- The Fishing
- Sample Itinerary
- When to Go
Tarpon Caye Lodge Overview
Tarpon Caye Lodge is located approximately 15 miles of the coast of Placencia, Belize on a tiny Mangrove lined lagoon named Tarpum Caye. The lodge is only forty minutes by boat from the Placencia airport. This very remote island is in the middle of the most perfect shallow permit flats we have yet to discover in Belize. Tarpon Caye Lodge is one of the few remaining "old school" Caribbean fishing lodges with long days on the water and a laid back atmosphere geared around your schedule and preferences. Head guide, host and owner, Charlie Leslie, has been fishing the waters off the coast of Placencia for forty + years, and is considered one of the best permit guides in the country of Belize. If you are interested in an informal and fishing intensive vacation to an extremely remote Caribbean island, you should definitely put Tarpon Caye Lodge on your list.
Tarpon Caye LodgeGo
The Permit Purists Dream…
The shallow flats in the areas fished are surrounded by deep 75-100 foot ocean, making them perfect permit habitat. The super shallow, turtle grass and coral rubble flats offer up tremendous opportunities for tailing permit. This type of fishing is usually very technical, however is a tailor made set up for anglers wanting up close and personal shots with the greatest of all flats species.
Rustic & Fishing Intensive…
This is not a trip for the casual angler. It is a remote fishing camp with all the amenities possible on a tiny remote island. All things considered, accommodations are actually quite remarkable considering all the logistical challenges associated with building a proper lodge fifteen miles out to sea. While every creature comfort is not provided at the lodge, the long days playing hard on the water should guarantee a good night sleep! While permit are the target species for most anglers at Tarpon Caye Lodge, the lagoon immediately adjacent to the island often affords great opportunities for rolling tarpon, and a handful of bonefish flats nearby are available to round out a grand slam.
Tarpon Caye Lodge (Placencia)
Tarpon Caye Lodge is located approximately 15 miles of the coast of Placencia, Belize on a tiny Mangrove lined lagoon named Tarpum Caye. The lodge is only forty minutes by boat from the Placencia airport. This very remote island is in the middle of the most perfect shallow permit flats we have yet to discover in Belize. Tarpon Caye Lodge is one of the few remaining "old school" Caribbean fishing lodges with long days on the water and a laid back atmosphere geared around your schedule and preferences. If you are interested in an informal and fishing intensive vacation to an extremely remote Caribbean island, you should definitely put Tarpon Caye Lodge on your list.
Host and head guide, Charles Leslie, specializes in fly-fishing and has over 30 years experience. Mr. Leslie and his guides "hunt" for fish like few others. It is refreshing to find guides dedicated to fish the tides rather than an 8:00 – 4:00 day.
Upon arrival at the lodge, Charlie Leslie will discuss your angling wishes. It could be to target permit, tailing bonefish, big tarpon in the lagoon or maybe hunting down all three. Charlie will insure your visit to Tarpum Caye is a memorable one and tailored to your individual angling interests. Your typical fishing day may begin as the generator starts up at 4 am, just before the sun rises off the barrier reef to the east. The coffee starts brewing while fresh fruit, toast and jam are waiting on the table to satisfy you until breakfast later in the morning.
Immediately outside the back door is the famous Tarpum lagoon, where guests usually will begin the day fishing for rolling tarpon. You'll have opportunities for permit and bonefish any given day according to the optimum tide for each species, while there is also a good variety of other gamefish, including jacks, barracuda, mackerel and other species. The informal yet professional nature of the Tarpon Caye lodge operation allows for excellent flexibility. The Tarpon Caye guide staff doesn't punch time clocks. Whether you are the hard-core angler wanting to put in a 10-hour day on the flats seeking permit, or simply looking for a mixed bag, Tarpon Caye Lodge is right for you.
Anglers return from early morning fishing (approx.8 am) for breakfast, which normally includes fresh eggs made to order, bacon or ham, toast, local fruit, fresh juice and perhaps fry jacks or pancakes. After fishing the morning tide, guests return to the lodge around 1:00PM for a wonderfully prepared lunch, usually featuring fresh seafood or a tasty salad with other local Belizean dishes or you have the option to take a packed lunch. After lunch and a "siesta", guests return refreshed and ready to fish until approximately 4:00PM or until dark. Tides and weather patterns are key factors that Charlie considers prior to planning your day's fishing.
The flats vary in composition from white sand, to coral patches to eel grass covered areas. All the flats around Tarpum Cay have firm bottoms which make for easy wading. Anglers may choose to cast from the boat as your guide poles the flats and hop out of the boat to get a better casting position to catch a permit or bonefish. Fishing boats are standard Mexican pangas, and are equipped with casting decks and new Honda 4-stroke motors which are quiet and clean running. In addition to your head guide, each boat is also staffed by a boat tender / assistant who handles the boat while you are off stalking fish; maximizing fishing time and efficiency.
Tarpum Caye has a deep lagoon on the west side of the cay where tarpon can be seen rolling and cruising. The lagoon is protected by tall red mangrove trees and windy conditions in the lagoon are seldom a problem. The area around Tarpum Caye is covered with hundreds of square miles of shallow water flats. The surrounding flats go from 6 inches on top and can drop to 75-100 foot of water on the edges, which makes them a perfect habitat for permit which like a quick escape to deep water. Permit can be found on these flats in good numbers, and with tarpon in the lagoon, and bonefish on the western flats you have a great opportunity for the "Grand Slam".
Tarpon Caye Lodge is a simple yet comfortable facility designed to accommodate the adventurous and serious angler. The lodge currently has three cabanas which can house two anglers in each unit for a total capacity of six guests. There is also a clubhouse which also serves as the kitchen and dining area. The entire lodge facility is equipped with 110V and also 12V electricity for lighting in the cabana when the generator is shut off late in the evening. The lodge has full running fresh water to all buildings. Simple and clean, the elevated wooden cabanas are raised up above the island allowing the winds of the Caribbean to keep things comfortable and cool. Each building has two twin beds with good quality mattresses that insure a good night's rest. Each cabana also has its own porch, private bath, toilet, shower and sink with fresh running water.
Dinners at the lodge usually consist of generous portions of fresh seafood including lobster, conch, shrimp or freshly caught fish. Local Belizean fare such as chicken and pork with local vegetables are also on the menu. Ice-cold Belikin beers are in the fridge & iced filled cooler, while cold bottled water and sodas are always available. Tarpon Caye also has a stocked bar and special liquor orders can be arranged by ordering ahead.
6 Anglers in Three Double Occupancy Cabanas
Guests travel direct to Belize City (BZE) from many USA portals including Dallas, Houston, and Miami. American and Continental Airlines are the carriers of choice for the route, with daily scheduled flights. Upon arrival mid afternoon into Belize City, we will book you on board a local commuter flight down to approximately forty-five minutes to Placencia Village. From the airport in Placencia, you will be taken via Panga approximately forty-five minutes to the island. Belize is only 3 hours direct from Dallas and 2.5 hours from Houston or Miami, making it an incredibly easy trip!
Guests travel to Belize City, where upon arrival are met and escorted by Tarpon Caye's meet and greet service that will assist with checking in with connecting flights to Placencia. Guests arriving Belize City in the early afternoon, will take a Tropic Air charter to Placencia (approx. 30 minutes) from Belize City. A ground transfer will bring you to the boat dock and then the Tarpon Caye Lodge / Kingfisher Adventures transfer boat brings you to the Lodge in time to get settled in and put some tackle together. Based upon arrival time in Placencia, anglers may have some time to fish the first afternoon.
Fishing Days! Numerous factors influence the fishing schedule as well, however if fishing a quarter moon week, anglers will have coffee and toast at 4:00AM and hit the flats for the first incoming tide around 5:00AM till approximately 8:00AM with typical conditions. Anglers return to the camp for a full breakfast and may head back to the lagoon or the flats to find some rolling tarpon or bonefish. After the mid-morning fish, anglers usually cruise to the camp for lunch a siesta before returning again to fish for tarpon and / or bonefish. The second incoming tide of the day will dictate what time anglers fish for permit in the afternoon. The fishing schedule is dictated by the tides and conditions for your week.
The above schedule suggests what the fishing program is during a trip scheduled around a quarter moon.
No fishing planned for the day. After breakfast guests are transported by boat back to the Placencia airport for the short commute back to Belize City and onward home.
When to Go
The country of Belize has defined seasons that potential guests should understand before booking their trip. Belize has a subtropical climate that is uniformly hot and humid, although it is tempered by the trade winds. The dry season is from February to March with another brief spell during August, while the hurricane season is from late July to October. Temperatures during the summer months can become extremely warm, and anglers who are bothered by heat should consider a spring or fall trip. Although a nice onshore breeze moderates nighttime temperatures, there is no air-conditioning at Tarpon Caye Lodge. Rainstorms are possible at any time and usually occur in the afternoon, hopefully after the fishing day is done.
The most important thing to remember when planning your Tarpon Caye trip is to take into consideration the lunar calendar, and thus the tide chart for your prospective itinerary. Permit take advantage of a moving tide and a flooded flat as their best opportunity to feed. If your calendar is flexible, try and plan your trip with a quarter moon in the middle of your stay. Charlie Leslie prefers fishing a quarter moon as it typically brings two strong tides a day and offers the best chance and most opportunities for finding permit on the flats. Anglers fishing a quarter moon typically fish the first incoming permit tide from approximately 5:00AM to 8:00AM and then again from around 4:00PM till dusk. During middle of the day anglers have plenty of opportunities to chase tarpon and bonefish between permit friendly tides.
Ask us for details and recommendations.
(Based on Shared Room/Guide)
4 Night/ 3 Day............................$2160
5 Night/ 4 Day ...........................$2380
6 Night/ 5 Day........... ................$2670
7 Night/ 6 Day........... ................$2890
(Based on Single Room/Private Guide)
4 Night/ 3 Day............................$3035
5 Night/ 4 Day ...........................$3325
6 Night/ 5 Day........... ................$3620
7 Night/ 6 Day........... ................$3935
Non-Angling Rates Available Upon Request
Meet and Greet at Belize International Airport; Ground and boat transfers from Placencia airstrip to Tarpum Caye; All meals and non-alcoholic beverages (sodas); All Alcoholic Beverages (Rum & Beer); Guide and boat daily for two anglers per boat; Accommodations; Snorkel Gear and Sea Kayaks; All Applicable Sales Taxes
What's Not Included
Airfare to Belize City from the US; Airfare from Belize City to Placencia (approximately $140 US round trip, subject to change); Gratuities; Any additional tours/sightseeing days; $35 (US) or $70 (BZ) Belize Departure Tax
Terms & Conditions
Tailwaters Travel must adhere to the cancellation policies of the guides, outfitters and lodges which it represents. Tarpon Caye Lodge’s policy follows: A nonrefundable 50% deposit is required to secure all reservations. Final balance is due 90 days prior to departure. All cancellations must be received in writing. Prior to 90 days 100% of deposit may be transferred to another date/guest. Between 45 - 90 days 50% of package may be transferred to another date or guest. Less than 45 days may not be transferred or refunded. All cancellations have a $100 processing fee per guest. Refunds of deposits/payments made on credit cards will be charged a 3.5% service charge to fully compensate Tailwaters Travel for all bank charges incurred. Receipt of deposit and/or final payment is acknowledgment that registrant has read and accepts the cancellation, refund and responsibility clauses.
Consider Travel Insurance!
Given the inherent strict refund policies associated with nearly all fishing packages, we cannot stress the importance of obtaining travel insurance to protect your investment. Travelers can obtain coverage for pre-existing health problems (related to yourself, your family, business partners, or your traveling partners), emergency evacuation, lost baggage, delay, life insurance packages; even “no questions asked” or “for work reasons” coverage.
We will provide you with more detailed information about travel insurance from our sponsored provider, Travel Guard, when you book a trip with Tailwaters Travel. We can conveniently process a very comprehensive insurance policy for you in-house after asking a few simple questions.
Call today to protect your investment: (888) 824-5420
Please review our Policies & Cancellations section.
Fishing is the primary activity at Tarpon Caye Lodge. However, it may be possible to arrange a dive-master to make the trip out from Placencia for those interested in diving or snorkeling the reef. The snorkeling in the area is phenomenal, and snorkeling gear can be provided free of charge. The lodge also maintains a pair of modern sea kayaks for those looking for a little exercise. Depending upon the season, guests have had tons of fun and excellent success diving for lobsters. Make sure to bring your swimsuit!