The Central American country of Belize might be the most user-friendly tropical locale for American citizens.
A number of U.S. cities offer direct flights to Belize City and Ambrergris Caye, one of several tropical islands in the region and one of the best hubs in the country for your next fishing trip.
The country hosts all types of recreation, from exploring Mayan ruins and jungle cave systems to some of the best snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing in the world. Temps average around 75 degrees, hurricane activity is quite rare, and the official language of Belize is English. The only thing you really need is a passport, your rod, reel, and of course, sun protection.
The only thing you really need is a passport, your rod, reel, and of course, sun protection.
We suspect we don’t need to tell serious anglers that Belize qualifies as a must-visit. The country has options for all types of anglers, from spin fishing, to trolling, and fly-fishing—with all variety of fish, including bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook, tuna, whaoo, snapper, barracuda, and crevalle jack. The fishing environments vary as much as the fish, including lagoons, freshwater rivers and estuaries, the country’s famed tarpon and permit flats, and the oceanic reefs.
Those in search of the Grand Slam—landing a bonefish, tarpon, and permit in the same vacation—will find plenty of opportunities, especially if you visit from July through September when the migrating tarpons often doubles their already substantial numbers.
Fly-fishing? Base yourself out of Ambergris Caye, a massive island with a solid tourist infrastructure and easy access to the country’s best coastal fly-fishing.
Hook up with an outfitter or a fishing-centric resort and you’ll be able to organize guides, a variety of trips into the deep waters and on the flats.
Those in search of the Grand Slam—landing a bonefish, tarpon, and permit in the same vacation—will find plenty of opportunities, especially if you visit from July through September.
We recommend El Pescador – a luxury eco-resort on the island of Ambergris Caye with a crew of fishing guides that can help you make your Grand Slam dreams come true. All of their guides were born and raised on the island, so they know what they’re talking about. They can provide you with the knowledge, gear, and guidance to land a big one.
If you are interested in exploring beyond Amergris Caye, you organize trips out to other islands like Caye Caulker and Caye Chapel, whose lagoons are rich with bonefish and tarpon. Or find yourself a place in Placencia or Dangriga, often dubbed “Permit Alley.” These locales also offer easy access to the country’s freshwater rivers.
Deep-sea fishermen can also base out of Ambergris, where it’s easy to organize boat excursions that will take you past the barrier reef system into the deep water, where marlin, blackfin tuna, wahoo, bonito, mahi mahi, and king mackerel live—among many others. Know that Belize’s commitment to environmental sustainability means that bottom trolling is prohibited, while other regions like Hol Chan Marine Reserve are protected; a guide or outfitter should help you navigate your way to the right spots.
Pro Tip: If you go it solo, be sure to arrange for a permit (not the fish), which is needed for any type of fishing. It is reasonably priced in week – and month – long increments. If you hook up with an outfitter, they’ll organize the paperwork for you, so that you can focus on the fishing and not worry about the details.