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With hundreds of miles of fishing areas, Belize is an angler's paradise. Fish fans are attracted to the waters of Belize because of the varied types of fishing only the Caribbean Sea has to offer. Belize's aquatic ecosystem is rich with a diverse number of fish and excellent fishing grounds that are surprisingly uncrowded.
The aquatic realm off the coast of Belize maintains a complex ecosystem made up of a countless number of sea animals, including bait fish, crabs, shrimp and microscopic sea organisms. These smaller sea creatures are plentiful in Belize's waters and provide food for larger game fish, such as permit, bonefish, and barracuda, which are fished for in lagoons and just off of Belize's coast. Tarpon (which can reach more than 200 pounds), snook, snapper, and jacks are plentiful around the mouths and inlets of Belize's rivers, while barracuda, grouper, and some amberjacks and snapper live in the coral reefs.
Head for deeper waters if you want to fish for larger quarry like the marlin, sailfish, pompano, and bonita, which are popular catches pulled from the deep. All the aquatic game of Belize's underwater world provide ample opportunities for vacationers who want to enjoy great Caribbean fishing and the chance to reel in several kinds of exotic game fish.
|Year round||Barracuda, marlin, snapper|
|Spring/Summer||Sailfish, king mackerel|
Fishermen who want to hook the bigger game fish should try the deeper waters of the briny Caribbean. The sea outside of Belize's barrier reef yields large fish like billfish, marlin, wahoo, dorado, and various kinds of sharks. Fishing the deep sea requires patience and strength. The wait will be well worth it once you hook one of these giant fish of the deep. But be prepared for some action, as these large fish aren't reeled in without a fight.
The coast of Belize consists of a number of river mouths, creeks, small cayes (islands), lagoons, and flats. Belize City offers both great river fishing as well as coastal fishing. One of the most popular game fish in the Belize Olde River is the permit. Belize is world-renowned for its permit fishing, which is typically most popular between October and July. Weighing anywhere from 5 to more than 30 pounds, these fish may not be large, but they put up a heck of a fight. Other fish that are popularly sought by river fishermen are bonefish, tarpon, snappers, jacks, groupers, cobia, and barracuda.
While fishing along the coast of Belize, don't be surprised if you encounter other forms of the country's wildlife, including howler monkeys, large iguanas, various exotic birds, manatees, and even crocodile sunning along Belize's coastline.
Belize's expansive barrier reef provides shelter for an array of fish species and other sea creatures. While fishing near the reefs, the most common catches have been mutton and yellowtail snapper (the largest recorded snapper weighed 16 pounds), jack crevalle, grouper, and barracuda. Reef fishing is sometimes called bottom fishing and is a popular activity among families vacationing in Belize because it's easy and fun. You can spot many types of creatures while reef fishing, including the occasional shark.
In Belize, flat fishing means taking a boat to one of the region's cayes, traveling to the back of the islet on its lagoon side, and fishing for bonefish, tarpon and permit, which are bountiful in these areas. Barracuda, jack crevalle, and snooks are often caught in these waters as well. Most flats in Belize are soft-bottomed, so wading is not always an option.
Upon their arrival in Belize, vacationing anglers can hire chartered fishing tours to take them out in hunt of the perfect catch. They range from a captain and his boat to companies with several vessels and registered guides in their fleet.
Captain Jerry of Capt. Jerry's Most Excellent Beach BBQ has created a popular fishing tour combo of a half day of fishing and snorkeling, followed by a stop on the beach for barbecue the day's catch. Four passengers pay $400(USD) (children under 12 are free) for the fishing tour, snorkeling equipment, and food.
Freedom Fishing Tours Unlimited has three fully-equipped boats in their fleet, available for deep sea, reef, flat, and night fishing tours. Freedom Fishing Tours Unlimited also offers the unique combo of a fishing/picnic tour, in which guests reef fish for the first half of the day, then head to a secluded beach for a barbecue.
Nicknamed the "Doctor of the Flats," Omar Arceo is known around Ambergris Caye for being the best fisherman in the area. His fishing tour service, Ormar Freelance Fishing works with each angler to create the right package for them.
New anglers should choose a charter that provides instruction, such as San Pedro Fishing. This company's guides are patient, eager to help, and provide a family friendly fishing environment. Guests can choose between a half or full day of fishing, and add a beach barbecue to their package for an additional $50(USD).
|Captain Jerry's Most Excellent Beach BBQ||$400(USD)||N/A||E-mail: email@example.com|
|Freedom Fishing Tours Unlimited||Deep Sea Fishing
Half Day: $375(USD)
Full Day: $600(USD)
Half Day: $175(USD)
Full Day: $250(USD)
Half Day: $175(USD)
Full Day: $250(USD)
$200(USD) per person
Cell Phone: 501-665-7106
|Omar Freelance Fishing||Call for pricing||Ambergris Caye||Phone: 501-226-3518
Cell Phone: 501-669-9606
|San Pedro Fishing||Half Day: $195(USD)
Full Day: $295(USD)
|Ambergris Caye||Phone: 501-607-9967
Belize has a section of the tourism industry dedicated to visitors who come strictly to fish. There are a number of resorts with fishing vacation packages that include room and board, daily fishing trips, and more.
For between $1,000 and $4,000, travelers can book their three to seven night stay at the Belize River Lodge in Belize City. The lodge offers two standard guided fishing tour packages, but are happy to work with guests to create a customized package to meet their needs. Rates include airfare within Belize (but not to Belize), room, meals, and skiff and fuel.
Bite Me Belize offers three different lodging facilities and three different fishing trip packages for guests. Lodging choices are the Belize Fishing Motel, Belize Fly Fishing Cabins, and Belize Fishing Lodge. Packages range from the $400(USD), three night, do-it-yourself trip (that includes room and board, but no fishing guide) to the $1,249(USD), week long, guided fly-fishing package.
El Pescador Ambergris Caye offers guests the opportunity to choose between staying in a colonial lodge or a luxury villa. Prices here range from $1,500 to $9,000(USD), and includes air and land transportation, room, three meals a day, use of on property amenities such as the pool and gym, and full-day fishing trips.
Whether you're interested in fly, reef, deep sea, or night fishing, Hotel del Rio in Ambergris Caye has a package to suit your needs. Prices range from $1249(USD) for a five night stay that includes three days of fishing, to $2038(USD) for seven nights and five days of fishing. Pricing is for two guests.
The Inn at Robert's Grove is said to be Belize's finest fishing resort. There are numerous packages available that cover everything from family fishing outings to out island fishing tours. Prices range from $1,500 to $5,000(USD).
Fishing days are not included in the price of your stay at Portofino Belize, but they can arrange a fishing trip for guest for an additional cost. A half day of flats fishing costs $255(USD), and a full day costs $340(USD) for two people. Reef fishing trips, meanwhile, can accommodate four guests, and costs the same price.
Tarpon Caye Lodge is located moments away from what is known as the "Permit Fishing Capital of the World" and one of the top tarpon fishing grounds as well. Guests can choose between fly fishing, spin fishing, reef fishing, and little big game fishing packages, ranging in price from $2,000 to $4,000(USD). These packages include room, meals, ground transportation, use of snorkeling gear, and guided fishing tours.
There are six different day packages for between $3,000 and $4,000(USD) available at Turneffe Flats Lodge. Pricing includes area transportation, room, three meals a day, fully guided salt water fly-fishing and flats fishing tours, and several diving trips (at an additional cost).
If you yearn to get away from it all, Turneffee Island Lodge is a great place to start. This fishing lodge accommodates only 35 visitors at a time, and is located on a secluded island 30 miles southeast of Belize City. Fishing packages begin at around $1,500(USD) for a three night stay, and increase from there. These packages include room, food, daily fishing trips, and a personal guide.
|Belize River Lodge||Belize City||Phone: 888-275-4843
|Bite Me Belize||Various Locations||Phone: 970-457-4662(USD)|
|El Pescador Ambergris Caye||Ambergris Caye||Phone: 800-242-2017
|Hotel del Rio||Ambergris Caye||Phone: 501-226-2286
|Inn at Robert's Grove||Placencia||Phone: 800-565-9757
|Portofino||Ambergris Caye||Phone: 501-678-5096
|Tarpon Caye Lodge||Placencia||Phone: 501-523-3323
|Turneffe Flats Lodge||Belize City||Phone: 888-512-8812
|Turneffe Island Lodge||Caye Bokel||Phone: 800-874-0118|
Along with boundless fishing possibilities, the waters of Belize are often uncrowded, free of swarming fishermen, and serene. Belize officials encourage a catch-and-release policy for all fish that you're not going to eat to preserve the Caribbean's delicate aquatic ecosystem. You're guaranteed to find a great fishing spot while vacationing in this enchanting country.
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