Shin-deep in muddy seaweed, a Panasonic camcorder perched on my right shoulder and GoPro hanging off the left, I waded after the fly-angler. My warm exhale greeted me back under my fishing buff; baby crabs swam near my knees but I didn’t dare take my eyes off the man a few yards in front of me. He was our spotter, probably the toughest job in fishing.
It was our second day and we had been wading in sargasso-inundated waters for an hour; my neck smarted from the unforgiving sun.
“I should have put more sunscreen,” is probably the most popular line a fishing guide hears.
It was a little after noon, and we had caught nothing. But Jose’s mood did not succumb to our bad luck. He was certain we would catch something. “We will, don’t worry,” he encouraged me, and I wasn’t so sure if he was trying to convince me or himself.
But we did.
We were ready to give up and head back in our rented golf cart when Jose jerked up, simply pointing with his rod. He began his casting and I could see the angler adrenaline everyone was talking about. My heart, too, was beating like a jack rabbit. I prepared the cameras and followed suit. Jose’s execution was flawless. A Bonefish’s silhouette teased us a few yards away, and Jose performed a beautiful front cast, and calculatingly stripped the line until a decent-sized Bonefish latched on. The known all-too-well battle between man and fish ensued, until a beautiful silvery, olive-green Bonefish posed for our photo. We let him get on his way a few minutes after, its tail winking out of sight.
Our luck turned, with us catching two more Bonefish within the hour. Jose even spotted one from our golf cart when we were driving alongside the sandy beach, heading home. His body jolted, nearly careening out of the tiny vehicle. “Stop!” He whisper-shouted. “I see something.” Sure enough, minutes later we had another Insta-worthy video.
It wasn’t a bad fishing day after all.
On the drive home – stopping only to gawk at cute hermit crabs and iguanas – the professional angler said Ambergris Caye is the perfect place for first-time Bonefishing. Though for most of the trip our goal was permit, “Belize is a great jumping off point,” he said. “San Pedro is great for catching Bonefish.”
It was nearing dinnertime when we reached the lively beach town, and we both agreed we had earned some scrumptious seafood after an exciting day of Belize fly-fishing.