Belize Tarpon Tagging Expedition

 

Have you ever wanted to be a Marine Biologist for a day and play a significant role in the effort to protect and understand global tarpon populations? In August of 2014, you’ll be able to join FRA owner Steve McLaughlin and Adam Marton, self-professed Chicago tarpon enthusiast and conservationist, to do just that. To enhance this special experience, the legendary Stu Apte; author, tarpon guru, holder of over 44 World Records and inductee of the Fishing Hall of Fame will join the first week of the expedition. FRA is excited to be able to offer you the opportunity to also become an elite member of the expedition that will help unlock the answers to the global Tarpon migration code.

El-Pescador-Logo-SmallThe inaugural 2013 expedition group of 12 talented anglers tangled with more than 20 tarpon. Once again, we will be armed with the most technologically advanced PAT & SPOT satellite tags. The goal of the expedition is to land, tag and release adult tarpon that migrate annually to the world-renowned Long Key area.  After tagged tarpon are successfully released, our efforts will enable scientists from the University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science to study global movements, habitat and behavior of the fish. Through a special program arranged through El Pescador Lodge we are now able to offer a custom seven night/ six fishing day expedition to be a part of this unique opportunity.

Tarpon Satelllite TagThis data will ultimately be used to assist fisheries managers, anglers and government officials from around the globe to make even more intelligent decisions about how to properly manage tarpon populations. Lessons learned from expeditions like this are the cornerstone in ensuring our children’s children will have the opportunity to enjoy the Silver King for generations to come.

 

Embark On The Trip Of A Lifetime! Contact an Expert

 

Stu Apte Tarpon

Join record holder Stu Apte for a week of tarpon tagging in Belize!

Drawing from more than 2-decades of chasing the Silver King, Adam Marton has designed this entire expedition to enhance your understanding of tarpon for a lifetime. Plan on returning home from this trip with more than just your fair share of day dreams and hero shots. When the boats return to the dock, participate in workshops and seminars offered to enhance your skills and knowledge about the fascinating world of the tarpon. Between “Rocket Science On The Flats”, successful fishing techniques and “how to” sessions, you won’t be wondering if you have the right fly on or a good knot next time it’s your shot at 80-feet moving left to right.

Don’t miss this completely unique opportunity to advance science while mixing it up with the living legend of the sport. Come participate in the fascinating fisheries fieldwork that will take place this summer in the liquid laboratory that is Belize’s unique tarpon habitat.  After careful consideration of annual migration patterns, optimal moon and tidal phases; two, one-week expeditions have been planned for 2014. Expedition dates are August 9-16 (with Stu Apte) & 16-23, 2014. There are a limited number of spots available.

Destination Details

Fly Fishing Belize El Pescador Lodge

Spacious rooms in the main lodge all look towards the ocean and make El Pescador a relaxing place to be even when you’re not fishing!

Lodging Details

You can chose between clean, comfortable rooms in the main lodge, or opt for upgraded accommodations in the newer El Pescador Villas. The rooms in the main lodge are clean and quiet and all have individual bathrooms and showers, air-conditioning, ceiling fans, and even rod racks mounted on the wall. For guests who would like a bit more luxury or are interested in slightly newer, more private accommodations, El Pescador also offers packages in one, two, and three-bedroom villas. These villas are perfect for couples, families, or small groups. Each villa includes a large “great room” with a full kitchen, living room and dining room as well as spacious outdoor decks and access to the villa pools. All of the rooms in the main lodge and all villas are ocean front, on the beach with views of the Caribbean sea and barrier reef.

The total capacity for El Pescador is 72 guests (double occupancy). The main lodge itself is an intimate, 12-room-plus-one-suite hotel set in a colonial-style mahogany building with a long verandah overlooking the beach and barrier reef. The newer villas are a collection of eight luxury, three-bedroom “island homes” set in tropical gardens and surrounding two private pools. You may enjoy an entire villa as a home-away-from-home, or request only portions since each suite can be locked-off into a private unit.

Food and Beverages

The restaurant and dining room at El Pescador specializes in fresh, local Caribbean cuisine with meals served on the outdoor deck or in the main dining room. Breakfasts are ordered off of an extensive menu, just as in a cafe or restaurant at home. Lunch each day is ordered off of a menu and packed in a cooler for your day in the boat and on the water. Each evening, everyone dines together in the main dining room, where guests have a choice of two different entrees or an expansive buffet at dinner.

Hors d’oeuvres are served daily from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM in the bar area, which is the perfect place for sharing stories after a day’s activities.The house specialty is tropical rum punch, but the lodge also offers a full selection of top shelf liquors, wine and local beers. All local liquors, beer, soda and mixers are included in the cost of your overall El Pescador trip package. International cigars are available in San Pedro and are sold upon request.

Non-Angling Activities and Options

PADI-certified diving, naturalist excursions, snorkeling, tours of Mayan ruins, beach combing, trips to the town of San Pedro, bicycling, and more. Amenities at the lodge include three swimming pools, a large indoor/outdoor bar area, complimentary Wi-Fi, satellite TV, bicycles, sea kayaks, volleyball court, and an on-site dive master – one of the best in all of Belize! The lodge can also organize golf cart rentals for trips around the island or a run into town.

Internet/Communications

Wi-Fi is available free of charge for lodge guests. Please bring your own laptop or PDA to access the internet. Depending on your service plan, some cell phones will also work at the lodge and on Ambergris.

FRA Owner Steve McLaughlin with a Tarpon at El Pescador Lodge

FRA Owner Steve McLaughlin tangling with a Tarpon during the 2013 tagging expedition

The Schedule

After much consideration and consultation with the El Pescador Guide Team we have arranged a custom 8-hour fishing schedule to maximize our opportunities to successfully tag large tarpon. As many of you know, tarpon are most active in the early morning hours. While this schedule is not compulsory we encourage you to stay with this schedule to increase our odds for success.

The boats will be loaded and leave very early in the morning to make the hour-long boat ride to the best migratory tarpon waters. This ensures the anglers are at the best fishing grounds when the tarpon are most activce.

  • 4:00 a.m.- Boats Depart
  • Group Tarpon Fishing at Long & Hicks Cays
  • 12:00 p.m.- Return to the lodge
  • 12:00 – 5:00 – DIY kayaking, wading, town trips, massage, excursions, napping, pool, etc.
  • 5:00 – 6:30 – Fishing Seminars & Happy Hour
  • 6:45 – Evening Meal

As always, your guide will be happy to stay on the water for more then the 8 hours included in your package for an additional US$50 per hour.

How To Get There

International flights to Belize go through Miami, Dallas, Houston, Newark, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Charlotte. The major airlines that service Belize are American, Delta, United, US Air, and Taca.

Arrival and Departure Details / Times

It is best to arrive into the Belize City International Airport (Phillip Goldson International) before 3:00 PM in order to make your necessary domestic connections and allow ample in-country travel time to Ambergris. Your round-trip flights from Belize International Airport to Ambergris Caye is included in your trip package. On your departure day, you can book a return international flight at any time, as flights from Ambergris back to the International Airport begin as early as 7:00 AM and run every 30 minutes.

Documents Required

A valid passport is required for all visitors to Belize and must be valid for at least six (6) months beyond the duration of your stay. Citizens of the U.S., the British Commonwealth, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, and the European Community are NOT required to have Visas.

Week 1 Aug. 9-16 (with Stu Apte) Sold Out
7 Night / 6 Fishing Days
Shared standard room $4230/per angler
Week 2 Aug. 16-23
7 Night / 6 Fishing DaysShared standard room $3475/per angler

Packages Include: 7 nights lodging and 6 days fishing, roundtrip land, air and sea transfers between Belize City and El Pescador, hotel tax, sales tax where applicable, 3 meals per day and hors d’oeuvres, local Belizean beverages consumed at our bar (including soda, beer and rum), complimentary use of all amenities (pools, wi-fi, kayaks, bikes, etc) and a welcome drink. The tarpon tagging expedition also includes group access to the 2 tags from the University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, a group host and a special gift.

 

Customized trips can also be created for villa upgrades, extensions, non-angling spouses/kids, etc. Please contact us for customized rates.