It was just a rumor, but we heard it from several reliable sources, so we made a plan. Maybe kind of a sketchy plan, but we’d make it work. This is the rumor: in the Belizian jungle there is a lake that holds Tarpon. Apparently they entered the lake during a period of exceptionally high water and became trapped. Not only that, but they thrive there in the food rich environment. Despite our sources we’re a little skeptical, but still: Resident Tarpon trapped in a fresh water lake in the jungle? Big Tarpon? It was too much to ignore, we had to check it out. The catch is that there is no boat there and this lake can’t be fished from shore because of the dense bush or waded because of the muddy bottom and possibility of crocodiles.
Here is the plan: we strap a light aluminum boat to our workhorse Panga skiff and run up the coast to the trail that leads to the lake. We’ll carry the boat in and see what we can find.
We decide to take a day to do a scouting trip then return with the aluminum boat the next day if it looks good, to spend a night out there close to the lake on private land we have permission to use, and try to find fish.
We find the trail and walk in. The bottom is dark so it’s hard to spot fish but the lake looks good. We make a few casts and catch a few fish called Bay Snook on streamers. They’re not huge, but so far so good. At least we know there are fish in there. We decide to do it! We head back out to get the aluminum boat and finalize our plans.
We make one more stop close by, to look at our camping spot, and head back to Placencia, stoked and ready to get back there ASAP with a boat.
As we’re looking over our gear to get it ready for the trip, I notice that there is a little crack in the bottom of the aluminum boat, but nothing a little JB weld can’t fix. We make the repair and look it over in the AM. It looks ok.
….to be continued