Headed to Belize near the end of March and have a few days booked with Chasin Tail on Caye Caulker. We will be on San Pedro for 3 days and Caye Caulker for 3 days and was interested in maybe finding some fish on our own. Any tips would be helpful.
There’s the lagoon behind the main road. You can probably rent a kayak and paddle around back there. Never done it but did see a big croc in the lagoon when we were there after Thanksgiving.
San Pedro area is pretty crowded but there might be something up north on the island. I have not been up there on the road for many years.
El Pescador has good guides with good equipment, but I don’t know if they will fish you if you’re not staying there. It would be easy to ask them. There is also a fly shop in town - Tres Pescados, I think. Can’t say much about them as I just walked by their shop.
If I was going to fish one day at Ambergris I’d go to Bacalar Chico park. A bit of a boat ride but worth it.
Been a few times and going back this summer. Make sure to have a golf cart. You can venture south(south of victoria house) and catch bonefish on foot just be mindful of walking through people yards or trespassing on property. Second option and in the opposite direction is off the road that leads to secret beach. It is a bit of a ride but bonefish and tarpon can be found. Also, I would also try to paddle board in the lagoon they mentioned above. Just pay attention to the tide.
I went for a wedding back in 2015 so for weeks I looked into every website and page pertaining to DIY. A lot of the spots noted were on the east side of the island with a few mentioned on the lagoon side. But here’s the kicker, after all that time spent researching and getting everything mapped out, when I got there, the whole east side of the island was COVERED In Sargasso. Locals said they hadn’t seen it like that in a long time. Just my luck! Lol! But I did ask my guide on our trip about Wadeable areas and he recommended Secret Beach.
There's bonefish all up and down the east side of ambergris. I've had the best luck north of El Pescador as you get further away from town. Fish early or late (sunrise/sunset). A lot of the areas will have tailing fish early until ppl start splashing around. The bones are pretty tough but a lot of fun.
I've also caught plenty of bones in the lagoon from a kayak. It's v soft in there so need to fish from a yak or SUP. Whatever access point your hotel has is probably fine.
I have never seen any fish over by secret beach. I've walked a decent ways around there and doesn't seem like v good habitat for bones IMO. The roads on the way there have some small tarpon and you will see bones tailing here and there but often times out of reach and that shit is too soft to wade effectively.
Diy kayak or paddle board in the lagoon will be easiest and cheapest. A lot of it is to soft for wading, ask me how I know.
Golf cart for the south end if you have one just follow the recommendations given.
The dead grass on the beach seems to be getting worse from couple times in the last few years that I have been there so the l reef side bones could be a no go depending on that. They can be very tough and timing is everything.
The last 3 years, the sargasso weed has been out of control. It has created algae blooms and has killed off a lot of the seagrass along the beaches. There is still some bones to be found but it is nothing like it used to be on the east side. The lagoon and secret beach will be your best best if you don't wont to hire a guide. None of the DIY options will come close to what hiring a guide there could be.
Thanks you all for the info. We are booking two days with a guide, but I love getting out there on my own and checking it all out. 20mph winds and clouds brought on by a "cold front" ruined the fishing my last time in Belize so I just want to make the most of this trip.
DIY can be good if you don't mind renting a golf cart and doing some exploring. The dead grass can make the east side almost impossible without a kayak or SUP. Aside from the lodges, local guides are quite reasonable. We have had good days fishing with Manual Azueta out Ruby's Hotel in San Pedro. I would try a guide first, they can be a wealth of information for DIY locations.
The sargassum definitely increased this past year and hit the Placencia area pretty hard. My take is that it probably had the same affect on Caye Caulker and San Pedro. I saw cayes that had dead mangroves to the grass. I can echo much of what everyone has said - Caye Caulker doesn't offer much DIY fishing for bones, there are some spots but can be challenging to get to and wade. Dusk and dawn also brings out the bugs - layer up, especially if you are in the lagoon in the north part of San Pedro. I've never been covered by so many mosquitoes in my life. Even the shoreline has tons of bugs, so don't be conservative. They've had lots of rain again, so bugs will be thick.
Tarpon do cross through the channel between north and south Caulker. You can try so night fishing, but will have to contend with the bar there. Early morning is better. Sinking tip and a weighted fly is needed. CC also puts you closer to some cayes further to the south, like Long Caye. Good tarpon fishing there with some sizable fish - ask your guide if it is worth the run. If it is a calm day, there is sandy flats out front of it near deeper water that the tarpon move onto. CC is also closer to Savannah, which used to be my favorite area, but now has lots of competition from other boats. The fish just aren't the same there any more.
Getting a golf cart on North San Pedro does give you access to the beaches to the north. I've done well there, but used 6 wts and 12' leaders and small flies. I actually prefer fishing it with a bike since I can ride the shoreline and watch for wakes and tails. South is good too, but you'll need to head down quite a bit. The lagoon up there can be good on a higher tide, but you'll need sunlight in your favor since it is soft and dark bottomed - you'll have to fish from the kayak.
I am going to be in Placencia and Caye Caulker in the fall. I am fore sure going out a full day with Kenan (possibly 2) but was wondering if I should do 1 day in Placencia instead of 2 with Kenan. That’s all the budget will afford. Is there any decent diy in Placencia?