Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Tough day yesterday

It feels a bit stupid to be talking about problems with the weather out here in Belize when back home in the UK they are having the worst snow for ages - but yesterday morning especially out here were some of the toughest flats fishing conditions that I have seen for a while. Howling winds and scudding grey skies make it really difficult, so the big jack you can see above was even more of an accomplishment by James. Targeting either permit or tarpon yesterday was never going to happen. We saw a few nice snook lying very close to some mangroves, and James landed a small one, but the bigger ones don't get big by being stupid. We were told of some snook landed on the fly the other day out here to over 20lbs.

Above you can see James's jack being landed by our guide - this place is an awesome location. El Pescador lodge where we are staying is simply fantastic, and when the weather is kinder they have some outstanding fishing here for serious numbers of tarpon (some truly huge fish as well) and permit, plus stacks of mainly small to medium sized bonefish. Some fly anglers never look twice at big jack crevalle, but there are lots out here -anybody who ignores the chance to fish for them needs their heads examined. Belize is a country that is really growing on me, and the more you speak to the locals, the more you realise just what an incredible fishery there is out here. There are big numbers of resident tarpon around all year that do not migrate, but during July, August and September there are a scary amount of migrating tarpon moving through here, and it is not uncommon to land numbers of them every day. All we need is some half-tidy weather and we have got a decent chance........and the forecast is giving it to be a lot better for today.

The moment James and I got back in off the boat yesterday, we jumped straight in the kayaks and paddled out into the backcountry behind the lodge. We found some shelter from the wind and James smashed a few bones on a deserted flat, including this one above. Nothing very big, but proper fun - I saw one shoal of decent bonefish moving around, but they were not in a feeding mode. We did see a few tailing fish, and James also saw a spooky permit.

Messing around on the kayaks is a blast, even though we got lost for a bit and could not work out where to go in the maze of mangrove channels out here !! With the sun rapidly going down, I did not fancy getting stuck out in the backcountry when the mozzies came out to play. It's before first light as I am typing this and we have two full days left to get this properly nailed - if the weather plays ball then I hope we can show just how good it can be out here.

As regards some fishing that is more in keeping with all the snow I keep hearing about back home, check out this mad Norwegian ice fishing at this link right here. Scroll down the page a bit and you will see my mate Cato and a friend of his with some proper pollack and coalfish that they nailed through a tiny hole in the ice - check out the size of the fishing rod !! This looks like class fishing, and Cato tells me they had pollack to 12lbs through the ice, mainly on various soft plastics fished on jigs.

Henry GilbeyComment