Belize: Turneffe Flats Lodge
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The Area-Turneffe Atoll
The Turneffe Atoll is the largest coral atoll in the western hemisphere and as such it has long offered fantastic saltwater fishing opportunities. Situated one and one half hour’s boat ride from Belize City its relative inaccessibility ensures that as well as providing a high level of exclusivity it places the visitor in a beautiful and diverse marine environment. At 30 miles long and 10 miles wide it assures an enormous variety of fishable water.
The Accommodation-Turneffe Lodge
As far as saltwater fishing lodges go, Turneffe Flats is one of the most well established and one of the most comfortable. Under the same ownership for 25 years, it has developed from an aspiration into a lodge of world repute. Idyllically located with wadeable flats 10 meters from your porch it consists of 4 individual chalets, each containing two very spacious double rooms. Each room has a private bathroom, air conditioning and ocean-fronted veranda, all eastwards facing to catch the morning sunrise. There are also two larger villas with their own sitting room which are ideal for families or groups. The main lodge has a central dining room, fully stocked bar capable of providing the most exotic of cocktails as well as a comfortable sitting area.
The Turneffe Atoll has fishing for everyone from novice to expert. The fishing tends to be a mix between poling for Permit on the ocean flats and the inner lagoon, wading the numerous ocean flats for Bonefish and Permit as well as seeking out Tarpon, Snook and Barracuda in the creeks, channels and lagoons. In addition the reef that runs North to South along the eastern shoreline proves anglers with opportunities for Snappers and Jacks.
Fish Species – Permit
Although there is enormous variety on offer with large schools of Bonefish on all the flats, Turneffe has increasingly focused on its Permit fishing for which it is world renowned. It is likely that you will see more Permit and have more opportunities at Permit than at any other destination. On the ocean flats it is common to see Permit tailing on a frequent basis and along the inner edge of the Atoll, running alongside the mangroves, it is likely that you will see not just individuals but large schools where the water ripples from the combined wakes of several dozen or more cruising fish.
The bread-and-butter of most saltwater destinations and the opportunities at Turneffe are equally good all year round, even if they sit to an extent in the shadow of the Permit fishing. The ocean sided flats are not only visually spectacular but have huge schools of Bonefish on easily wadeable flats. It is usually not a case of finding the fish but selecting a fish without spooking what are often much larger schools lurking unseen.
For many, the ultimate in terms of power and size, the Tarpon tend to inhabit the creeks and lagoons. Most Tarpon jumped are in the 60-90 pound range although there are some fish 100-150 and even monsters approaching 200 pounds. Although there are a few resident Tarpon all year round they are migratory and so are seasonal. Numbers increase from April or May and drop off in September or October with the peak months being June, July and August.
If fishing is the mainstay of Turneffe flats then it isonly the tip of the iceberg as to what is available. The lodge has its own dive master and runs dive packages both around the atoll and to the infamous blue hole. It also offers a varied and fun atoll adventure program. This provides non-anglers with a series of activities ranging from snorkelling, viewing the wildlife in the atoll, searching for manatees, crocodiles and dolphins, wading the gin-clear flats and generally exploring all that this pristine ecological reserve has to offer. And of course there is always just the option of relaxing at the lodge, enjoying the sun beside the beach and unwinding.
Mainland Activities - Chaa Creek Rainforest Lodge
There are excellent opportunities to combine a 3 or 4 day fishing package on Turneffe with a package of a similar length on the mainland allowing couples to enjoy much more of what Belize has to offer. Combination packages with Chaa Creek, an award winning Belizean Rainforest ecolodge, located in the heart of the ancient Maya civilisation, offers both intellectually and physically stimulating trips.
Turneffe Flats Lodge
"This is a great place to take your spouse if you want to them to have a great time. The lodge offers a "atoll adventure" package that is great. Abel the guides took excellent care of my wife and she had a super time (she forgot I was even there!) so I could fish happy knowing she was having a great time....fantastic!"
"Turneffe Flats is in my blood. I can’t not come." - Richard
"We shall return. Nothing but 1st class." - Brian Horsley
"Outstanding fishing. We shall be back." - Mike Houx
"Paradise! A true saltwater experience with premium service and people." - Grant Houx
Getting to the Lodge
Guests coming to Belize generally have to fly via Miami or another American hub and from there to Belize City. From there you will be collected and taken on a 15 minute drive, via Belize city to Princess Marina. From there you will be picked up and embark on a journey of about one hour to the lodge on the atoll. It is hoped that following runway extensions at the international airport there will be direct flights from Europe.
Best Times to Go
The lodge operates all year round. For those specifically wishing to target the migratory Tarpon the season runs from April-September with the best fishing over June, July and August. Permit and Bonefish are also available all year round, although the more settled weather conditions between April and August make these the prime months.
Availability and Pricing for the 2017 Season
If you would like to know more about the fishing in Belize, please contact us and we will provide you with more details. For availabilities, prices, pre trip information, booking form etc. please contact:
Background reading for your trip:
"Tarpon on Fly"(Paperback) by Donald Larmouth, Rob FordyceOur Comments:
"As a collector of tarpon books I know that this is the best tarpon book ever written." -- M Larkin
As Flip Pallot says in the books' introduction, "...there is nothing that you need to know about tarpon and pursuing them with flies that is not contained in this book...". The information that Larmouth and Fordyce share within this book is simple, concise and as complete as it gets. Add to that Larmouth's wonderful narratives that precede each chapter, and you feel like you are on the casting platform of the guide's skiff! I found the book both entertaining and instructional and the photography is superb. A must read for anyone who is serious about fishing for tarpon on fly!-- Steve Krystyniak
US customers: Buy at Amazon.com
UK customers: Buy at Amazon UK
"Bonefishing!"(Hardcover) by Randall KaufmannOur Comments:
"Good grief, how good does a book on bonefishing have to be? Those who reviewed this book, either did not read it or do not recognise quality when they see it. No book in the realm of fishing equals this one for accuracy of information, interesting anecdotes, breadth of coverage, and spectacular photography. I have fished one half dozen times for bones in Florida, Mexico and Belize and can eagerly confirm everything included in Kaufmann's book. I am no expert, but I can tell you it's the best book on the subject written. It does contain fly patterns, but I did not expect tying instructions for the flies and the leaders. Those subjects are well covered in much more mundane books and video tapes. "-- Review by P Carlson
US customers: Buy at Amazon.com
UK customers: Buy at Amazon UK
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If you would prefer to speak to us directly regarding a trip to Belize, please contact us at the following:
United Kingdom Office:
United States Office:
Or alternatively email us via our Booking Enquiries Form to request more information.
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