Day Two of Three of the Grand Caribe Deep Sea Classic

I am no fisherman.  I dabbled at it as a kid…bobbers and Sunfish with my brothers…but it just didn’t stick.  I don’t have that primal urge…the hunter gene. And I am horrible at mono-tasking and patience…my mind tends to ping all over the place.  I don’t think I’ll ever be a fisherman.

And while I’ve learned a great deal about flyfishing thru my boyfriend and his business, Cayo Frances Farm & Fly, the sum-total of my knowledge about deep sea fishing hovers around zero.

BUT when I saw this sign hanging in town and the CASH AND PRIZES AMOUNT OF $50,000?  I had to know more.
,And after seeing photos on Instagram of some really crazy looking fish…I wanted to stop by in person to catch the action.

Here are some of the photos from Day One.  29 boats.  3 from Mexico.  About 10 from Belize City and a few from Southern Belize.  The rest from Ambergris Caye.

Dylan Henkis from the boat:  Knotty Pirate

And Tarpon Caye Lodge posted this picture of a BLUE MARLIN!  Estimated to be around 250lbs…but released.  You get PENALIZED (lose points) for bringing in marlin under the weight.

I had questions…like WHY are the mahi-mahi/dorado such crazy colors?  And how big do these fish actually get?  Marlin?  Like Old Man and the Sea….1000+ plus fish with a sword?  We have those in Belize?

So I showed up on a simmering hot day at Grand Caribe Resort just about 2 miles north of San Pedro town.

Here are my pictures and some things that I learned.

First, let’s start with a mango paleta.

I walked around the lobby, so not to drip, and out to the beach.  A gorgeous day!

Tempting…but I have work to do!

Boats were coming in – the time to stop fishing was 4pm.  And they were making their way back to shore.

The fish that they were going out generally live about 90 feet deep or below.  And off Ambergris Caye, that doesn’t need to take you that far from shore.  While the water stays generally shallow out to the reef – anywhere from a few feet to 10 or 12, depths plummet over the reef.

I was told that most of these fish were caught up and down the coast of Ambergris Caye not far from the reef…

The fish I was most interested in.  The dorado.

I watched some 10 pounders get weighed…

and a pretty 21 pound dorado by this 15 year old junior angler.

I was told that they are generally in the 10-15lb range off Ambergris Caye and the one brought in on Day One was exceptional at 50lbs.

These guys – also called Mahi-mahi and dolphin fish – actually dwell and feed at the top of the water.  The female has the rounded head.  They travel great distances.  But after reading about 14 articles on the fish, I know how they change colors (special cells)…under stress or when eating…but not why.  Flickering color when they feed?  Why has evolution caused that to happen?

If you know, please let ME know.

A big barracuda.

EcoMar was on hand to test the big barracuda for ciguetera, a fish born poisoning that can build up in large carnivorous reef fish.

There were no marlin brought to the boat yesterday.  And I was told that 250lbs is an extraordinary fish for these shores.

I saw a 7lb tuna (deemed too small – though I bet he’s delicious with a bit of soy sauce) and decided to head home for dinner.

Day Three is TODAY.  The last day of the tournament.  The declaration of the winners.  ALL BOATS MUST BE AT THE DOCK BY 2pm.  You can be there too.

Check the Belize Game Fish Association for updates and announcements of the winners and  lots more pics.

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