Fly Fishing in Turneffe Flats
If you are like most of our guests, there are a number of factors you consider in deciding on a saltwater shing destination. We want to make it easy for you to get as good a feel for Turneffe Flats as you can without actually having been there before. Hopefully, this summary about the “Turneffe Flats experience” will help.
Location: Thirty miles off the coast of Belize, Turneffe Flats is located on the Turneffe Atoll, the largest of only four coral reefs in the Western Hemisphere. The Turneffe Atoll is remote and strikingly beautiful with crystal clear waters are alive with a wide diversity of marine life.
Fly-Fishing Overview: The Turneffe Atoll is noted for its variety of saltwater fly fishing. Plentiful bonefish, permit & tarpon make Turneffe Flats one of the rare spots where you have a good shot at a Grand Slam (depending on the time of the year). In addition, there are a number of other gamefish in the area which creates a diverse saltwater fly fishing experience.
Bonefish: Turneffe boneish are everywhere! They are on the flats on the ocean side and in the mangrove lagoons. Bonefish are resident on the ocean side ats all months of the year. On an average day on the reef fats, any time of year, you will see and fish to hundreds of bonefish in the 3 to 5 pound range with a few shots at bigger fish. These fish tend to be in large schools; however, there are lots of singles and doubles as well. Bonefish on the inner flats and lagoons are not as numerous, but on average are larger. The only challenge is dealing with the coral. But, that is the fun part as well!
Permit: Many anglers come to Turneffe Flats to chase permit. Permit are there in large numbers and are found on the bars & flats throughout the Turneffe Atol. You can expect plenty of shots at 10 to 20 pound permit with some fish in the 30 to 40 pound range. Turneffe permit may be more plentiful than in many other areas, but they are just as challenging to catch!
Tarpon: The tarpon migration is generally from late April through September. They say there are some resident tarpon around throughout the year. We caught one baby tarpon when we were there in October! Most tarpon are 60 to 90 pounds with some huge fish of 150 pounds or more. Most of the tarpon fishing is to casting to rollers from the bow of the boat.
Other Game Fish: The ocean side flats are chock full of other species as are the lagoons, creeks and channels. Barracuda, jacks, sharks, snapper, jack crevalle and snapper are all available and add to the experience. Come prepared to at least try for some of these other species during your stay.
Turneffe Flats Guides: All of TFL’s guides speak English with a good knowledge of all of the water & area. Several have been guiding on the flats for more than thirty years. All of the guides are accomplished at fly casting, poling, & everything in between. They will help you with the technical aspects of saltwater fishing if you need it (or ask for it). Generally each guide will have two anglers, we can arrange a private boat / guide for you.
How close are those fish? Some of the best flats are located literally minutes away from the resort. Long, rough boat rides aren’t really necessary at all! Expect to fish the entire Atoll! Some of the bars, creeks and lagoons may be a 30 to 40 minute run. It is very feasible to fish for tarpon and/or permit in the morning and then run to the ocean side flats for an afternoon of bone fishing. There is also a nice flat right outside the doors of the lodge!