unexpected comfort amidst extensive flats and variety fishing
The Turneffe Islands of Belize are among the world’s best bonefishing flats. Turneffe Island Lodge, located on private Cay Bokel, was one of the first Central American fishing camps built; it offers top quality bonefishing.
It’s not uncommon to spot a bone cruising right off the island’s beaches, and extensive flats are just a short skiff ride away. Schools of ten to 30 mirror-sided bones are commonplace, allowing many daily opportunities for fishing success. Belizean bones are not large as those found in some other areas, but they are indeed very plentiful. You could, as an example, fish the Florida Keys and hook two or three big bones daily, or fish Belize and hook perhaps two dozen two-to three-pounders in a day. The choice is yours. Of course, larger bonefish are a daily possibility at Turneffe, and many anglers tangle with bonefish that exceed six, even eight pounds.
Bones are only part of the angling potential. During the spring and summer months, tarpon may be found along mangrove shorelines or lazily rolling in the many protected cuts of the Turneffe chain. For the most part they’ll be under 40 pounds, though the odd fish will surprise you and top 75. Permit prowl along the flats and a host of snapper, grouper, and jack can be challenged both inside and outside the barrier reef. Look for barracuda holding motionless in the clear water, ready to streak out to ambush an unsuspecting victim. And if offshore waters are calm, anglers may battle kingfish, wahoo, and dorado, but clearly it’s the bonefish that’s the big draw here.
Shallow-draft fiberglass skiffs with new, 40 HP outboards zip guests to the best locations quickly and comfortably. Anglers are accompanied by experienced guides who know the many subtle moods of this region and work hard to make each angling day memorable. Many have been with the lodge for numerous seasons. As Belize (nee British Honduras) was a British protectorate for many years, all the guides and staff speak English, so language is never a problem.
Belize’s barrier reef is the world’s second largest, and is a great attraction for those who prefer diving and snorkeling to fishing. The lodge offers a complete diving package in addition to their fishing program.
When the sun finally begins to melt at horizon’s edge, anglers return to Turneffe’s newly remodeled accommodations. Double occupancy rooms all have overhead fans, private bathrooms and many are air conditioned! What luxury! The newly expanded and renovated main lodge incorporates a large lounge/bar area as well as dining facilities. Meals feature fresh fruits and seafood dishes as well as many American style entrees. And there’s a tackle shop as well, stocked with all the right-lures and flies plus rental rods and reels.
Turneffe Island Lodge trips run on a weekly basis, and include round-trip transfers from Belize City to the lodge, plus all meals, accommodations and guided fishing.