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 www.mangocreeklodge.com 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 www.belizeriverlodge.com 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..