Photo by Yok Ha Island Resort
Is there anything more frustrating than finding the fish of your childhood dreams mounted and dominating someone else’s wall? Then, the guy insists on regaling you with a fish tale that would put Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea” story to shame. In that moment, you make a decision: You’re going to Belize. Your travel agent has already tried to convince you to visit this fishing paradise, so why not take this fish “sighting” as a sign that the time has come for you to stop wishing and start packing?
Because God made the waters off this beautiful nation so bountiful, listing the types of fish awaiting you constitutes a miracle in and of itself. There are too many. Belize fishing crews speak English, so no worries about your smartphone flying off the boat while using your translation app.
The Belize fishing industry is expansive, so whether you seek a river, stream or ocean experience, say the word and you’ll be transported to a proper fishing venue. Will you be successful? Life rarely offers guarantees, but your chances of becoming a fishing star increase in Belize–whether you’ve never before held a rod or you’re already an accomplished angler with new records to set.
Where to fish in Belize
Let us count your choices: fishing holes, rivers, lagoons, streams, the Belize Barrier Reef or breathtaking deep-sea destinations that left legends like Jacques Cousteau speechless. Permits? Bone fish? Tarpon? Perhaps your grand ambition is snagging a barracuda, lady fish, snook, tuna or wahoo.
How about one of each by the time you leave?
Does it matter where in Belize you decide to headquarter? Not really. Belize is the size of Vermont with a 50-mile-long coast, so everywhere you turn you’ve got access. This means you won’t waste precious time on ground transport when you could be baiting hooks or reeling in that impressive catch.
Best time to fish in Belize
Migratory fish sweep along the Belize coastline in summer on the way to their wintering grounds, so come to Belize in July, August or September and fish will be waiting for you. Did you know that phases of the moon impact fish behavior? Pursue your passion for fishing during a full moon and your chances of success increase.
If you can’t get away during summer months, don’t despair. Unlike North Americans, many fish species stick around Belize year-round thanks to hospitable weather. From January through June, Belize is reef fishing Mecca. Opt for fall if you’re a fan of flats fishing or celebrate year-end holidays while indulging your inner angler by visiting in December. It’s the gift you give yourself, of course.
How to get to Belize fishing sites
What’s your pleasure? Are you an independent soul with enough acumen and skill to go off on your own? Rent a kayak or a canoe and pilot your way to your destination with help from the boat rental agency or resort staff happy to provide advice, maps and directions.
Alternately, charter services are everywhere you look, and we highly recommend booking through your resort’s concierge to take advantage of all-inclusive packages that are the best deals of all. Packages save money, deliver the best service ever—and Belize guides are fish whisperers: they know secret fishing spots and are happy to share their fish-catching tips with you, too.
There is no better fishing experience than Belize
We would need a whole book to give you the skinny on the best fishing experience in Belize, so allow us to make one recommendation if it’s to be your first visit: come to Ambergris Caye. Some say this popular, vibrant island was the Caribbean region’s best kept secret—-until fish caught in Belize began showing up on people’s walls. But be forewarned: no matter when you decide to visit, you’re going to be hooked–and that’s no fish tale!