But I knew the girls wanted to see the sunrise and fish, so I got ready. I almost thought the girls would much rather sleep in...but the two troopers came out to meet me. Now the pressure was on for me to deliver some fishing action.
The sky was getting some colour already. We made it to the Split just before the sun broke through the clouds. Carina took a great picture of Alice and I on the Split during sunrise.
It took a while for me to get the rods rigged up. But soon I was showing Carina and Alice how to use the spinning rod. Alice had fished a couple of times for Northern Pike so she had some idea already. I spent more time with Carina.
Man, the bait thieves were bad! They would come to strip the bait so fast the girls had no chance to catching some of the snappers. Alice was the first to get bit and a Schoolmaster Snapper gave her a run for her money!
Now it was Carina's turn. She kept thinking she wasn't good at this fishing thing, but I kept reassuring her no one can avoid these bait thieves. So I found an area with less thieves and more snappers...and soon she was challenging her own Schoolmaster Snapper too!
Alright! Mission accomplished!
Alice caught a couple more snappers while Carina spotted a Doctorfish and wanted to catch Dory. I had a heavier rod with me so I tossed out a small grunt and let it free line. We sat there watching the sunset for a while, and I pointed out all the different species of colourful reef fish in the area. At one point, a couple of BIG Scrawled Filefish showed up. The girls asked if I wanted one of their rods to catch them. These fish were on my target list...but I refuse to take the rod from them. Yeah...it's not like me at all.
We were watching more fish when my Baitrunner screamed and woke us all up! Something picked up my grunt and was burning line off in a hurry!!!
I picked up the rod and set the hook. The fish kept peeling line like it didn't care. I watched half my spool cleared out (about 150 yards) before the fish slowed and turned. Now it was like pulling in a heavy anchor. I was really hoping it was a big snapper. About 20 yards from shore, the fish seemed to have just rocked me. I was about to pull on the line to snap the leader when something gave the the fish came out. Finally, we got colour and now I knew why the fish rocked me. It was a Southern Stingway with about a 2.5' wing span. It likely sucked onto the bottom when I felt getting rocked. The girls were complete wide-eyed looking at the ray. I got it close to the beaching area and simply cut the mono as close as I could. They have a nasty long stinger on a whipping tail. I was not about to mess with it. We watched it rest in the area for a while before swimming off slowly.
With that excitement over, we decided to call it a morning and returned back to the hostel to get a couple more hours of sleep.
Well...that's about all the reporting I wanted to share. I hung out with Alice a bit more before she left for Guatemala that afternoon. After she left, I really didn't feel like fishing at all. I did went out to dinner with Carina, Howard and Clara from the hostel that evening. Rose's was an awesome grill where you can pick out your seafood and they'll grilling it for your out front. The atmosphere of the restaurant was certainly nice but it was also a pricey establishment. It's okay....gotta spoil yourself once in a while, right? I did fish for bonefish the next morning and caught two more and lost one on the fly. These bonefish were so smart and my #6 Crazy Charlies were tied a bit too large. If anyone would like to fly fish for them, I would suggest #8 or even #10 Charlies!
I had a great time in Belize. I really wish there was more time to go inland and visit some of the Mayan ruins. And I really wish I could have fished for more new species...but I don't regret putting down the rods and simply spent time with Alice. It takes a special person to make me not think about fishing in such a species rich place LOL. It just means that I'll have to come back to Belize one day to sightsee some more and to catch more marine and freshwater species. :P