Turneffe Flats Lodge Hosted Trip Report – August 6th – 10th:
Turneffe Flats Lodge Hosted Trip Report – August 6th – 10th: Starting your beginning saltwater fly angler journey can be intimidating. New gear, new locations, new techniques and new perspective on targeting fish are all needed to get your saltwater fly fishing experience underway. While there is some crossover from your trout fly fishing knowledge and techniques; the saltwater environment can be even more unforgiving than your toughest trout angling days on the water. As anglers start their saltwater fly fishing journey, there are certain locations that offer the perfect blend of everything needed to get started on the right foot. A warm and welcoming atmosphere, friendly staff, knowledgeable and patient guides and plenty of angling opportunities that offer beginner anglers shots and experiences. Turneffe Flats has wonderful reputation as one of those locations that can offer it all; from beginner anglers to experts alike!
Turneffe Flats has long been recognized as one of Belize’s as well as the Caribbean’s premier saltwater fly fishing lodges. Located on beautiful Turneffe Atoll, anglers traveling to Turneffe Flats enjoy a 90 minute offshore boat ride from Belize City to its remote location. Upon arrival, anglers have access to over 250 square miles of flats and reefs that hold incredible population of saltwater big three: bonefish, permit and tarpon. Turneffe Atoll is the largest of only four coral atolls in the Western Hemisphere, thus creating a variety of saltwater fishing opportunities that include wadable oceanside flats, expansive lagoons, reefs and much more. All of Turneffe Flats guides are patient teachers that are excellent at speaking English; removing any language and communication barriers. All angling is done from the lodge’s custom built 16-foot Dolphin Super Skiffs complete with large casting decks and rod holders. The skiffs are extremely comfortable and pole well in skinny water. To top it all off, there is an expansive bonefish flat is right outside your lodging door for early morning and late evening wade fishing sessions.
The main lodge at Turneffe Flats serves as the focal point for activities and dining. The spacious and air-conditioned space is host to post fishing day appetizers and hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and fishing stories as well as breakfast and pre fishing day planning. Meals at the lodge are a Belizean/American blend served family-style with lots of fresh seafood, local produce, and home-baked pastries on the menu. Coffee and Tea is offered each morning. The Main Lodge also includes a pool and small fly shop for last minutes needs, wants and restocking. Wifi is available to stay connected to the main land and real world or enjoy your down time on the large deck and screened in patio. Angler lodging consists of a mix of Beach Cabanas with two queen-sized beds and a large private bath as well as Villas for larger groups. Large decks offer anglers privacy to enjoy the evening tropical breeze just steps away from the home bonefish flat.
Bonefish have been a primary target of Turneffe Flats’ anglers for more than 30 years and proved to be the same for our group of beginner saltwater fly fishing anglers. Wading the expansive oceanside flats offered anglers regular opportunities to target large schools of bonefish. These large schools of bonefish provide those perfect opportunities for new saltwater anglers to learn the basics “flats style” of fishing. The advantage of wading these bonefish flats allows anglers to get closer to fish in very skinny water and create visual fishing experiences in some of the most picturesque flats anywhere in the world. Contrary to popular belief, bonefish can be challenging but these environments provided productive in bring many first bonefish to hand. There are also plenty of challenging opportunities for those who enjoy stalking larger fish (some in excess of 10 pounds) in skinny water.
Our group from this trip where first time beginner saltwater anglers. While many had spent a good time fly fishing for trout, smallmouth bass and other warm water species, this was the first time they would step foot on the saltwater flats. For our 4 night/3 day trip, we concentrated on wading the flats in search of the most bonefish opportunities we could find. With a mix of conditions, we saw it all: tailing bonefish, mudding bonefish, single cruising bonefish, bonefish schools and the inevitable spooked and scared bonefish. Each flat offered different conditions, habitats, tides, winds and sun conditions which was perfect. The anglers were immersed in developing their skills and techniques to all applicable options to engage, hook and land bonefish. Naturally, we lost plenty of hooked fish. The fast runs and hard pull of bonefish are a surprise to any saltwater angler. Hard corral flats provided ample opportunities for fish to break anglers leaders and tippet when hooked. Essentially, it is just part of the game. At the end of each day, everyone came back to the lodge with bonefish brought to hand, fly line burns, some good photos, plenty of stories of fish lost and a greater understanding and skills as a saltwater angler!
Bonefish where not the only gamefish targeted during our stay at Turneffe Flats. From mid April through August, large migratory tarpon make their way through the Turneffe Atoll on their annual journey. Early morning periods provided opportunities for us anglers to see tarpon rolling and target some of these migratory fish. Equally as important, when conditions and visibility (cloudy, overcast or rain) were poor, anglers could still fish for tarpon in deeper water areas with intermediate and sinking lines. Tarpon fishing is a tough game. Their hard mouths create challenges in getting a firm and positive hook set. While many of our anglers connected with Tarpon, one angler, Matt Nicholson, got the true excitement of a hard fought battle with the Silver King that ended in true Tarpon fashion: a broken rod and worn through leader!
What stood out to everyone in the group, regardless of their specific fishing ability, skill level or timing, was that Turneffe Flats truly offers it all! With the the beauty, cleanliness and pristineness of the water and flats around Turneffe Atoll; anglers can have an opportunity at a Grand Slam (Permit, Tarpon and Bonefish caught in one day) around every corner. This is what truly sets a fishery and location above others! With Turneffe’s phenomenal Permit fishery you’ve got it all for any angler in the world! Super comfortable accommodations, great food and english speaking guides make Turneffe Flats a must visit for all saltwater anglers and enthusiasts. You can even bring the whole family and experience superior diving, guided snorkeling, and other eco-tours while you enjoy time on the flats!
Turneffe Flats has long been recognized as Belize’s premier saltwater fly fishing, scuba diving and marine eco-tourism destination. Located on Turneffe Atoll – the largest and most biologically diverse atoll in the Caribbean – Turneffe Flats provide superior flats fishing, diving, snorkeling, and eco-adventure experiences for a limited number of guests. Please contact WorldCast Anglers for more information on the the next trip to Turneffe Flats! Be sure to stay updated on the WorldCast Anglers Hosted Destination Offerings!
WorldCast Anglers President
August 6th – 10th, 2022
Turneffe Flats, Belize