Belize River Lodge

Here is an excerpt
from a BRL "special"               report. 


Dear Capt. Mike 

A few days ago I was fishing
all by myself along the
coast of Central Belize, in
the vicinity of a very picturesque
local fishing village. A rickety
old pier extended about one
hundred feet from the shore.
A rusty old metal roof, just
barely standing upright on the
pier, supplied shade from the
broiling afternoon sun. 
Combined with a gentle
afternoon sea breeze and a cooler
with cold Belikin beer a few local
fishermen lounged in the shade. 
The only thing keeping them
awake was the cold beer. 

I could not resist the temptation
to take a break, so I eagerly
joined the happy looking
group in the shade.  They asked
about my fishing success
but were especially curious
about the long skinny fly rods
racked in my skiff.  Among
many other fishing stories I
carefully but casually
explained the new Belize law
about Catch and Release
for Tarpon, Bonefish and
Permit.  As commercial
fishermen they found it difficult
to Sage flyrods believe that anyone would go
to the trouble of catching big fish
like tarpon and then letting
them go alive back into the sea. 
They had heard about Catch
and Release but did not
understand the concept.
After a few minutes and a few
more beers from my cooler
they seemed convinced that
Catch and Release was a good
 thing for sport fishermen, but
 were not quite convinced that
the law was a good one for them

Just as I was about to take
leave of this relaxed and amiable
group of local fishermen a young
boy came running in from the
end of the pier and in raw Creole
he told us that a really big fish
was in the water by the end of
the pier, but it looked like it
was dying.  Come quick he told
us.  So we all hurried to the
end of the rickety old pier. 
Sure enough, there was a Tarpon,
about 75 pounds, floating on
its side, almost belly up,
gasping for air.  The water
appeared to be about four feet
deep so I jumped in and signaled
the group of Tarpon onlookers for some

help, but no one moved.
I approached the Tarpon from its
back, then held its lower lip in
my right hand and cradled its
body with my left arm.  While
standing on the grassy sea
floor I slowly rocked the big fish
back and forth, passing water
over its gills.  For a few
minutes, maybe two or three,
it did not seem that I was having
any effect on reviving the
fish.  So I splashed more water
and bubbles into its open mouth
and past its gills for another
five or ten minutes.  Very slowly
at first the big fish seemed to be
waking up, righting its body
and slowly moving its tail ever
so slightly.  I continued the
splashing and rocking for
several more minutes, getting
myself a bit winded in the
process.  This was no easy job
but I could see that the fish
was now showing the will to live
and I felt responsible for
saving its life.  After all, this
Tarpon was now legally
protected in Belize and I just had
to help in any way I could.  I
was even feeling good that I had
been a key player in influencing
legislation for Catch and
Release of this species as
well as for Bonefish and Permit.

It now seemed I had been
working with this fish for
about half an hour and I was
becoming exhausted.  One of
my new found friends on the
pier even extended his beer for
me to take a swallow.  Wow,
another cold Belikin to my rescue!

Well my new friend with the big
scales, big eyes and slimy body
was now well awake and quite
ready to go, so I pushed her
forward to test her reflexes. As I
shook her tail she lunged
forward and swam away for
about ten yards or so but
circled back toward me.  My
fishy friend circled me
several times staying just
about six feet away.  Her eyes
seemed to be checking me out
and I even imagined I saw
eyes of appreciation.  I could
hear the audience, now up to
about twenty persons cheering
on the fish to swim, swim, go, go,

I felt so good, I'd done the
right thing, helped another
tarpon to survive its human
contact. Now the fish came even
closer and was actually rubbing
up against my legs, like a big
cat or dog that wanted more
affection and did not want to
leave my side.Then I found
myself talking to the Tarpon.  I
must have babbled on something
about our lucky day but I do
remember asking, what is
your name, where are you
from, what happened to you,
how did you get here? 

To my amazement the Tarpon
answered in a loud and clear
voice, in English: "I am Julia, I
came from Florida, I followed
in the wake of a cruise ship, I
fed on soupy food scraps they
flushed out for me, but I
suddenly felt sick and passed
out. I must have drifted for a
few hours.  Then you showed
up.  Thank you, thank you for
waking me up.  How can I ever
repay you for saving my life
I told Julia that Tarpon Satellite tag tomorrow we

would be tagging a big
tarpon with a satellite tag to
see where it goes from here, and
would she be willing for us to
place a tag in her back to
follow her for about six months.
Julia told me that would be OK
by her but the tag would not
really be necessary as she
could tell me right now that
she was heading for Venezuela. 

I was thrilled to be so
privileged to be having a
conversation with a Tarpon, one
who might someday be really
famous.  I also have witnesses
who heard both sides of
the conversation between me
and Julia.  So look out for my
friend Julia, the talking Tarpon
who we tagged next morning.

And then.........................
I woke up from my dream about
Julia the big Tarpon.  This
dream was so real I got up and
made some notes so I could share
 with you my experience with

I hope you enjoyed my Tarpon
Warm regards,
Mike Heusner

Satellite tag retreival

double check your schedules and call
us or Capt. Mike at A.F.F.S. to book
your space to catch
your Big Tarpon

As our regular
guests already
know, Belize River
Lodge is easy
to get to from the
USA via American Airlines, United
Airlines, US Air,
TACA and Delta.

except Saturdays, departing Cancun
2:00 PM and
departing Belize
11:30 AM, an easy
one and a half hour
flight time; round trip
US $484.00.  

If you have not
booked your spring
or summer fishing
trip or if you have
any questions,
please contact us
and we  look forward
 to hearing from you
and visiting with
you soon.
Warm regards,
Mike & Marguerite

Belize River Lodge

"Where Fishing Dreams Come True"
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 Culebra  Puerto Rico..

Now Booking  Winter /Spring 2016.

"I look forward to my regulars returning and meeting new friends with whom I can share some of the great fishing in Culebra".


609 827 4536

Editors Note.. PS: Need a great guide in Cape May, N.J. this summer? Spend a day chasing stripers with Chris.. That's where Capt. Chris can be found during the summer months.. Also a great way to meet him and pick his brain a little about Culebra.   Give him a call..


Allan Johnson with a Brookie from the Musky
Guide Paul Healy with a Musky Brown
Big Kev holds steelhead caught on the Salmon River
Capt. Chris Goldmark with a huge Red caught in Sebastian Inlet.

A Captain Al Zlata "CRUISE & CAST" report..

A Classic Fishing Report to remember and enjoy..

 Greetings- I'll give you a little rundown on a "Cruise and Cast" trip with Capt. Mike Corblies. We left out of Tampa on Sunday afternoon with Ben and Debbie Napolski with their three daughters in our group, along with about 2500 other guests aboard the N.C.L. Norwegian Star

Day 1- cruise day- Seminar day, we met after a good breakfast, we went over our itinerary of the trip, and talked about techniques in casting and sighting fish, how to work together with the guides. Hands on knots tying instruction, and casting practice on deck. A good time spent getting to know our clients and answering lots of questions, with anticipation of what the next few days has to offer-

DAY 2- The island of Roatan, Honduras - We disembarked and found our van. We traveled through a few small towns and arrived at   What a beautiful spot, the lodge and accommodations are first class, bone fish, double digit and close to the lodge, we all traveled to different spots in groups of 3's by pangas with our guides. We spotted quite a few fish, managed to hook a few and were back at the ship at 1630

DAY 3 Belize City and    We departed the ship by the launch, a short walk around the block and we found our guides, got all our gear set up, talked a lot about flies and the flies that looked good in my fly box!! Our guide said we would stop and look for some snook, ok by me-- very short casts to the mangroves, we moved 1 fish, very big fish that when hooked turned and went back into the mangroves and laughed at my 20lb leaders--We traveled up the Belize River to be greeted by Misha the manager of the lodge. I will say stepping off the boat and on to the lush green surroundings, is like stepping in to the history of fly fishing, knowing that books were written about the great fishing times spent here, by some pretty famous folks connected to and with our sport. We also met one of the scientists from the 'Tarpon & Bonefish Trust. He was there to document the movements of larger fish taken, document info on the fish, install satellite beacons and track the movements of the tarpon. We said our good byes and blasted off for some bonefish!! In the mouth of the river we saw a few boats working for Tarpon, one of our clients had a tarpon estimated at 125lb,on for over two hours, spit the hook after three shots at the boat, the guide did have the leader twice making it a legit release. We were running over gin clear flats as far as you could see, no other boats!! We got bone fish, lightning fast, strong these little guys will pull a hundred fifty feet of line from your reel before you realize your in! A mixed bag of great fishing, we got Tarpon, bonefish, tripletail, snapper what a great day. Returned to the ship at 1600, the ship departed at 1730 for the port of Costa Maya Mexico-

DAY 4- Departed the ship at 0730- After a slight language problem with the van driver we were off to Casa De Coco, after about a 25 minute ride on a decent road, we pulled up to the lodge and were greeted by our host who, quickly got us geared up and ready, Ben, Capt. Mike and me pile into the skiff and gone. We traveled up the coast into a small channel lined with mangroves which opened up to miles of crystal clear flats, small tight little channels, and no other boats. The guide slowed the skiff and polled us in, Mike stayed with the camera the guide stayed with Ben, and I got out and started walking, after about three steps, The guide asked me if I see him eating at one o'clock? Not only did I see him I saw them!! Two schools of over twenty fish coming at me about forty feet to my left, I turned and cast about 40ft the fly dropped a few feet in front of the school, the guide is yelling over my shoulder in very broken English" there coming Captain- There coming to eat!!!

I stripped and again and I felt him hit, the guide is yelling " he's eating Captain he is eating" I lifted the rod tip, a light strip, set- and game on!!! I watched a hundred ft of fly line whistle off the rod and the backing was going out equally as fast, Ben had one on and Mike was busy with the camera. Unreal day, we caught released many bones, missed our share, the big fish was about six pounds, not big in size but, a lightning fast powerful, and beautiful fish!! All in all this place is bonefish paradise in my book, go down and see Coco's-

DAY 5- Cozumel- The six of us hop on a 30' Topaz armed with 12 to 15 weight rods. The locals on the dock were making fun of our light tackle, the mate told me as I was setting my 12wt up," Captain, the pole is very small - ok for the dorado , but for the sailfish, tooo small- I say not to worry if you can put me on- I will catch da sailfish!!! and we trolled, and trolled until all hell broke out on deck, the captain is yelling sailfish, I am clearing the deck, I look up to see three sails behind the boat munching on the hook less teasers, I cast my 12wt to the right teaser where this billfish is chewing the teaser, another fish was tasting Mike's fly, I strip two times and this fish turns and hits the fly at speed , I strip set twice and the line is flying out of the reel - the fish is tail walking away from the boat, the Capt is backing down on the fish, screaming Spanish obscenities - with water flying over the transom on me and Ben. We started the fight, after about 20 minutes of giant runs, awesome jumps we boated the fish, took some pics and off he swam-- A estimated 65 pound sail, on a twelve wt rod, with 40 pound mono leader, tied on a tandem hooked, Puglisi offshore blue, white and orange fly about six inches long---

AWESOME- what more can I say CATCHEMUP..


Report Mango Creek Lodge, 

Just thought I’d say hello from Paradise. All is well here, we have had a steady but small trickle of guests and fishermen. The fishing has been great we have been getting steady catches of Bonefish and quite a few Permit. There have not been too many Tarpon but mostly because we haven’t been after them in a while. Michael Mascha from Southern Texas was back for a week