It’s never a good sign when you wake up in a tropical fishing area and begin the day by frantically digging for a fleece. This morning was that day. When I stepped out the door of our air-conditioned room it was colder outside. The cold front is still here and stronger than ever.
At 7:20 when Granny and I left the dock with Jose I ditched my fleece for the run to the fishing grounds. It’s Belize. The minute the sun pops add twenty degrees to the temps. But the sun never popped and while Granny and I chucked 12-weights for the rolling tarpon at the mouth of the Belize River we were actually shivering.
With the cool temps and clouds it’s hard to sight fish the flats so we stayed after the rolling tarpon for a couple hours. If there’s any one goal on this trip it’s for Granny to land her first big tarpon but they won’t eat her fly. These fish roll all around us. They’re huge fish and they get you all pumped up when you see their massive heads break the surface with the mouth open and the eye seemingly looking at you. Then the hugely scaled back slips through the surface followed by one push of the tail and he’s gone back down.
Once we got a little sun we could see it wouldn’t last long. Tarpon fishing was frustrating to say the least so I asked Jose for a tarpon break and if he would pole us through the area where we saw the tripletail the other day. He seemed surprised as I’m sure he gets few requests from clients to leave rolling tarpon to seek out a tripletail, but off we went about a ½ mile out into the bay in front of Belize City.
Your average angler doesn’t know much about the tripletail. They’re their own deal and a strange fish at that. They float on their sides like a flounder only suspended and usually near structure. I’m not sure how big they get but the one I spotted the other day was about the size of a big bass. And he didn’t look all that much like a fish. He was more a silver gob that looked like a plastic grocery bag. However when you smack your fly down next to one they upright themselves and charge after it.
We didn’t go far before I spotted that first weird looking gob in the water. Without hesitation I smacked down my Puglisi fly next to it. Sure enough he up righted and charged. I gave short fast strips and he quickly inhaled and I stuck him. Then he thrashed on the surface and spit my fly. I lucked out in that I looked back out and there were two others. One was huge. I splatted my fly next to him but the smaller of the two got it. My strip set was jolting this time and a few minutes later Jose netted this beauty for me.
The rest of the day was tough. The sun went in and out and the normal Belize heat never happened. I’ll be temps never left the 70°s. But we never stopped fishing and we added a small silk snapper and jack crevalle to the day. I should add that I missed a snook and Granny had a good sized cubera look at her fly but not eat it.