Friday, March 13, 2009

bonefish, grilled

if you've ever been to bonefish grille, you probably know what a bonefish looks like. might also know that they often school in "flats" (which is water soooooo shallow that, at times, you can see the fish's tail and dorsal fin sticking out of the water). ..the water is sooooooo clear that you use a technique called "sight-fishing," where you actually see the fish (underwater) and cast in such a way that the fish is attracted to the bait.

pete booked a bonefish trip with cpt. germaine, and the plus-side of our trip was the beauty of the flats, the water, and (of course) sight-fishing. is completely amazing.

you can fly-fish for bonefish, or you can cast with a traditional rod & reel.

we should have known from the start that cpt. germaine wasn't mr. expert fisherman when we got into his small boat, the belizean breeze. ..there were two light fishing rods, and he couldn't procure the fly-fishing rod that he attempted to borrow. ..his tackle box (a term used very loosely) consisted of a round plastic container filled with a bunch of tangled line and hooks.

since cpt. germaine was going to be our guide and skipper, it was interesting when his "cousins" shane & emory hopped onboard the belizean breeze. ..three guides are better than one, right?

after an elongated stop to fill up a plastic gas tank with fuel for the trip, we were off. ..for subsistence, we were treated with fruit (watermelon, pineapple, papaya), and for refreshments we had water, belikin ale, and rum punch.

what follows are the sayings, and my translations:

* in regard to the trip:
-cpt. g: "today we are going to catch bonefish, tarpon, and snook."
-translation: "today you are going to make a small donation to the cpt. germaine fund in an effort to rejuvenate the caye caulker economy."

* in reference to the type of lure (a little plastic thing that looks like worm on a hook) that we were going to use:
-cpt. g: "the bonefish love these babies."
-translation: "these babies are the only lures i've got."

* in regard to his enthusiasm as our "guide":
-cpt. g: "we will stay on the boat, and we will locate the fish for you."
-translation: "we'll stay on the boat, drink rum, smoke ganja, and talk about women all day long. guys get out there in the flats and catch some fish."

* in regard to the sighting of a fish:
-shane: "hey, buddy. ..there a bonefish."
-lenny: "are you sure? ..that looks like a trunkfish."
-shane: "no, mon, that's a bonefish."
-lenny: "ooooooookay, but it still looks like that other trunkfish that i caught before."
-shane (a little later): "no, that's a trunkfish."
-lenny: (a loooong sigh)

* after bonefishing (which was a great experience, actually) it was time for a "break"

-cpt. g: "we'll take a break now, and you can catch some barracuda near the pass on that island."
-translation: "you can cast out from shore, while my cousins & i search through the woods for (...God knows what, but i bet that it was a plant of some kind)."

* after the break, we were supposed to fish for tarpon. ..cpt. germaine piloted us through some very thick vegetation (mangroves that touch both sides of the boat as you pass through) into a tiny lagoon on caye caulker. ..there were a couple of houses there, and it looked like somebody's back yard.

note: it is important to state that pete and lenny were out on a boat, in the middle of central america, with what (in the u.s.) would be considered three mean-looking dudes. ..for most of the day, our money, passports, etc. stayed on board with the "crew," while pete and i were (at times) more than 100 yards away, sighting & casting for the big trophy fish. ..the thoughts that go through your head are: if they'd wanted to, they could take off; they could peruse our gear; they could strand us out on a remote island...

soooooooooo... we're in this tiny lagoon, for no apparent reason, when:
-pete: (says nothing, gives lenny a look, and smiles cautiously)
-lenny (quietly enough for pete to hear) says: "...and this is the point where we die."


epilogue: it was great to sight fish. was another great day on a boat. ..the beer was cold. ..the crew was, for the most part, friendly. ..cpt. germaine is a good guy. ..we caught a few fish, and we saw a few bonefish. ..our boat also towed another boat (which looked like something out of mad max movie) off of a sandbar.

we are alive, and now we've got this story.
...and that's all i've got to say about that.


  1. It sounds as if you found what you were looking for! Ahhh the "bonefish adventures of Lenster and Pete";
    I hope the fish was good-

  2. Hi, Sonia!

    We went with the catch and release program, before heading back into town for some grilled snapper.

    Good fish story, though, eh?

  3. your stories are so real and incredibly funny-thank you! I need to get to Belize!

  4. Beth,

    The more time I spend here, the more I "Belize" that this would be a GREAT destination for your tours.

    I'm making a zillion connections, and setting things up for March, 2010. We could do two or three tours, easy, and I'd (of course) have to stay here for the whole month (waaaaaaaaaaaaa).

    Anyway, I'm getting serious about this possibility. Thai intro, Happy Now, yoga, meditation, snorkeling, scuba, myan ruins, shopping, weight loss, tans, and a we bit of partying.

    I'll send you an e-mail with a plan, but check out "caye caulker, part 2" which should be posted sometime today. Many pics of local shops, etc. will be posted, representing a small part of the flavor of this caye.