reported seeing fish daily and having a good number of shots.
After promising his wife that he wouldn’t go fishing, Lance T. of Cannon City, CO found himself it too hard to walk by the bonefish tailing in front of his cabana. With his wife’s blessing, we paired him with oft-requested guide, Mark for the last two days of the week. This past guest, jumped right into the skiff and got reacquainted with our bonefish, reporting good activity and getting numerous shots at permit. On Friday, he landed a permit prior to lunch as well as a handful of bonefish.
December 17-24, 2016
Weather: The week brought mostly nice weather with pleasant temperatures and predominantly bright conditions. The rain we had was primarily at night with only a few fast--passing squalls during the day. Temperatures varied from a low of 75 to a high of 83 degrees.
Water Temp: 78-80 degrees
Wind: 5-15 mph from the ESE, shifting to 5-15mph from the NE on Monday
Tides: We had a rising tide during the late morning and early afternoon this week.
Moon: Last quarter moon
Summary: Anglers had a successful week fishing for bonefish and permit, a few snook were land and one tarpon was jumped.
Tom, Julie, Austin, and Walker S., from Dallas, TX. This fishing and scuba diving family, spent their first couple of days focusing on bonefishing on the outer flats as well as looking for their first opportunity to land a permit. As all are certified divers, they headed for the famous Blue Hole on Tuesday and also split some of their days between fishing and diving. On Wednesday, they focused primarily on permit; however, Austin and Walker saw numerous snook and made the most of the opportunity hooking and landing a couple of nice snook in the 8-15# range, in addition to having several shots at permit. Thursday afternoon saw Tom get the permit ‘eat’ that he was searching for, but it spit the fly before coming tight. Tom lamented that he had blown the chance that he was trying so hard to get.
On Friday, Julie and Walker choose to dive in order to allow Austin and Tom to fish solo and focus the final day on permit. Austin reported numerous shots Friday, as he had everyday all week, but just couldn’t close the deal. Tom, had a frustrating morning on Friday, and just couldn’t seem to get into a rhythm. He came back to the lodge for lunch and a Beliken, and shortly after lunch made a self-described ‘perfect cast’ to a tailing permit and soon found himself tied to a nice fish. After landing his permit, he and his guide went off in search of snook and one of his first casts he the line came tight to a tarpon. The tarpon jumped and threw the fly when it caught him a little ‘off-guard.” That tarpon proved to be the only thing standing between Tom and a ‘Super slam’ as he landed bonefish and snook that afternoon in addition to his permit. The family ended their stay at Turneffe Flats sharing pina coladas on the deck by the pool as the sun set on a great week of fishing and diving. Austin, who fished nearly every evening until dark on our home flat, had lots of questions about timing the tarpon migration in the spring and summer.
John G., joined us mid-week on Wednesday after flying in from Ireland. A well-travelled angler, John, is on a quest to fish all 50 places named in Chris Santella’s book, “50 Places to Fly Fish Before You Die, with Turneffe now the 32nd location that he has visited. Preferring to focus on fishing for permit, John reported having numerous daily shots at permit although he did not connect his first two days. He mentioned that he ‘never has seen so many bonefish’ as at Turneffe Flats'. Johnwill spend three more fishing days through Christmas week so we hope to have a more in-depth report in next weeks’ edition.
Richard A., of Philadelphia, PA, was joined by his family for a 3-day stay to enjoy our Atoll Adventure program. Richard mentioned that he was an avid fly fisher and that seeing bonefish tailing outside his cabana each morning was driving him a bit crazy. We were able to accommodate Richard’s fishing desire on his last morning. Fishing the Home Flat, Richard landed several bonefish, as well as a couple of small snappers. He remarked that it was a great initial experience and whetted his appetite for a return visit where he would focus a bit more time on fly fishing.
June 11-18, 2016
Weather: The weather was a mix of conditions. Clouds traded places with bright sunlight most days and we did get a little rain, mostly overnight.
Water Temp: 80-83 degrees
Wind: 10 -20 mph from the SE on Sunday and Fri, while Monday through Thursday presented a breeze from the SE, 5-15 mph.
Tides: High tide of 0.5ft at 3:42pm on Monday, June 13th
Moon: First quarter moon on June 12th
Summary: The fishing week was quite good for our small contingent of anglers. Consistent bonefishing was had by all and strong numbers of permit as well and migratory tarpon made their presence felt.
Byron D. of Oak Harbor, WA visited Turneffe Flats last week for his initial flats fishing experience. Our guide, Daniel, showed Byron the ropes and they had a great week. Highlighting the variety that Turneffe has, Byron started off bonefishing and by the end of day 1, had caught numerous bonefish! Over the course of the week Byron graduated from bonefishing, to landing his first permit and proceeded to jump 3 tarpon - all within his first 3 days of flats fishing! He fought one tarpon to the side of the boat before it pulled loose. Heck, this first-time saltwater angler was a leader touch away from a Grand Slam on his 3rd day of saltwater fishing ever! On Friday, two big barracuda were added to his tally. Byron was very impressed with the variety of species here at Turneffe Flats and appreciated Daniel’s patience and willingness to teach. He said that we will see him again.
Tom R. and Leigh V. from San Rafael, CA, were here with us on a fishing and diving combination package and stayed with us for 4 nights and 3 days. After diving at Turneffe’s famous, ‘Elbow’, dive site in the morning, John picked them up for a casting refresher and a tutorial on fishing the flats for bonefish. They reported seeing numerous fish. Leigh, who had done little flyfishing prior to this trip, had a successful day landing her first bonefish after hooking several. Tom hooked and landed a few small snappers and jacks.
We enjoyed seeing past guest Mike B., of Chicago, IL, who had another great week with Turneffe Flats. Fishing with Dion, Mike mainly focused his efforts on bonefish and permit during his stay. He landed many nice fish and reported seeing fish that were in the double digit range, and brought to hand fish up to the 6-7# range. One of his highlights was hooking a permit on the “home” flat while wading. He said the backing went out like a rocket and his reel handle was a blur on the initial run. After thinking he had regained some control and order was restored, the fish then dove into the coral and broke off, leaving a long distance release and Mike shaking his head. He said that he had never seen his backing disappear as quickly.
May 7-14, 2016
Weather: Rain on Sat. evening gave way to beautiful, mostly sunny conditions this week. The wind was consistent, and the tides were nearly ideal.
Water Temp: 80-81
Wind: The typical prevailing winds from the ESE held this week. They blew at 4-8 mph during the first part of the week, and then increased slightly to 8-12 for the final days of the week.
Tides: High tide was mid/late morning to mid-afternoon.
Moon: A crescent moon near the end of the week.
Summary: Near perfect weather conditions and great tides made for excellent fishing opportunities. The guides and guests reported seeing fewer migratory tarpon than expected, perhaps because of the large amount of rain and cool weather at the end of last week. Still, more than enough bonefish were found, cast to, and caught. A few permit were brought to hand as well.
David H. and his wife Elizabeth made their annual trip across the Atlantic, from Britain, for another visit. This time around, Elizabeth focused her time on snorkeling and eco-tours with Abel, and David was paired to fish with Dion. David was focused on catching just about anything. He had a very easy going approach and relied on Dion's best judgment for what to fish for each day. Dion had a feeling it was going to be a “permit week,” and his premonition was accurate. David landed three permit, and hooked two more! What an amazing week of fishing! He also reported catching some really nice bonefish. He was all smiles each evening when showing off his catch of the day. On Wed., he elected to spend the day on the adventure boat with his wife Elizabeth and guide Abel. His day off from fishing paid off, as he landed a permit on each of his last two days fishing with Dion. Something tells me we'll be seeing more of David and Elizabeth.
Making their fourth trip to Turneffe Flats, fishing buddies Kathy H. and Jim S. from Southern California were eager to get out on the water with their favorite guide – Daniel. Jim's goal was to land a permit; Kathy's goal was to continue to add more species to her “catch list.” By the end of the week, she was up to 28 different species, and that's just on this atoll. Included in that list are different jacks, snapper, and of course bonefish. Now she can add permit to the list, as she landed her first and second permit (she also hooked another that they fought for 20 minutes before it wrapped the line around some mangroves). The Jim and Kathy also reported very good bonefish fishing. Jim had his heart set on catching a permit. And on the last day, he finally convinced one to eat his fly. Despite overcoming the hardest part of permit fishing – getting the fish to eat – the fish spit the fly shortly after peeling some line off the reel. So that permit will be there for Jim on his second visit.
Another return group, the husband and wife Nick and Brenda D. of Bozeman, MT, brought their adult children, Nicholas and Elizabeth for a quick visit. The occasion was Brenda's birthday, and the entire lodge helped her celebrate with birthday cheer and chocolate cake. Their trip was a mix of activities including both fishing and snorkeling. Brenda and Elizabeth started the trip in guide John's boat. They each landed some nice bonefish and a barracuda. Nicholas later fished with his mother and he too caught bonefish. The next day was spent snorkeling with Abel, and they finished their quick trip with the women fishing in the morning and the guys fishing in the afternoon. The entire family was sad to being leaving Wed., but made promises to return soon enough.
Last year when Steve J. made his first visit to Turneffe Flats, he vowed he would be back. This year he posted a sales contest for the sales staff at his company. If they met goals that Steve had set, the company treated them to a week of fishing and adventuring at Turneffe Flats. Twelve team members, included Steve, brought the fun to the lodge this week. Late night poker games and plenty of fish stories helped this crew from Montana and Chicago feel right at home. Mike P., Danny C., Ted D., Kier C., Steve B., Chris B., David K., Ed A., Jeff D., Austin D., and Scott G. had reserved five fishing guides: Mark, Mike, Kimbral, Pops, and Willy; plus they switched off spending time snorkeling with Abel. Then, on Thurs. and Fri., seven of the gang took the day to explore SCUBA diving in our Discover SCUBA class. It is designed for guests who are interested in SCUBA, but are not certified. It's a really cool way to be introduced to the sport. Everyone reported having a great time, no matter is they were fishing, snorkeling, diving, or the mid-week inland tour. Everyone who went fishing saw and caught more than their share of bonefish. After the first day, David K. wanted to fish for something more challenging, like permit or tarpon. He got his wish, and had opportunities for both, but they proved be exactly what he expected – more challenging. There were many barracuda caught this week, along with a few cubera and mutton snapper. Chris and Scott had a great day with Mark snapper fishing and brought a few back to lodge for everyone to enjoy. Ed, Steve, Mike and Danny all reported seeing permit and tarpon, as well as bonefish. They didn't catch any tarpon or permit. However, Steve J.'s graciousness towards his team was rewarded on Fri. when he landed his first permit. While it wasn't sized for the record books, it is still a permit and will last in his memory as most “firsts” do. Thanks for bringing a great crew and a lot of fun, positive energy to Turneffe Flats.
George and Stephen W. made their first visit to Turneffe Flats. Traveling from the northeast, they used some Father and Son time to capitalize on some great fishing. Both Stephen and George have a fair amount of flats fishing experience, mostly in the Bahamas. They chose Turneffe Flats for the annual trip do the variety of fish species available. Stephen really wanted to land a permit this week. They started the week warming up on some bonefish. They reported seeing huge schools, and more challenging conditions than they were used to in the Bahamas. The fish here are strong and wise and broke off multiple times. Each day they did find some success. They fished with Dubs, and he took them to his favorite permit flats. Both George and Stephen reported seeing a lot of permit, and “turned” a few. But, permit acted like permit having commitment issues and never falling for the flies that were presented. They finished their week strong by landing more bonefish.
April 30-May 7, 2016
Weather: There was a high overcast for much of the week; clouds would break for short period of bright sun. Wed. evening, a thunderstorm rolled through, dropping a lot of rain. A north wind blew for the next day and brought with it some cool temperatures. By Fri. afternoon, the sun and warmth had returned.
Water Temp: 78-80
Wind: The wind was mostly manageable, with the prevailing winds from the E and SE to start the week. Mid-week the wind died; it was the calm before the storm. Thurs. the wind was from the north before settling back to the east by Fri. afternoon.
Tides: High tide was early in the morning and again early evening to begin the week. By the end of the week the high tides were mid-morning.
Moon: The new moon was on the May 6.
Summary: More migratory tarpon have shown up and anglers/guides have started putting more time in fishing for them. Despite seeing them, few tarpon where jumped this week. Plenty of bonefish, however, were landed.
Patti and Bill K. returned for another visit from their home in Florida. They were paired with their favorite guide, Pops. Many laughs were shared and even more fish were caught. This week, the couple started off strong with numerous bonefish. If the number was published in this report, it would not be believed. Patti certainly had the hot hand and landed some nice big bonefish. Bill got into the action and caught a few himself. Having caught enough bonefish, they switched to hunting permit and tarpon. They reported one group of rolling tarpon, but no hook ups. Permit eluded them. To finish strong, they bent the rods with a few more bonefish.
Traveling from the Northeast U.S., long time fishing partners, Allen C. and David K. were joined by their good friend Steve M. Allen and David have been doing a fishing trip together for longer than 20 years. This was a return visit to Turneffe Flats and they were paired with Dubs as their guide. For Steve, this was his first trip and he was paired Dion. All three anglers had good fishing days and some tougher days. Overall, they had productive fishing. Allen and David had a great time catching bonefish from the bow of Dubs' boat and they report a few days of great bonefishing. They also had a great day of catching "whatever was biting." Dubs put them on bonefish, ’cudas, jacks, and a few cubera snapper. Steve experienced solid bonefishing with Dion and then looked for permit. They were able to find some schools, but the permit were not willing to take Steve's offerings. All three friends said they would be back for more of the action at Turneffe Flats.
Another group of fishing friends, Bruce J., Bill L., and Jeff C. from Washington and California, made their first visit to Turneffe Flats. Bruce was the most experience angler of the trio, and perhaps the "luckiest," too. More on that below. The three rotated between guides, Daniel and Mike. The wind was very calm mid-week, and Daniel took that opportunity to take Bill and Jeff south to the Elbow. At the Elbow, large schools of jacks and permit prowl for their prey. Bill and Jeff were able to hook into three ... whatever they were, they were big. All three broke off, and Daniel is certain at least one was a 30+ pound permit, dang! Bill and Jeff didn't go home empty handed. They landed many bonefish, with a few pushing over 5 pounds. One afternoon, the highlight was doubling up on bonefish while wading the flats. Bruce started the week strong with some nice bonefish to hand and a dandy, 18+ pound permit. Daniel was his guide that day and reported seeing really good numbers of permit. The next day, Bruce fished with Mike and they decided to look for some big tarpon ... and found them. Bruce jumped a triple digit tarpon and fought a hard fight with his 10-weight. He was able to wrestle the fish all the way to boat, and with the leader inside the guides, he had an "official" landing. However, the monster fish was not ready yet, burst back into action and in the process snapped the rod like a tooth pick. It made for a great story though!
The annual fishing trip for Tim T., Mark W., Cale B., Jason H., Bill G., Doug B., Erik H., and Mike D., from San Diego (except for Cale who is from St. Louis) made their inaugural visit to Turneffe Flats. They were matched up with guides Mark, Willy, Kimbral, and John. Each day, they fished with a different guide and fishing partner. Each angler reported productive days of fishing for bonefish, some days more productive than others. They also spent time chasing permit and tarpon. And while they had shots at both species, neither were willing to eat their flies. This group of friends was really fun to have here at the lodge and they brought plenty of "fun" with them. We'll look forward to seeing them again in the future.
April 23-30, 2016
Weather: The weather from Sun. to Wed. was ideal. On Wed., the wind picked up and high overcast skies settled in. There was no rain reported, but tough conditions for seeing fish with the high overcast.
Water Temp: 78-80
Wind: The wind was settled and calm from the E/ESE at the beginning of the week. Starting Wed., the wind increased to around 15 mph from the E/ESE.
Tides: The high tide was from late morning to mid-afternoon
Moon: First quarter moon was on April 29.
Summary: Fishing started off strong and all guests reported plenty of shots at bonefish and a few shots at permit. A few migratory tarpon have shown up and anglers/guides are starting to shift focus to them. By the end of the week, the weather conditions proved challenging as high overcast skies moved in, along with increased winds. Despite that, plenty of bonefish where landed in the latter half of the week.
Jeff M. and Ira I. made their fifth trip to Turneffe Flats. They brought their tradition of fresh baked goodies from the best bakeries in their favorite boroughs of New York City. Each evening, Jeff would interrupt the lodge as dessert where being finished. They were pleasant interruptions, since he came offering sweets. Rugelach, babkas, honey cake, pignoli cookies and much more were shared and enjoyed. Everyone was very thankful for Jeff and Ira's generosity. Their good deeds paid off on the flats. They spent their days fishing with Michael. He put them on loads of bonefish and helped each of them polish up their casting. Ira said he was casting farther and more accurately than ever before. While bonefish was their main focus, they did do a bit of ’cuda fishing. They found great fun and success chasing the barries. Everyone here is looking forward to their next visit ... and the treats they bring.
Dentists Trey W., John C., along with Bart and Dan K. made their first trip to Turneffe Flats from across the U.S., Florida and Virginia. Dan and Bart fished with Kimbral, John and Trey fished with Pops as their guide. Dan had a couple of days of great fishing, landing bonefish in the double digits on those days. Trey and John had mixed fishing, beginning well and then being hampered by the weather conditions. They each ended the week by landing a bonefish early, and then relaxing at the lodge in the afternoon. Bart was permit-focused this week. He had made the trip to Turneffe Flats with the goal of catching his first permit on a fly. Bart is an experienced angler, mostly for tarpon, but he is relatively new to the flyrod world. Polling on day one with John, Bart never lost hope even though they hadn't seen anything ... not a single fish. John told him, “Remember ... it only takes one!” Indeed. At 2:30 on Sun., John spotted a 15-18 pound permit. It was feeding, but as they got close, it stopped. John suggested holding the cast until they saw it eat again. After 45 minutes of watching and following the fish, it turned and ate. John said, “Now's your chance ... take a shot.” Bart did. His first cast of the day. His first-ever cast with a flyrod. The fly landed and Bart stripped ... Slam! Fish on! Bart landed very nice upper teens fish. Not bad for a single cast for the day. Mid-week, John and Trey wanted to try for tarpon and their guide Pops has plenty of "secret" spots. They anchored in one, and while Trey and Pops ate some lunch, John was persistently casting away. His persistence paid off when an estimated 120-pound tarpon came blasting out of the water a few feet from the skiff. It jumped one more time, more than 100 yards away before throwing the hook. The entire boat was energized after that one! We expect this is the first of many more great tarpon stories to come.
This week we hosted a group from the TV show Buccaneers and Bones. This show highlights the work of “Bonefish and Tarpon Trust” and we were excited to host both board members and supporters of this conservation organization. We also had fun with the "talent" for the show, Tom Brokaw, Huey Lewis, Michael Keaton, Yvon Chouinard, Bill Klyn, Chris Dorsey, and Matt Connolly. They were paired with guides Dion, Dubs, Mark, and Daniel for a few days. All anglers reported seeing lots of bonefish in the beginning of the week, yet they were difficult to catch. A few bonefish were caught each day, with many more that where broken off or lost in the corral. Not to spoil the show, you'll have to watch it in Jan., 2017 to see the full week's highlights. There were a few permit hooked, a few tarpon jumped, and some nice bonefish landed.
April 9-16, 2016
Weather: This week was consistently nice. The wind was a little bit of a factor, but did not limit the ability to fish the majority of the atoll.
Water Temp: 78-80
Wind: The wind started mellow, and grew to moderate speeds. It blew from E-ESE at 2-10 and 8-12 from the same direction to end the week.
Tides: High tide was late morning to mid-day.
Moon: April 14 was the last quarter
Summary: Overall, the fishing for bonefish this was very good. All guests reported catching plenty of nice-sized bonefish. The permit were pesky as is their wont. A few chased some well-presented flies, but none ate. There were a few giant tarpon spotted, but no one had the correct gear in the boat when they were seen.
Mike S. and his daughter Kim S. from the Seattle area, returned after a three year break. This time around, Mike split his week first fishing and then diving with his daughter Kim the second half of the week. Mike teamed up with Pops and they had a great three days of fishing for bonefish. Mike reported many opportunities and he landed plenty. He spent some time looking for permit, and though they found some, the permit were permit and they refused to eat. A few of the evenings Mike could be seen out on the home flat. He reported having numerous shots at bonefish on the home flat. It was really nice to see the closeness shared between father and daughter. We will look forward to seeing this duo again in the future.
Wayne and Darlene R. from Reno, Nevada made their first trip to Turneffe Atoll for some fishing, relaxing, and a little snorkeling. Dion was their guide and enjoyed fishing and a little snorkeling with him. Wayne fished with Dion everyday and caught loads of bonefish. Darlene fished most of the week, but took a few days to chill at lodge and enjoy some down time. The days that she did go fishing, she reported catching a bunch of bonefish. She claimed to have out fished Wayne, early in the week; Wayne was unwilling to confirm or deny. Darlene also took her snorkeling gear each day and spent a few hours in the water while Wayne kept catching fish. Wayne also got into the snorkeling action later in the week. The days that Darlene played hooky from fishing, Wayne and Dion chased permit. They reported seeing large schools and getting many shots at them. They tried different flies and different retrieve styles, but were not able to entice any permit into eating. Wayne's parting comment was that Turneffe Atoll is one of the coolest fisheries he has ever fished.
Leland "Lee" S. and Brian L., also from Reno, are close friends of Wayne and Darlene. Lee is pretty new to fishing, especially fly fishing. Brian is an experienced angler with a ton of passion for the sport. Lee started the week with some fishing, and then jumped on the dive a boat few days. He joined the dive crew for the weekly trip to the Blue Hole and Lighthouse Reef. He was able to get a taste of the best diving and fishing at Turneffe. On his first day on the flats, he caught bonefish into high double digits. Brian, is more angler than a diver, and he spent his entire week rod in-hand. He broke up his time catching bonefish and later hunting for permit. Mark was their guide and he loves all fishing, but especially hunting for permit. The days that Brian fished solo, they focused on permit. Brian reported seeing lots of fish and getting many great shots, but was unable to get one to eat. That was the theme for the week: permit being permit. It didn't hurt Brian's attitude as he never stopped smiling. He was excited to fish on Turneffe Atoll and was very impressed with the robustness of the bonefish.
Mike F. and Carla S. along with friends and fellow Coloradans Pete and Teresa T. were here for the second time. They had such a great fishing with Michael last year that they returned for another week. Pete and Teresa also enjoyed the experience and returned again to enjoy the fishing, diving, and relaxing. Mike and Carla started strong with a few great days of catching bonefish, ’cudas, and snapper. Mike caught a big, cubera snapper early in the week. Pete and Teresa fished with John. They reported seeing many schools of bonefish and landing a few. Pete is also an avid diver, so he was on our combination fishing/diving package. He dove on Monday and Tuesday, and was able to dive the Blue Hole and Lighthouse Reef. Once he scratched it off his list, he refocused on fishing. Pete and Teresa reported good fishing to end their week. Teresa and Carla took a day off to hang out at the lodge and get massages. Obviously they had a great day. Mike really wanted to catch a permit this week. Guide Michael, really wanted him to catch a permit, but just as everyone else reported, the permit were picky. They were able to "turn" a few fish, but none of them ate the fly. We'll look forward to seeing this group of friends again next year.
Justin W. of Hemispheres Unlimited, an international agency, brought a group of family and friends to Turneffe Flats for the first time. He was joined by Deb (his mother) and Mike L., Andrea and Sal B., Matt B, and Justin's wife Khadizhat and baby daughter Aya. Deb and Khadizhat spent most their week at the lodge with the baby. They were able to get out for a short snorkel adventure with guide Abel. Andrea "floated" around, spending time on the Adventure Boat, snorkeling and looking for manatees and simply relaxing here at the lodge. She did spend an afternoon fishing with Teresa T. and even hooked her first bonefish. Justin split his week fishing with Mike L., Matt B., and Sal B. They were paired with Willy and Dubs as their guides. All anglers caught bonefish and reported a few shots at permit, to start their week. Justin reported hooking into two huge rainbow parrot fish. In case this is new news, rainbow parrot fish are extremely difficult to catch. So the fact that Justin was able to hook two, in a day's worth of fishing is fantastic. Matt B. experienced some really great fishing too. Sal took a day, mid-week, to go snorkeling with his wife Andrea. He returned to fishing on Thursday. Sal joined Mike and Willy for some bottom fishing and trolling. They found success fishing for snapper, grouper, and barracuda.
Jack H. from the Seattle area, had such a great experience last year, that he talked his buddy Bruce R. into joining him this year. They were paired to fish with Daniel as their guide. Daniel put them on lots of bonefish to start the week and they connected with numerous fish. As they week grew long, they switched to looking for permit. As with the other anglers this week, the permit remained finicky for Jack and Bruce, too. The end the week they refocused on bonefish and both remark on how much they enjoyed the challenge for landing the big bonefish in and around the coral of the back reefs. They said the reward of landing a few made up for the others that were lost to the coral. They are already planning a return trip for next year.
April 2-9, 2016
Weather: Two weeks in a row of great fishing weather. Mid week, there was one day of rain, but overall the weather was ideal.
Water Temp: 79-80 degrees
Wind: What little wind we had was from the East/South-East at 5-12 mph.
Tides: The high tides were early morning to late morning.
Moon: The new moon was on April 7th
Summary: The fishing this week was awesome. There were seven anglers who caught their first permit this week. The bonefishing was consistent and there was a few tarpon jumped... some early migratory fish.
Grant H. and his father Mike H., owners and operators of St. Pete's fly shop in Fort Collins Colorado, brought a group of anglers down the Turneffe Flats for their annual trip. This year, they were joined by Mike and Linda G., Barry F., John N., Troy A., and Mandy and David T., who brought their 3 daughters Kiley, Kenna, and Katelyn. Linda G. and the girls, Kiley, Kenna, and Katelyn spent their week enjoying Eco-tours with our Atoll Adventure guide Abel. Mandy and David where the only ones in this group who fished together the entire week. The rest of the group switched up fishing partners and guides each day. Mandy and David fished with Mark. And the other anglers switched between Daniel, Dion, and Dubs. On day one, both Grant and Mike H. landed a permit. For Mike H., this was his first. He started strong start as this fish weighed into to double digits. Not to be out done, Troy A. got into the action on day one too. Consistent with the theme of the week, this was Troy's first permit. By mid week, John N. made his mark, by landing his first permit. Mandy and David arrived a day later than the rest of the group, due to travel issues, but they jumped right in, with highly productive fishing. On their first day, they landed lots of the bonefish, and Mandy landed two permit... this was her first day on the flats! Not a bad way to start. Barry wasn't able to connect with a permit, but he reported great bonefishing. The entire group reported slow fishing on Tuesday, as the conditions where cloudy and rainy. The rest of the week the fishing picked back up. Mike G. took the prize when he landed his first permit. He had made multiple trips to Turneffe Flats with hopes of catching this great fish. We're very happy for him that he was able to accomplish this goal. His guide, Daniel, was also very happy and enjoyed a celebratory drink with Mike. Big thanks to Grant H. for organizing yet another great group of anglers through St. Pete's Fly Shop.
Roger S. and his daughter Stephanie S. took a break from their homes in New Hampshire to make their first visit to Turneffe Flats. They were teamed up with Mike as their guide. Both Roger and Stephanie had fished the flats before, but neither had landed the elusive permit. They chose to book their fishing vacation with us because they were interested in accomplishing the feat of catching their first permit. They started the week wisely by brushing up on flats fishing by having a great day of catching bonefish. Once they felt dialed in, their guide Mike, focused on putting them on permit. They had many opportunities and turned lots of fish each day. It wasn't until Thursday that Stephanie struck first, landing her first permit... a robust permit in the double digits. Mike was determined to get Roger into his first, and on Friday that opportunity arose. Earlier in the day, Roger had had many shots, but was unable to place the fly where it needed to be... he had a bad case of Permit Fever - when a normally strong and accurate caster, gets nervous when a permit shows up. Mike had the cure. When a big permit was slowly cursing to the boat, Mike told Roger it was a bonefish. Roger, unshaken by bonefish, confidently placed the fly right where it needed to be... strip, strip and fish on! Roger was elated to land his first permit ever! Both Roger and Stephanie remarked that Mike was the best guide they have ever fished with. Thanks for the kudos Roger and Stephanie.
Perry M. and his uncle Oliver D. left New York to make their first trip flats fishing, here at Turneffe Flats. Both are avid anglers and looked forward to a productive week of learning the finer points of fly fishing on the flats. They were paired up with John as their guide. The two reported seeing lots and lots of bonefish at the being of the week, but reported some difficulty in landing them. By mid week, they experienced more productive bonefishing, so they then went looking for permit. Permit, however, where difficult for them to find. Despite the scarcity, they were able to get a few good shots and turned a few fish. Their first permit caught will have to wait until their next trip to Turneffe Flats.
March 26-April 2, 2016
Weather: It is hard to beat a week like this! Great fishing weather prevailed all week
Water Temp: 79-80 degrees
Wind: What little wind we had was from the East/South-East at 5-12 mph.
Tides: The high tides were from mid-day to early afternoon.
Moon: The moon was waning all week.
Summary: We could not have asked for better weather for fishing. The fish responded as expected and fed aggressively. This was the most productive bonefish and permit fishing of the year.
Charlie H. returned to Turneffe Flats for his seventh trip to the atoll. This time, he requested Pops, his original guide his first trip. The two work well together, as they are both "go with the flow" anglers. When the bonefish are biting, that's what they fished for. When the permit were hungry, that was their target. This week, Pops often put Charlie on a permit. Charlie reported many, many shot at large schools of permit. At the beginning of the week, he hooked two, but lost both. The next day, he landed a nice double digit permit. After his success early in the week, he switched focus to bonefish and landed many.
David C. made the journey to Turneffe Flats from California, joined by his wife, Ellen. Ellen is a diver and David split his time fishing and diving, choosing to do both in the same day, and also just fish or dive. Since the dive boat was heading to Lighthouse Reef and the famous Blue Hole, David joined his wife Ellen in the World Class diving there. When he wasn't diving, he was fishing with John. John put David on many bonefish, and David did his part to catch ’em. He had a great week bringing numerous large bonefish to hand. The team looked for permit, and despite getting good shots, David was unable to entice one into eating. He did, however, swim up close and get personal with permit during his dives.
Making his first trip to Turneffe Flats from Virginia, Dick P. arrived the week prior and joined our Atoll Adventure boat for a half week of snorkeling and eco-tours. This week was was paired up to fish with TF guide Dion. Dick was here for permit, and he had a highly successful week. Dion did give him a little fuel for some good natured teasing on day one when the first permit Dick landed slipped out of Dion's hand before they could get the photo. Luckily, Dion was able to make up for it by getting Dick into three more.
Doug G., the Travel Coordinator from Anglers All fly shop in Denver, brought a group of anglers and Atoll Adventures this week. Matt L., Jeff T., Jeff H., Chris W., Dick S., Jonathan W., Lon S., and Wayne G., was joined by couples Tasha and Phil B., Lori and Bob S., and Ruth and Jeff W. The crew of anglers was paired with guides Mark, Mike, Dubs, Daniel, Kimbral, and Eddie. All reported really good bonefishing on the first day. Since Lon and Wayne were able to land their first bonefish on day one, they decided to "try" for permit on day two and guide Daniel was determined to get them into fish. When they returned at the end of the day, they had the photos to prove their success. They each landed their first permit! Jeff T. and Chris W. spent their week fishing with Kimbral. They enjoyed the light sense of humor that Kimbral has and it showed in their fishing. Each reported catching a bunch of bonefish on this first saltwater fishing experience. Jonathan W. is a certified casting instructor, and this was his second trip to Turneffe Flats. His goal this time around was his first permit. His fishing buddy, Dick S., shared the boat and they fished with Dubs. Early on, they decided to dedicate the majority of their fishing time to looking for permit. Dick was the first to strike, landing a really nice permit in the double digit range. This was his first as well. The next day, Jonathan rose to the occasion and nailed his first permit too. His was well worth the wait, as it pushed the upper teens. Guide Michael spent his week fishing with Phil and Jeff. They quickly dialed into the bonefish groove and landed many nice bonefish. Wives Tasha and Ruth split time between the pool and snorkeling with Abel on our Atoll Adventure boat. Doug and Jeff H. had a great day to start the week, highlighted by each landing a black tip reef shark ... scary cool. Jeff H. and Matt L. finished the week together and fished with Eddie. They had successful end of the week, landing some big bonefish. Jeff H. upped his personal best to 8 pounds. Matt had a day where he landed close to 20 bonefish. Bob S. had a great start to the week and landed plenty of bonefish before taking the last few days off to relax. His wife Lori enjoyed her time with Abel and the other snorkelers. Doug G. capped his week with the perfect end, by landing his personal best permit … a dandy specimen in the upper teens. We'll look forward to the next Anglers All group later this year.
March 19-26, 2016
Weather: The week started with idyllic fishing conditions on Sunday. The light wind and sun gave way to overcast and windy conditions Monday and Tuesday, before settling back into very pleasant fishing conditions to end the week.
Water Temp: 79-80 degrees
Wind: E at 2-5 mph on Sunday, then 15-20 mph out of the north Monday and Tuesday, and soften to 5-10 for the remainder of the week.
Tides: The high tides were from mid-morning to mid-day.
Moon: Full moon was on the 23rd of March.
Summary: Many of this week’s anglers were committed to looking for permit, and they each reported having multiple opportunities to catch a permit – a few were landed. The bonefish this was very, very productive. All anglers reported seeing and catching plenty of bonefish. Many anglers commented on the size and robustness of the bonefish on Turneffe Atoll, as being bigger than the bonefish in other parts of Belize.
Kurt B. and his wife Sara took some time away from Roseburg OR to make their 5th trip to Belize and first visit to Turneffe Flats. While Sara was enjoying the amenities at the lodge and/or snorkeling with Abel on the Adventure Boat, Kurt was hunting the flats with his guide Mark. Kurt was determined to catch his first permit. He many chances and turned a bunch of fish, but he was unable to get them to eat. The closest he came was a fish that tipped on the fly, but must have missed it. Mark said he was shocked it didn’t get the hook. Kurt didn’t leave empty handed, he landed a few nice bonefish, and made mention of how impressed he was by the size of the bonefish on Turneffe Atoll, compared with other parts of Belize that he has fished!
Charlene K. took a break from the rainy winters of Washington State and was on an extended trip throughout Belize. She chose to do the fishing part of her vacation with Turneffe Flats. “Char” was paired with Kimbral and he took extra special care of her. She had recently turned 70 and she had wanted to catch bonefish. By day 3, Kimbral was able help her accomplish her goal. Nicely done Char. Congratulations!
Brent P. and Dexter P. traveled to Turneffe Flats with mother/wife Didi and girlfriend Megan, from the state of Oregon. Brent and Didi had made a trip to Belize many years earlier and had been interested in returning. They picked Turneffe Flats because unlike most of the other resorts in Belize, Turneffe Flats doesn’t have many neighbors. While Didi and Megan snorkeled with Abel, Brent and Dexter tested their hand at fishing. They were paired with John, who quickly put them on bonefish. On day one, the duo hooked a bunch of bones, but were unable to land any fish. Day two, Megan and Brent swapped spots, and Dexter and Megan had an enjoyable day with John. By day three, both Brent and Dexter were back together, and everything came together, as they were able to land a few bonefish.
Robert G. and his wife Stacy, also from Oregon, stayed over from the previous week. Last week, Robert was on the adventure boat. He fished a half week with Kimbral, before he and Stacy ventured on to Chai Creek, and the jungle. Robert enjoys fishing, but had never spent anytime fishing the flats. He was eager to learn, which he did quickly. Kimbral did an excellent job of fine him plenty of bonefish, and he was able to connect with the speed ghost of the flats.
Kendrick and Lacy M. and their children Maggie, Sarah, and Goodwyn were joined by their family friends George and Molly M. and their children Mary Reagan and George Jr. The two families made their first trip to Turneffe Flats from Charlotte North Carolina. Many activities were planned for the families, including snorkeling, manatee, and dolphin tours, and of course some fishing. Kendrick started with his youngest daughter Sarah, fishing with guide John who was able to help Sarah catch her first bonefish! George and Mary Reagan fished with Kimbral and he too helped Mary Reagan catch her first bonefish too. On day two, George and George Jr. spent the day fishing for bonefish. They were able to hook into a bunch, and George Jr. landed his first bonefish on a fly. Meanwhile, Kendrick split the day with Maggie and Goodwyn. Both returned to island with stories of catching bonefish. By then end of their stay, all of the anglers in these two families had landed some bonefish… even Kendrick and George. Plans are already in the works for a return visit.
Staying over from the week prior, birthday boy Martin Z. was joined by his friends, Urs F., Urs M., Christoph S., Roger J., Andre M., Dario L., and the father/son team of Ross and Mark H., all of whom helped him celebrate his 50th year of life. Roger J. started the celebration week by catching his first permit… the first one of the week, and big one! All Sunday evening, Roger could be seen doing the “permit” dance around the grounds and lodge, as he reveled in the moment. The others in the group reported seeing permit, but not getting them to eat. Ross and Mark caught plenty of bonefish. As the week went on, the birthday boy himself got into the action. Martin Z. landed his first permit with his guide Dubs directing him. Martin was ecstatic to knock this one of his species list. The rest of the party reported productive bonefishing, and they mentioned seeing plenty of permit… the picky ones. On the final day of fishing, Roger’s permit dance was seen again. Roger’s guide Daniel was very excited that Roger was able to connect again with another magical fish. Roger was clearly happy too, as he was seen dancing his way back to Switzerland.
Mar 5-12, 2016
Weather: The weather pattern has stayed consistent for the past few weeks – clear skies and calm winds to start the week, followed by a strong wind event to end the week. This week, the winds were stronger than previous weeks, but it was mostly out of the south/southeast, so the guides were still able to find protected areas to fish.
Water Temp: 80-81 degrees
Wind: A mild ESE breeze held from Sunday through Wednesday, mostly at 5-7 mph. Wednesday was, again, the transition day … this time the wind blew from the SSE for the remainder of the week from 10-15 mph, with gust up to 25 mph. Friday was by far the day of strongest winds.
Tides: The high tides were from early morning to mid-day.
Moon: The night skies were bright with stars since the moon was just beginning to wax.
Summary: Holding true to the weather pattern, again this week the most productive fishing was during the first half of the week. All guests reported seeing and catch good numbers of bonefish. A few permit were found, but only a few caught. Ah … permit!
Griffin and Paul B., a son and father duo from Texas, returned to Turneffe Flats with their entire family. Brothers Charlie and Riley, with Riley’s girlfriend Kali, and matriarch Jeannine, spent the majority of their time on the dive boat. It is always great to see families that travel together. Griffin and Paul’s fishing week started strong, with each catching some nice bonefish. Their guide Daniel reported some “big” bonefish. The highlight of the week was certainly Griffin catching a permit. After a few days of hunting, and getting some good shots, he was able to connect with his first permit. Nicely done! Paul’s highlight was a bonefish in the 7-pound range. We will look forward to see the entire family again next year.
Sam and Luke M. escaped the cold winters in South Dakota to enjoy their first saltwater fly-fishing trip. They were paired with TF guide Dubs and they were eager to learn as much as they could about flats fishing. Dubs showed them the best of Turneffe Atoll and flats fishing in Belize. Each evening Luke and Sam shared what they had learned in their “classroom.” From their reports, the learning curve was very steep. Day one started off rocky, with a few bonefish hooked, but all broke off. By day two, they had dialed in the “strip strike” pressure and each landed a bunch of bones, including few larger ones near the end of the day. They spent time both on the bow of the boat and wade fishing, which they each said the really enjoyed. On Thursday, the earlier-in-the-week lessons paid off big time – both Sam and Luke landed their first permit! What a great way to spend some quality time with your son or father. We will look forward to see you guys again… now that you’re “hooked.”
Return guests Charlie S., Mike U., and Jack G., ventured out of New York City to make their second visit to Turneffe Flats in six months. Their last trip here was in October and their fishing was so good they couldn’t stay away… they are already looking to returning this fall. These three amigos are the “life of the party,” and helped keep the evening’s festivities going. They were paired with guides Mike and Mark, taking turns fishing solo and rotated between their guides. All three reported great fishing at the start of the week, with catch rates in the double digits on bonefish for the first day. They also targeted snapper, snook and some resident tarpon. Jack was determined to catch a permit, and in fact did hook a big one mid-week. He fought it for some time before the fish wrapped the line in the mangroves and broke off. Charlie and Jack each landed bonefish over 6 pounds, and Charlie caught a nice snapper that he shared with the rest of the guests (NOTE: We don’t often harvest fish, but this one took the hook deep and was unlikely to survive.) Everyone who enjoyed the fish fingers thanked him. By the last few days of the week, all three reported slow fishing, mostly due to the strong winds from the southeast. When they return this fall, we’ll be sure to order up some calmer days.
February 27-Mar 5, 2016
Weather: Similar to the past few weeks, we began with calm winds, sunny skies, and happy fish. Wednesday evening ushered in a small wind/rain storm. Most of the wind and rain happened during the evening hours, so the fish was relatively uninterrupted.
Water Temp: 80-81 degrees
Wind: A calm E/SE breeze held from Sunday through Wednesday, mostly at 5-7 mph. Wednesday was the transition day … luckily, the transition did not occur until late evening when we experienced gusts to 20 mph from the North. The wind dwindled a bit to 10-15 from the N/NE for the balance of the week.
Tides: The high tides were from mid-day to late afternoon.
Moon: The last quarter was on March 1st.The fishing this week started off with guests reporting excellent fishing for the first four days.
Summary: The week started off with great fishing conditions. All anglers reported seeing lots of bonefish. Those who where looking for permit and tarpon did see some fish, but not as many as the week prior.
Jim F. met Bob C. and two fished with Pops this week. Jim returned to Turneffe Flats from Virginia, and since his wife isn’t an angler, Jim was paired with Bob C. from North Carolina. This was Bob’s first visit to the atoll. Bob was here to spend time with his son Josh. Josh being a diver, spent his week enjoying to great diving here on the atoll. Bob and Jim quickly became fishing buddies. They spent much of their week wading the flats in search of bonefish. Pops was able to help them find and land fish every day… some days where more productive than others. Midweek, Jim had a magic day, when a 20 pound permit ate his fly. After a long tug of war, Jim was the victor. Friday was Bob’s day. He got into over 10 bonefish. Both angler left on Saturday with fond memories, and promised to return.
George T. and Bruce W. joined us from Tennessee and Virginia. This was George’s second visit, his first was just a few months ago in August. Prior to both visits, George was in San Ignacio Belize doing teaching/clinical work at the hospital there. His visit with us was his bonus to himself. His long-time friend, Bruce, joined us for the first time. They were paired to fish with Mark. They enjoyed great wading on the flats for the first days, catching many bonefish and getting a few shots at permit. On Wednesday they made their way to the southern point of the atoll. There was some good bonefishing to be had, and they also went “outside” of the atoll. They found a nice school tuna (not common). George hooked one and the game was on! A short time into the fight, a HUGE explosion happened on the end of the line, and then the line came toward the boat. Both George and Mark saw a large Tiger shark chewing on George’s tuna. On Friday, George, Bruce, and Mark decided to test out some trolling outside of the reef. Of course they hoped to find those tuna again. While they didn’t find any tuna, they find some barracudas, and a king Mackeral. George was very excited to be able to feed the lodge that evening with his catch.
This was Michael G.’s first visit to Turneffe Flats. He started his journey in New Jersey and was very happy to land in warm sunny Belize. Michael was paired with Dubs as his guide. Since Michael doesn’t have a lot of saltwater experience, he was very appreciative of the instruction he received from Dubs. They started their week focused on fishing for bonefish. After a few productive days of bonefishing, Michael wanted to test his hand at catching a permit. This trip was not to be his permit trip. While they found a few, they did not seem to be interested in feeding. In order to end the week strong, the team Michael/Dubs switched back to catching bonefish. Michael returned to New Jersey with new knowledge of the sport he enjoys.
February 20-27, 2016
Weather: The week began with calm winds, sunny skies, and happy fish. Wednesday evening started off calm, with the waxing moon to the East, but a few thunderstorms to the West ushered in a windy, rainy end to the week.
Water Temp: 79-80 degrees
Wind: A calm E breeze held from Sunday through Wednesday, at 5-7 mph. Wednesday was the transition day … luckily, the transition did not occur until late evening when we experienced gusts to 20 mph from the North. The wind dwindled a bit to 10-15 from the East for the balance of the week.
Tides: The high tides were from mid-morning to mid-day all week.
Moon: Full moon was on February 22 – and it was beautiful.
Summary: The fishing this week started off RED HOT with guests reporting excellent fishing for the first four days. The highlight was permit fishing, with four landed on Sunday.
Ashville, NC was well represented this week as long term return guests Joel and Marla A. and b and bwhere joined by their friends and first-time guests Brown C. and Judy E. Joel and Marla each landed a few large bonefish before Joel brought two permit to the boat – the second estimated at 18-20 pounds. Tunc and Nancy also landed big bonefish, but the highlight for Tunc was catching his 1st permit. Brown and Judy had great fishing too. They started the week hunting bonefish and experience two highly productive days. On Wednesday, their guide Daniel suggested they look for permit, and Judy was very happy they did – she landed her first – a 20-pounder, no less! The Ashville crew enjoyed the rest of the week fishing mostly for bonefish. Joel A. did manage to catch a parrot fish too!
Florida residents Steve and Caryn S. came to Turneffe Flats for the first time. They were paired with TF guide John, who they loved. They mostly enjoyed wading the flats for bonefish and after a few days of getting back into the groove of casting and fishing, they had a few productive sessions with bonefish. Mid-week, they took a break from fishing and joined Abel on the Atoll Adventure boat. They awed by the great snorkeling here on the atoll.
Mike and Juli R. returned from Louisville for a second year in a row. They had such a great time last year that they decided to stay for an extra 3 days, and use the time to enjoy our Atoll Adventure program. Again this year they fished with TF guide Mark. Though Mike and Juli would likely have a great day no matter what … they also started off the week Red Hot! They had an exciting first morning of fishing for bonefish, but no doubt, the highlight of the day was when Mike caught his first permit. Congratulations! Celebration was even more appropriate since he caught the permit using his brand new Hatch 9 plus Turneffe Atoll Trust (TAT). $250 from the sale of each reel goes to TAT … clearly, you’ll get a bunch of positive fishing karma!
Paul L. was joined by his wife Felecia and daughter Kaitlin. He was paired with Dubs and they joined Abel on the Atoll Adventure boat. Paul hasn’t been saltwater fishing very long and was very interested in learning the finer points of the flats game. Dubs was just the guide he needed. They spent the week chasing bonefish and permit. The week started by catching a bunch of really healthy bonefish. Paul commented on one of the biggest pluses to fishing at Turneffe Flats is the ability to have a conversation with his guide. Previously, he had fished in Mexico, where his guides only spoke “fishing English.” Paul really wanted to catch his first permit. On Wednesday, he came close. A permit followed, tipped up, and ate the fly. But, unfortunately the fly snapped off on the eat. Next time you’ll get them Paul.
Dennis M. and Mike S., stayed over from last week, and continued the great experience they were having with TF guide Kimbral. Lots of laughs where heard across the flats as Mike, Dennis, and Kimbral shared some jokes. On Tuesday, everything came together and the duo hooked into more fish that day than the rest of the week combined. Both left with an appreciation of the fishery and their guide.
Mark and Marina C. escaped the long winter in Alaska with a quick visit to Belize. They were here for a short, half-week trip, but lucked out with the better half from a weather perspective. This was their first time flats fishing and they loved it. Being used to catching king salmon on heavy tackle, it took them a few attempts before just the right “touch” was honed in. Once they did, they enjoyed catching numerous bonefish and barracuda. Both left understanding the allure of fishing on the flats, and said they’ll be back.
Heidi F. brought her boys to the atoll for a nice seaside getaway. Her son Henry J. is a fish hound and was out walking the flats within minutes of arriving on Wednesday. Henry was focused. He loves fishing and loves being outdoors. He and his mother jumped in with Kimbral for the balance of the week. Unfortunately, the weather was tough – wind, clouds, with some rain. Despite the difficult conditions, Henry was able to land bonefish. Congratulations Henry. It’s great to see a mother who is enables her son’s passions.
February 13 - 20, 2016
Weather: The week began with brisk winds from the prior week’s cold front (hopefully, the last of the season) which transitioned to pleasant, calm breezes and clear skies. The tail-end end of the week brought more wind and a few isolated squalls.
Air Temp: Highs of upper-70s to low-80s
Water Temp: 79-80 degrees
Wind: A N-NE breeze on Sunday, gave way to a nice light easterly for the mid-section of the week, before increasing again near the end. Winds started at 10-20 mph on Sunday and mellowed to 5-7 for Monday to Wednesday, before increasing slightly to 10-15 for Thursday and Friday.
Tides: We had a rising tide in the late afternoon to start the week and early morning the end the week.
Moon: First quarter was on Feb. 15th.
Summary: This weeks unsettled weather made for an extra challenge at the beginning and the end of the week. Thankfully the middle part of the week saw better fishing conditions and the anglers/guides made the best of it, capitalizing with some great catches.
Earl M., of Spring Island, SC is a friend and regular guest who enjoys fishing with Dubs so much that he makes his way down here at least three times per year. “Dubsy” (as Earl fondly refers to him) and Earl are a proven team on the flats, and it shows with day in day out great fishing stories Earl shares during appetizers. This week was no different. Earl started with a very productive day of bonefishing. It continued into mid-week with a good day of snook fishing. Connecting with a permit eluded Earl this trip, despite multiple shots each day. He ended his week with more productive bonefishing. It looks like permit number 51 will just have to wait until his next visit.
David H. is another longtime guest of Turneffe Flats, also hailing from Spring Island. David was joined on this trip by his son Jake H. for the start of the week. As always, David fished with Dion. While Jake has been fishing for years, this was his first time fishing on the flats. Jake start the week by catching his first, second, third (you get the point) bonefish. He was very excited each day upon his return to the lodge. David was a proud father who enjoyed watching his son catch fish as much as catching them himself. The two tried their luck with permit, and although they too had multiple shots, they were unable to connect. On Wednesday, Jake needed to return state-side for work, which left Dion and the boat all to David. He took advantage of his time on the front of the boat by catching some really nice snook. He also had multiple shots at “the biggest bonefish” he’d ever seen on the Atoll, but was unable to get the fish to commit. More encounters with snook and some productive bonefishing capped another great week.
Wally M., a third member of the “Spring Island” crew, returned again to Turneffe Flats with buddies David H. and Earl M. We always enjoy seeing these guys. This time, Wally fished with Daniel and looked primarily for permit . Unfortunately, this was not his week. As with most of the anglers looking for permit, there were many opportunities, but the fish seemed to have “commitment” issues. He had multiple fish inspect his fly, but none that fell for the imitation crab. Wally did manage to land some nice bonefish and enjoyed his time fishing with Daniel.
Matt O. and Bill W. made their first visit to Turneffe Flats and assured us it wouldn’t be their last. They took a break from the damp northwest weather in the Seattle area. Both have lots of experience fly-fishing, but not too much time on the flats. For Bill, this was the first time he had ever been saltwater fishing. They were paired with guide Michael and started the week really strong. Bill’s first bonefish to hand was a 5-1/2 pounder! He continued the strong fishing by catching more bonefish, some snappers, a few jacks, and a mutton snapper! Matt quickly took to the flats and was able to have productive bonefishing. He soon wanted to catch a permit. Echoing the theme of the week, Michael’s boat saw lots of the elusive fish, but was unable to seal the deal … until late in the day on Friday, that is. After a tough morning of seeing more permit, only to get refused again and again, Michael suggested one final flat. They reached the end of the flat and were just about to reel up, when a group of three permit was spotted. Matt made a perfectly placed cast between the three and connected! Congratulations Matt on landing your first permit!
Dennis S. and Barbara S. joined us this week from the Seattle area too. Needing some time away from the rain and cold of the northwest, they joined us for the first time. Relatively new to flats fishing, Dennis was eager to learn and catch bonefish and permit. Barbara isn’t much of an angler, but loves being outdoors, so she joined Dennis each day on the water. They were paired with Mark as their guide, and they had a great week with him. Bonefish were the target at the front half of the week, with more focus placed on permit in the latter half. While similar to most anglers this week, many permit where found, but none was enticed. Dennis found plenty of success with bonefish for him to leave with a smile on his face.
Kyle V., Sam D., Jed S., Chris A., Brian H., Brad M., all from the Salt Lake City area, joined us for the first time. Brian and Jed focused exclusively on fishing, while the other four split their time between fishing and scuba diving. The group of six rotated their time with guides Pops, Willy, and John while fishing and enjoyed some underwater lionfish “fishing” with Denroy. Brian and Jed started the week with good bonefishing and flowed into the end of the week determined to catch a permit. Willy led them to permit, and Brian hooked up twice, but was not able to bring one in. Kyle, Sam, Chris, and Brad didn’t have much experience fly-fishing, but wanted to learn. They each connected with bonefish on the first day and were able to land a few before the end of the week. Again, they too looked for permit, found them, but were unable to get them to eat. This crew was fun to have around the lodge, fun stories and great friends made for a memorable trip
January 23 - 30, 2016
Weather: A week of mixed weather began with the tail-end of the prior week’s cold front passing and leading to calmer and mostly sunny conditions; some precipitation on Thursday.
Air Temp: Highs of mid-70s to low-80s
Water Temp: 79-80 degrees
Wind: A NW breeze on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday gave way to a nice easterly for the second half of the week. Winds stayed between 5-15mph for most of the fishing week.
Tides: We had a rising tide during the late morning and early afternoon during the week.
Moon: Full Moon Jan 23.
Summary: Even though we had some unstable weather, there were some notable catches and good fishing. Here’s a summary:
Bruce and Mary Anne H. took a break from the ski season in Eagle, CO to fish with us this week. Bruce is a well-travelled angler with many bonefishing trips under his belt. He spent the week fishing with guide Daniel. Bruce preferred to wade and targeted bonefish as well as the other reef species. Mary Anne fished part of the week and also joined our Atoll Adventure program for part of the week. Bruce and Anne reported quality bonefishing with good numbers of fish hooked each day and “hundreds” seen. Bruce had a once-in-a-lifetime experience hooking and landing a large rainbow parrotfish along the reef while bonefishing. Although usually an algae grazer, the fish ate a Pops’ Bitter and put up quite a tussle on the 8-weight rod. You can see the photo of this not-seen-often catch on our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/174002965953110/photos/pcb.1052273661459365/1052273478126050/?type=3&theater
Ron A., David D., Steve A. and Cora G. arrived on Wednesday morning to stay with us for a 4 night, 3 day visit. Ron A. and David D. had long way to travel from Sun River and Bend, OR to join friends, Steve A. and Cora G., who now reside in Caye Caulker, Belize. Hampered by the overcast conditions at the end of the week, Dave and Ron made the best of it both wading and poling with guide Mark. Cora and Steve fished with John primarily targeting bonefish while wading on the Atoll’s eastside flats. Both sets of anglers had ample opportunity and Cora was very happy with the progress she made hooking and landing bonefish each day. David and Ron were also joined on the trip by their wives, Judy and Margaret, who enjoyed a little rest and relaxation while their husbands fished. The group then departed to head over to Caye Caulker for a little more “adventure.”
Richard L. and Mitch S. of Dade City, FL and Cummings, GA respectively, were first-time guests to Turneffe Flats. Fishing with guide Michael, these two anglers brought plenty of past experience, but little in the way of bonefishing. Michael helped pave the way for their success by offering instruction as well as mixing wade fishing and poling. The pair reported solid bonefishing all week and was amazed by Michael’s ability to spot fish, especially during marginal light. The highlight of their week was Mitch landing his first permit on Tuesday. After trading shots between them during the morning, Mitch got the “eat” he was looking for as he fought a nice fish for about 20 minutes before releasing it post-picture. Congratulations Mitch!
January 16 - 23, 2016
Weather: A cold front from last week lingered to begin this week, bringing a mix of conditions from breezy to mild without a stable pattern emerging. We had a mix of sun and clouds most days with significant rain only on Tuesday.
Air Temp: Highs of upper-70s to mid-80s
Water Temp: 78-80 degrees
Wind: A north wind prevailed throughout the week, changing from NW to NE mid-week and then back to NW on Friday. Most days had winds of 5-15 mph.
Tides: A high of 0.7 ft. at 3:59 pm on Sun., Jan 17.
Moon Phase: First Quarter Moon on Sat., Jan. 16.
Summary: Turneffe Flats hosted a nice mix of anglers, scuba divers, and Atoll adventurers this week. Four skiffs carrying 8 anglers fished most days with a couple of anglers also enjoying other activities such as diving and our eco-tour. Although overcast skies and less-than-ideal light conditions bothered the fishing, good results were reported by all. Some new saltwater anglers caught and released their first bonefish. Here is the play-by-play …
Return guest Mike S. of McMinnville,OR, visited for the second time in a year. Fishing with Mark, Mike prefered to focus primarily on bonefish and various reef species. He had good bonefishing and also landed several nice barracuda, snappers, and jacks. Mike noted that his fishing was better than last time; or as he said, “maybe I was just better.” We hope to see Mike again soon.
Dan & Amy A., from Charleston, SC, made their first time visit with Turneffe Flats. Dan & Amy fished with Daniel and chose to return to have lunch at the lodge so Amy could fish as little or as much as she wished. On day one, Amy caught and released her first of many bonefish. During the week, both anglers reported solid bonefishing and Dan also had shots at permit late in the week. As a certified diver, Dan took the opportunity to get two dives in on Wed. before rejoining Amy & Daniel to continue fishing for the afternoon. Dan did a night dive on Wed. for a long and varied day of activity.
Jim N. & Gary B., of Duluth, GA, chose to spend a half week with us before heading to the mainland to spend some time in the jungle as part of our Inland/Island package . Gary and Jim are experienced freshwater anglers, but had little experience in a flats environment. Paired with Dubs, both anglers focused on bonefishing. They wanted a “well-rounded” experience and split their time being poling from the skiff and wading. Solid fishing was enjoyed by both anglers with good bonefishing all three days. Both anglers remarked how peaceful it was on the flats and were astounded with how much life there was as well. Jim said that he needs to do more saltwater fishing in the future and I’m sure we will see both of these anglers as return guests.
Carol & Rick S., of Longmont, CO, were carryover guests from the previous week. Continuing their fishing with Pops, Rick had some difficulty seeing the bonefish due to a mix of sun and clouds. Carol caught her first bonefish on a fly on the first day of her stay. This was after having only one fly fishing lesson prior to coming.
Also, visiting this week was Anja & Jeff, of Dallas, TX. They started the week as part of our Atoll Adventure program and after a mix of snorkeling and wildlife viewing (manatees, porpoise, etc. …) Jeff switched to fishing and spent a couple of days with Dion. With this being Jeff’s initial saltwater experience, he fished with both fly and spin gear over the first couple of days, though he migrated more and more to the fly rod. Jeff reported multiple bonefish landed each day and often then made additional casts to bonefish cruising the “home flat” in front of the resort at day’s end. Anja had a great time with naturalist guide Abel and decided to spend the final morning in a Belizean cooking class learning some of the ins and outs of the local cooking.
January 9 -16, 2016
Weather: A weak cold front passed early in the week with light north winds. This transitioned to beautiful conditions for the second half of the week.
Air Temp: Highs of upper-70s to mid-80s
Water Temp: 78 - 80 degrees
Wind: N to NW winds of 5-10mph on Sat., Sun., and Mon., switching to E and SE 5-15 for Tues.thru Fri.
Tides: The lower of our two high tides was 0.5 ft at 10:11am on Jan 9.
Moon Phase: Jan. 9 began a New Moon.
Bonefish Tarpon Trust President Emeritus, Matt Connolly, visited, making for an enjoyable, interesting and educational week. Alexander Zale, leader of the Montana State University Fisheries Research Unit and Rod Mast from Oceanic Society also stayed with us to add to the experience. During the week, Matt, Al and Craig Hayes, from Turneffe Flats all gave evening presentations about conservation-related challenges to our fisheries. The BTT group, along with other guests at TFlats, produced more than 60 fin clippings from released bonefish for genetic testing. You can find out more about these groups and their projects at:
Although the conservation efforts added an extra dimension to the week, fishing was the main agenda with a full lodge of anglers – 6 of whom were return guests.
Rick H., Phil S., and Matt C. and Steve R., were all part of the BTT group. Several had previously stayed with us, but for some it had been a number of years. Fishing with guides Daniel, Dion and Mike they rotated fishing partners during the week. Phil focused on bonefish while Matt, Rick, and Steve spent a good share of their time stalking permit. Phil landed plenty of bonefish and had a stellar day on Thurs. releasing more than 20 bonefish. As the weather brightened after the first two days, the others began seeing plenty of permit. Steve struck first, landing a big permit on Wed. Matt then played and landed a nice permit, again with Dion. Determined not to be outdone, Steve brought a second permit to hand on Thurs.
Stuart R., from Macro Island, FL., returned to Turneffe Flats for his second visit this year. Stuart has set a goal of catching 100 permit in his lifetime and thought he “best be getting on with it.” Fishing with Mark, he had ample shots at permit, but couldn't find the “right fish, in the right mood.” Unfortunately, Stuart didn't make any headway on his goal although he did hook and lose a couple of permit. Thanks Stuart, it's always a pleasure!
First time guests Rick and Carol S.from Longmoth, CO, arrived mid-week to fish with Pops The angling pair hoped to make Carol’s first saltwater experience a pleasurable and memorable one. With only one fly fishing lesson under her belt, Carol cast to, strip-set, and landed her first bonefish on her second day. She progressed from there and hopefully we will have more to report next week.
Fishing with TF guide Kimbral, Carl S., from Ipswich, MA, also enjoyed his initial saltwater experience. Carl was impressed by the natural beauty of Turneffe Atoll and began the week wading for bonefish. Carl's wife, Diane, joined our naturalist guide Abel on our Atoll Adventure/eco-tour program. Carl raved about Kimbral’s ability to see bonefish as well as his patient demeanor during his “poor casting periods.” Carl caught numerous bonefish during his stay and also took a stab at permit fishing. Although no permit was landed, Carl remarked that his skills progressed each day we hope to see both Carl and Diane back in the near future.
Adrian F., Tampa, FL., arrived for his initial bonefishing experience at TF, fishing on a two-day stay Thurs. and Fri. Adrian is a well-versed saltwater angler who chose to spin fish most of the time. He also tried some fly fishing with veteran guide, Willy. Willy and Adrian fished opportunistically targeting bonefish as well as various jacks, snappers, and barracuda. Adrian was wishing that he had stayed with us longer and we hope visits again soon.
Hailing from Sammamish, WA, John and Joyce G. were also past TF guests. John started early each day with Dubs. Joyce planned to fish, but didn't make it to the skiff after spending her first day with Abel and our other Atoll Adventurers. She fell in love with the wonderful snorkeling and Abel's educational experience and chose to continue her Atoll Adventure for the full week. John had good success bonefishing, which improved as he and Dubs worked more closely. John reported a “higher catch rate” than he had during his first stay last year. He remarked that he was continuing to learn more each day.