By Milton Hanburry – Spring 2014
As has been the case the last eleven years, a group of fun loving, fish seeking friends get together on Ambergris Cay for some warm sunshine and salt water enthused angling. This year 16 of us landed on Ambergris in mid-February to incredibly nice weather and some pretty decent fishing. While my wife Cara and I are privileged in that we travel the globe, we so look forward to seeing old and new friends on this trip each year.
Our headquarters this year was again Banyan Bay Villas who do an excellent job of catering to our group. Actually I think 2014 was the smoothest year in terms of service and on time performance of meals and such. After having stayed in many places on Ambergris it is refreshing to stay at a place that understands anglers and their needs
such as, box lunches, early morning starts and the never ending request to cook the days catch from 16 anglers!
I will venture to say that each of us eats more variety of seafood on this trip than any place in the world. Various species of grouper and snapper, along with snook, triggerfish, cobia, stone crabs, lobster, conch, and shrimp are all consumed on a daily basis all washed down with Belekin beer and Concha y Toro wines.
Our wonderful bi-lingual guides, many who have been fishing all their lives, provide a truly fun week of angling. Whether you wish to fish the reef for cubera snapper, grouper and giant barracudas or try your skills on the flats for bonefish, permit and tarpon, you will find much to see and do here in Ambergris. In fact each day many in the group choose to visit the nearby cays of Cay Caulker and Cay Chapel for a snorkeling session or lunch followed by more fishing. One of the unique and successful ventures undertaken by the local government and guides has been the development of artificial reefs on the backside, lee part of Ambergris near the Crab Cays. When the wind blows hard from the northeast, which happened on two days during the week, our group was still catching fish in comfortable waters near the artificial reefs, our band of Belizean fish warriors caught hundreds of various snappers during these two days.
This year the trip was especially rewarding as the eastern half our nation was gripped in freezing temps and massive snowstorms. So if you like warm weather, soothing Caribbean breezes and to eat what you catch each day, then this trip is for you. We saluted the week in style with a reggae band and beach BBQ and danced the night away. Next year’s trip will be our 12th consecutive and we look to add a day of adventure to the Blue Hole and Mayan Ruins. Until then, we share some memories of 2014