One of my favorite fishing spots is Belize. Jon Ray, four clients and I just returned from Belize where we fished with Martin McCord and Charles Westby aboard the Meca and the Seaduction motherships. It was fantastic. See our destinations page for information on the 2006 trips.
While traveling home Jon and I talked about the most important items necessary in preparing for a saltwater trip. Below is the list we came up with.
#1 Practice your casting- not just distance, accuracy is as important
#2 Prepare for the sun with clothing and sunscreen. A sunburn the first day can spoil the trip
#3 Practice and check your knots. Saltwater fish are tremendous fighters, they test your tackle. Check your knots after every fish and change any abraded tippet, you never know when the fish of a lifetime will eat your fly. Also do not trust your factory knots, check everything! Just because you bought a fly line with nail knot, give it a good pull to see if will stand the pull of a tarpon, bonefish, or permit.
#4 Communicate with your guide, discuss the clock face on direction, make a cast and ask him how far it is (only his opinion counts) and show him your casting skill (distance, accuracy) Doing these things prior to seeing fish will help you fish better when the time comes.
#5 Have realistic expectations about your ability, the fishing and the weather. Remember that flats fishing isn't usually a numbers game, it's the stalk and the execution that should get your blood up.
Saltwater flats fishing is a test of your skills, enjoy the challenge.