Birding and Fly-fishing in Belize

Oh Belize. A beautiful country on Central America’s coast, Belize boasts spectacular diving and snorkeling, immense cave systems, beautiful rivers, dense jungles, and of course, hundreds and hundreds of birds.

My husband and I arrived in Belize just after a late afternoon thunderstorm. It was the beginning of the rainy season, and a quiet time in Hopkins, a small Garifuna village in south-central Belize (they are much busier when it is winter in the US). Our plan was to spend a few days seaside before going inland, and we were itching to get out on the water.

See also: Which of the Top All-Inclusive Belize Resorts is Right for You?

We got our chance on a guided fishing tour out to the mangrove islands, a thirty minute boat ride off the beach. We were all set for a full day of combining our two loves: fishing and birding.

The birding was relatively easy. I sat in the boat, Floyd, our guide, worked the motor, and Brian fished on the bow. A camera and my binoculars occupied a seat next to me, periodically protected with a Ziploc bag when we moved from place to place or when a passing shower threatened. On all sides we were surrounded by unbelievable blue water, a bright azure color when the white sand shown through shallow water, a deep cobalt blue where it deepened. I had the weird sensation that I wanted to hug that blue water, which is sort of an odd feeling to have. It’s possible all the sun made me a bit loopy.


Magnificent Frigatebird

Our first birds came before our first fish. Magnificent Frigatebirds soared overhead, their giant wingspans stretching black across the sky. One pair actually had a fish, but were constantly trying to snatch it from each other, performing aerial maneuvers that seemed to make dropping the fish a certainty. Despite their piratic tendencies, frigatebirds are one of my favorite species, and I could watch them all day.

See also: Everyday Life of Birds in Belize

As we reached the mangrove islands, Brian and the guide began looking for Permit, one of the most elusive fish for anglers. To spot a school, they searched for sharp tails jutting up above the water, and we slowly circled the shallows, looking, looking, looking.


White-crowned Pigeon

Well, they were looking. I was obviously more interested in the winged creatures. Brown Pelicans and Neotropical Cormorants fished and sunned themselves perched on the low mangrove trees, and I treasured my long and close up looks at each. Great-tailed Grackles buzzed, chortled, screeched, and made just about every other sound you can possibly think of, and were by far the most populous birds out there. One island hosted a ton of White-crowned Pigeons, while others were resting places for my frigatebirds.


Searching for Permit

While I was enjoying my birds, the fishing was slow. Floyd moved the boat periodically to look for schools, and when they didn’t appear would whistle and admonish, “Come on now, show yourselves! Don’t be hiding from us!”

Around noon we found a bunch, and Brian and the guide jumped out to wade for them. No luck, but it was fun to see them. They’re so hard to fish for that even getting a cast towards them was an accomplishment.

See also: 12 Reasons Belize Should Be The Next Country You Visit

As the afternoon progressed, the birding slowed but the fishing picked up. They switched from Permit to Bonefish, another Belize specialty, and could easily see the schools at the edge of a larger island. With two strikes and a lot of casting the fishing definitely became more interesting, but after almost six hours on the water I was looking for other birds besides pelicans and grackles.

Read more:

Top Places to Stay in Belize

Belize Tour Companies and Travel Agents

Belize Real Estate Opportunities

June 29, 2018

How the Belize Barrier Reef Beat the Endangered List

An oil drilling moratorium, development restrictions and fishing reform has helped the 200-mile-reef come off Unesco’s endangered world heritage sites...
Read More
June 26, 2018

What the New Alaia Belize Will Look Like

The newest addition to Belize’s fast-growing hotel pipeline is on track for 2020, and now we’ve gotten the exclusive first...
Read More
June 26, 2018

Saving the underwater wonder world of Belize’s reef

Just a stone’s throw off the coast of Belize, brightly colored tropical fish mingle with sharks, manta rays and sea...
Read More
June 26, 2018

RCL Exclusive Your Off-the-Grid Guide to Belize

Belize is the tropical vacation version of a perfect meal. Light appetizer, indulgent main course, decadent dessert and booze …...
Read More
June 17, 2018

Latham: Hard work must be the national symbol of Belize

BELIZE CITY, Belize — Belize is tiny for a country — about the land size of Maryland — but it...
Read More
June 17, 2018

7 Ambergris Caye Restaurants Secret Special Request Options

Once you have lived on Ambergris Caye awhile, you get to know which restaurants have off-menu special request options. Read...
Read More
June 12, 2018

Please Belize Me: Ten Reasons to Put Ambergris Caye on Travel List

After a year of procrastination and poor planning, Belize finally made it on my to do list in 2018. Read...
Read More
June 12, 2018

Autograph Collection Hotels Set to Debut in Belize with the Opening of Alaia

Autograph Collection Hotels, in partnership with owner and developer Andrew Ashcroft, today announced the brand will debut in Belize with the...
Read More
June 12, 2018

5 Reasons to Vacation in Belize this Summer

Summer is the busiest season for travel to Europe. That’s where most vacationers are headed during the months of June,...
Read More
1 2 3 19




Leave a Comment


Welcome! Login in to your account

Remember me Lost your password?

Don't have account. Register

Lost Password


Please support the site
By clicking any of these buttons you help our site to get better