University of Miami’s tarpon tagging expedition needs an adult tarpon, exceeding 80-pounds, for proper tracking of migratory patterns. Those under 80-pounds tend to be residential tarpon, rather than the migratory adult.
Belize Fly Fishing Stu Apte
Hall of Famer Stu Apte and the El Pescador crew prepare for the morning run.
Belize Fly Fishing
Sunrise at El Pescador’s docks
Belize Fly Fishing
A rising sun behind a fish camp, where locals are hired to spend days commercial fishing. They live in this house-on-stilts as their temprorary home.
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The Duo: Adam Marton (expedition leader) and Emir Marin (El Pescador guide) on the hunt.
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Anglers and guides on the lookout for cruising tarpon along South Beach. Most boats used are Pangas, which have a high bow and a narrow beam.
Belize Fly Fishing – 6
Marton speaks on the background and use of the tags.
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Fly box filled with Black Deaths, Clousers, and more
Belize Fly Fishing Stu Apte -1
Stu Apte demonstrates the proper stance when fly fishing for tarpon by tying a dumbbell on the line through a tree hole. “The changes to the resort, since I was last here in 1992, are phenomenal. The resort is really fantastic.”
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El Pescador guide Emir Marin pulls in a 40-pound plus tarpon.
Belize Fly Fishing Tarpon
The “rolling of the tarpon” is due to the water temperature rising. The sun sucks the oxygen out of the water, in turn, the tarpon rolls to grasp for air.
Belize Fly Fishing Tarpon – 2
The tagging expedition’s guiding principle is to find out if the tarpon that show up in U.S. waters are the same in the Caribbean.
Belize Fly Fishing Tarpon – 9
Marton suggests tickling the tarpon’s tongue with your thumb to help revive a tarpon.
Female tarpons can live longer than 50 years.
Belize Tarpon Tagging
Seconds after the photo was taken, T245 tag was released and swam out of view. While the first few weeks are nail biters, early indications show that T245 is on the move and the tag is working. Photo Courtesy of Adam Marton
Belize Fly Fishing Tarpon – 10
In the waters of Belize, crab fishermen mark their traps with oil can patterns on sticks.
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Anglers and guides look for sudden flashes in the water, which are sun reflections from the scales of either tarpon, permit or bonefish.
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Angler Dave Decker stands tall over the waters to find any movement.
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Kechu Marin, who has been guiding for over 30 years, poles to the honey holes off Ambergris Caye.
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The Green Lizard bar located between Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye on a small island called “The Split” — reason being, a hurricane in the 1960s split the island in two.
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Even though this sign is in spanish, the primary language used in the country is English, since the country was a former British colony. Some Belizeans speak an English-based kriol, using phrases like “let’s go over yonder” instead of “let’s go over there.”
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Kechu and the team take a break from tarpon to catch the elusive permit.
Belize Fly Fishing El Pescador
El Pescador Resort will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in November. The resort will be expanding and include renovations, yet keeping the colonial feeling.
Belize Fly Fishing El Pescador -2
The sign that says it all — permit and tarpon run the waters off El Pescador Resort.
Belize Fly Fishing El Pescador -3
El Pescador Resort’s pool even has a stunning view.
Belize Fly Fishing El Pescador – 4
El Pescador’s bar, where rum punch flows and Belkin beers pop through the night.
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Inside El Pescador’s bar sits a fly-tying table for all your needs the night before the morning run.
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Belize City’s port area
Belize City Travel Water Taxi
Belize City’s water taxis dock for those heading to the islands off the mainland, including stops at Caye Caulker and San Pedro (Ambergris Caye). Water taxis are affordable and include a beautiful ride in the waters of Belize.
Belize British Honduras
In 1840, Belize was known as British Honduras. It didn’t become Belize until 1973 and gained full independence from Great Britain in 1981.