Daily fishing options at Cayo Frances are pretty diverse. We work with a number of guide services based in San Pedro who are more than willing to come around the island to the lodge for an extra $25 in fuel, and we are happy to set that up for whatever number
of days any guest likes. But the beauty of this location and the way the program has been built is that this isn't in any way a requirement to access the fishing. Right outside the door of the cabanas sits a dock surrounded by BOTE stand up paddle boards, fishing kayaks, and even East Cape Skanus all at the disposal of our guests, every day. These watercraft not only allow you to fish your own hours your own way, but because of their designs also allow you to access water that regular flats skiffs can't even get near.
Bonefish are the most plentiful flats target in the area, and are often spotted cruising within sight of the dock as you load your boat for the day. Once launched though you'll find them cruising the flats, lagoons, and mangrove edges pretty much anywhere you paddle.
Six to eight weight rods will do the trick for these guys, generally throwing weight forward floating lines and nine to twelve foot leaders with flourocarbon tippets in the ten or twelve pound range.
Crabs, shrimp, and other tasty little crustations are the name of the game in terms of fly patterns, and we'll have lots of specifics and suggestions for those as we help you plan your trip.
Tarpon around Ambergris Caye are primarily resident juveniles ranging from 20 to 70 pounds which are present all year, but fish over 100 pounds are common among the migratory schools that begin to arrive in late July, peak in August, and stay through sometime in September.
Nine or Ten weight rods with the standard shorter shock-tippet set up leaders are what is called for, and it's not a bad idea to bring a floater and a line with a short clear intermediate sinking head as well.
The standard bunny strips, tarpon toads, and weightless bait fish patterns all do the trick here when things go right, and we've of course got more specific suggestions in the pre-trip lit.
Permit. We're tempted to simply leave it at just that one word, because in so many ways it says enough all on its own. Once it's spoken though most folks want to hear more, so we'll go ahead and let you know that Ambergris is a world renowned destination specifically because of these fish. And there are more of them on our side of the island than anywhere else around it.
Ten weights are the name of the game here. The longer the leaders the better they work, with twelve feet being average and twenty pound flouro on the tips; in the end this comes down to being a function of what you can cast. Permit are famously difficult for a reason, or rather, for a number of reasons. They are spooky, picky, moody, and hyper-aware of their surroundings and our attempts to intrude upon those trying to trick them into eating a goofy looking little fake crab. But that's why the things are so awesome! Have at it.
Gear required is pretty much the same as anywhere on the flats, and a comprehensive list of suggestions with respect to rods, reels, leaders, tippets, and flies will of course be provided before you make the trip. You'll want to have a pair of flats boots or slippers for the wading, and of course the better the lenses on your polarized glasses the better you're going to be able to see the fish. It's hot and humid and there are mosquitoes; dress accordingly. The sun is the sun and it can hurt you so bring what you need to minimize that. On the off chance something were to happen that caused you to arrive empty handed though, we've got you covered and keep a stash of stuff here at the lodge for just that reason.
*Sport fishing licenses ARE required in Belize. Bonefish, permit and tarpon are ALL catch-and-release and require a license. If you are between 16 and 65 years of age a license is required. The Sport Fishing license is available for one (1) day at $20 BZ or (1) week for $50 BZ. Purchase of a Sport Fish license is available online at www.coastalzonebelize.org