March 15, 2010
By Diana Rudolph
El Pescador Lodge, Ambergris Caye
I suppose there is a reason why I consider March a good month for kite flying. The winds picked up on the 4thand never slowed down. As the "Reel Women" trip leader for a group of wonderful, eager anglers, this is not an ideal scenario, but we all made the most of it. A bike ride/golf cart trip to nearby San Pedro and a visit to a local eatery and watering hole sure helped raise spirits when the fishing was cancelled for a day and a half mid week due to bad weather. Regardless of the poor conditions, the bonefish cooperated, permit were cast toward and tarpon were jumped.
It was great to visit with my dear friends, Penny, Ann, Shay and Buddy, and be introduced to Erica, who battled a cold, never complained, and landed several nice bonefish. Jerry Siem joined the group mid week with an abundance of fly rods, casting tips and a really goofy hat. The hat must have been lucky, however, because Mr. Sage took one shot and landed a permit on our last day on the island. Thank you all for your company and good spirits and thanks to El Pescador Lodge for keeping us relaxed and comfortable. The ceviche and lime and butter coated popcorn get high marks (cheers to Mariano), as do the guides that poled us along the white cap covered, wind-whipped flats.
Belize River Lodge, Long Caye Island Outpost
Every wonder what it is like to have an island of Belize all to yourself with your own private guide and chef? Jerry and I don't anymore. This place exceeded our expectations and we are anxious to get back to unwind and chase permit off the dock when weather conditions allow. Yep, the wind continued to howl. We had great tides, but the fish were hard to find and difficult to spot. Our guide, Raul, worked long days and when the trip sadly came to an end, we landed a grande-sized snook, tarpon, permit, bonefish, a mass of snappers, small cudas and a couple of jacks, big permit imposters that even fooled Raul. Blame it on the wind. Why not, eh?
Our last evening was spent at Belize River Lodge on the banks of the Belize River where an abundance of tropical birds display bright colors and sing melodically. Sometime after midnight the howler monkeys interrupted the silence. Honestly, it sounded like they were sharing the room with us. This was a perfect way to end our extended trip. Goodbye, Belize. I will miss your waters, your diverse fishery and those ice cold, thick bottled Belikins.