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Northern Belize: Tarpon Sands Interview with Cameron Davenport

May 03, 23

Tarpon Sands is a small and intimate island located within the Drowned Cayes of Belize, only twenty minutes from Belize City. The lodge overlooks Belize’s Barrier Reef and offers spectacular views of the green aqua waters of the Caribbean Sea. This low-key fishing focused operation is great for anglers looking to maximize time on the water and minimize boat travel. Find out from Belize’s Program Director why we’re excited to be offering Tarpon Sands as our newest lodge.

Tarpon Sands is our newest lodge offering in Belize, why did you choose it?

We wanted to visit this lodge as a possible addition to the Yellow Dog portfolio in Belize because of its location. With great access to the Drowned Cayes, Hicks Cayes, Frechman Cayes, Long Caye, and even the Belize City fishery, you have great diversity throughout. However, as the name implies, this is a great tarpon fish location.

Is there something different about the operation that sticks out to you compared to other lodges in the region?

This is a private island, for groups of four, six, or eight anglers- you take over the island as your own fish camp for the time you’re there.

In terms of travel time, how long does it take to get to the lodge?

Once you arrive in Belize City and clear immigration / customs, the lodge will pick you up and transfer you to the marina. Once you’re loaded in the boats to head out to the island it takes about twenty-five minutes.

Are there certain types of anglers that would be a good fit at the lodge?

Anglers looking for a private island experience that want to fish long hours and enjoy diversity of species will find Tarpon Sands a great location. It’s perfect for anglers looking to target tarpon, especially when you get opportunities to target tarpon over white sand bottoms sight casting.

How are the accommodations?

The accommodations are clean and comfortable for two anglers per room. And there’s plenty of room for gear and other necessities. All rooms are air conditioned and provide access to the main sitting area.

What is a typical day of fishing like?

Generally, you wake at 5AM and head to the boats to fish for a couple hours during first light. The guides will then bring you back to the lodge around 7:30 or 8 for breakfast. After breakfast, you can head back out with a packed lunch if you would like to stay out for the remainder of the day. Or, given the lodge’s easy location to the entire fishery, anglers can choose to come back for lunch and a break before heading back out for the remainder of the day.

If I don’t want to fish are there other things to do at the lodge?

There are some other things to do and that can be arranged. However, this is a fishing destination and non-anglers should know that if you are looking for a property with a lot of non-angling opportunities this probably isn’t the property for you.

Are there other species aside from tarpon?

Absolutely, bonefish and permit are both available throughout this fishery. You will also find a wide variety of alternate species with jacks, lady fish, barracudas, snook, etc.

How many anglers at a time can stay at the lodge?

The maximum number of anglers the lodge can accommodate is eight. However, the property works great for groups with four or six as well.

Can you describe the atmosphere of the lodge?

It’s your own private island for the time you’re there. It’s about fishing and fishing hard, but the schedule is flexible so that you can customize each day. When it comes to the atmosphere of the island, it’s what you make it. However, being an island, in general it’s a laid-back atmosphere.

If everything goes as planned, what size tarpon can I expect to catch?

Tarpon Sands has access to all three size classes of tarpon: migratory, juvenile / resident, and baby tarpon. During the migratory season you can see tarpon in the 100+ pound range. If fishing over the white sand bottom flats and targeting tarpon by sight you can expect to find fish in the 35 – 60-pound range. Occasionally you will find tarpon much larger than this moving across the flats.

How far do I have to travel to the flats each morning?

The first flats is literally three minutes from the lodge. In general, boat rides are less than twenty minutes to access the various parts of this fishery.

How are the guides?

The guides are great and another reason we are really excited about this property. We have known and been working with the guides that service Tarpon Sands for well over a decade. Tarpon Sands has allowed them to find a lodge closer to home and call it their angling home. It is worth mentioning, the guides will stay on the island while you are there so that you can maximize your time of the water each and every day.