Fishing & Boating News

Paddling Strokes - Fishing from Kayak in Belize

by: Michael Banks, DDS,

Photo by Michael Banks, DDS
Photo by Michael Banks, DDS
(Nov. 27, 2013 - )

More on our Belize adventure as...

I wanted to fish some on my own so after a couple of days I checked out a Freedom Hawk Pathfinder kayak (pictured below) from the resort to fish the backside of the island.

The pier was only about 50 yards from the back boundary of the resort. The resort is only about 150 yards wide in the middle so the island was only about 200 yards wide at the most.

The fishing director had oriented me with a map of the area so after loading up the kayakI paddle or pulled along a channel cut through the mangroves to more open water. I took my 8 weight fly rod, spinning rod and a bag of shrimp. I anticipated fishing as I do on the Texas coast using shrimp under a popping cork on the spinning rig. The popping and rattling of the cork simulates the sound of feeding shrimp. This tropical habitat is different from the Texas coast. You don't see as much swimming action there as you do in Texas - less bait fish, shrimp and nervous water.

Belize temperature is in the mid eighties in the day to mid seventies at night with showers just about every day and plenty of sunshine. I always thought till this trip that the "Buff" neck and face cover up and gloves were mostly for style points but they aren't, they're functional. It is hot! And you need the protection.

This day was windy and I had trouble paddling the Pathfinder - it wasn't me, this boat is heavy and difficult to maneuver. I would stop to rest and cast and then move on. I finally reached the open water on the backside of the island and could see some construction developments across the open water. I beached the kayak and got out to walk and cast the coast. Immediately I got a strike on the bait but missed the take. I moved up the coast with no action.

I always time myself for as far as I plan to go out so I will know about how long it will take me to get back. And I had set a time with Rose Mary that I would be back for lunch. I was running out of time and no catch and only one bump on the bait. As I moved back toward the boat I cast to where I had gotten the bump and the cork went swinging out away from the bank - just like a redfish taking a shrimp on the Texas coast. I knew what to do - I set the hook and the run was on. I didn't know what I had because I was told permit were in this area. The fish was fast so I took it to be a bonefish. It ran the 180 degrees from up the bank to down the bank and was taking out drag most of the time. This is fun and why we fish and why we fish in Belize.

I landed the bone and it was the largest bonefish I caught or saw anyone catch on the trip! - the reason I am smiling so in the "selfie". This was the only fish I caught on this trip not on a fly - all the rest were with the fly rod. This independent catch was worth the difficult paddle and I did make it back for lunch.

Bonefish are known to run and you had better let them run, taking out drag or they will break off if you try to stop them. That is why they are such a popular sport fish. All bonefish, regardless of size, are a trophy!

On to the tarpon on my next with the guide.....

Till we put in again,
Photo by Michael Banks, DDS
Photo by Michael Banks, DDS