Sunday, June 17, 2007

Belize River Lodge Blitz...

My return from a week-long trip to Belize River Lodge ( brings a wealth of not just happy memories, poignant images, and "playback" adventures- it has also left me with a whopping case of longing to return there and extend the experience.

The original builder of the lodge, Vic Barothy, certainly placed this destination smack dab in the epicenter-crossroads of an amazing variety of habitats and fisheries. The present owners of the lodge, Mike and Marguerite, have been sheparding this excellent operation since 1987. They have certainly created the Gold Standard of lodgings, cleanliness, delicious cuisine, modern amenities, and guided river, flats, and reef fishing in the midst of a lush tropical paradise.

It never took more than thirty minutes to get to any of the fishing. I'd fished the incredible reef areas of Belize on prior trips to the country, so I devoted my five days of fishing to the rivers and flats. I felt blessed to have been assigned a guide by the name of Raul Navarette- he was friendly, patient, enthusiastic, and most importantly, incredibly skilled.

In a span of days that featured skies that varied from cloudy to raining to china-blue clear, Raul took myself and photographer Art Blank to areas that gave us consistent action. The quantities of snook and tarpon that we released were very impressive. We also experienced two days of flats fishing where cruising schools and pods of bonefish and tarpon, as well as ladyfish in vast muds kept us busy all day. My last day of fishing was a mixture of personal triumph and incredible luck in that a flat literally called "Huge Flat" was loaded with large schools of permit from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. This resulted in a casting-to-permit exposure I had never before experienced. When the coast cleared, I wound up releasing 9 permit that day on artificial lures and broke the release record for that species at Belize River Lodge.

This is but a fraction of the tale-the vast bulk of it will be appearing in a future issue of Florida Sport Fishing Magazine.

Images by Art Blank/Right Angling Images 1-215-345-4432


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