It’s that time of year again. You’re supposed to make your vacation plans, but you just can’t pick the spot. Those one-street fishing villages and boring gray towns are not exactly awe-inspiring. Sure, you’d like the fishing to be great, but you’d also like to unwind and indulge a bit after all that hard reeling. Well, your troubles are over. These are our picks for the best luxury fishing destinations.
Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia
Located in one of the finest big game fisheries on the planet, Queensland’s Lizard Island should be on any traveling angler’s bucket list. The island combines seclusion, wild beauty, and indulgence into one irresistible, endorphin-filled blend.
Arriving by seaplane, it won’t take you long to see just how special this place is. It might take a pinch or two for you to realize that you’re not dreaming, though. Your flight from Cairns will take you across the magnificent Great Barrier Reef. Upon landing, you’ll be greeted by a warm breeze on your face, swaying palm trees, and white sandy beaches.
A short walk will take you to the exclusive Lizard Island Resort, dotted with villas and waterfront suites that overlook the scenic beaches and lush gardens.
Fishing from Lizard Island is bound to spoil you for choice. Just off the island, the Ribbon Reefs are teeming with the likes of Sailfish, Wahoo, Giant Trevally, Coral Trout, and Yellowfin Tuna. A little further out, you’ll get to experience what the area is most famous for – monster Black Marlin.
If Marlin’s what you’re after, we recommend a multi-day outing. This way, you’ll be able to combine the thrill of battling one of the most prestigious game fish on earth, with the tranquility of a restaurant-grade dinner in the heart of the ocean.
The activities on and around Lizard Island are suited for any bucket list. How about a helicopter ride across the Reef, dropping you on a minuscule island where you can have a champagne breakfast with your significant other? Or visiting the world-famous Cod Hole dive site?
If you’d like a little firm ground for a change, there are hiking trails, tennis courts, and countless relaxation facilities for you to enjoy.
Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Canada
Nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies lies one of the most picturesque places you’ll ever see. Chances are you’ve actually seen this place on a magazine cover once or twice, even if you didn’t know what it was. Combining serene beauty with top-of-the-line accommodation, Banff’s Lake Louise is a perfect getaway for couples and families.
If you’re into Trout fishing, Lake Louise is the perfect choice. There are plenty of Rainbows and Browns here, as well as Whitefish. All of these are catch and release only, however. If you’d like to keep your catch, go for Lake Trout. Speaking of Lake Trout, these resilient critters are pretty active even when the lake freezes over, attracting loads of ice fishermen to the area.
The iconic Chateau Lake Louise hotel yields some of the most mesmerizing vistas your eyes will ever see. Pull up a chair and sip your morning coffee, as the lake’s emerald waters reflect the mighty glaciers around you.
There’s a number of outdoor activities around the Lake to choose from. During summer-time, you’ll be able to enjoy hiking and cycling tracks, as well as camping and mountain climbing. The winter months, on the other hand, are reserved for some of the best skiing on the continent.
The must-see year-round attractions in the area include the Upper Hot Springs and spa, the Banff Park Museum, and the Banff Gondola.
St. Barts (Saint Barthélemy)
Shifting to more tropical waters, St. Barts is a French-speaking Caribbean island, renowned for its white-sand beaches, five-star restaurants, and designer shops. This place is dotted with luxury villas, each offering breathtaking views and all manner of creature comforts you can think of.
Fun fact: Christopher Columbus was the first European to set foot on the island in 1493, and he named it after his brother Bartolomeo.
Despite being well known as a tropical paradise, you won’t find huge crowds of tourists on St. Barts. Outside of Christmas and New Years, at least. There are only 25 hotels on the island, most of them with 15 rooms or fewer.
Considering its size, the island offers a good number of fishing charters. Before the place became a favorite getaway for the rich and famous, a lot of its economy revolved around fishing. Many of the local guides are descendants of these fishermen.
From May through September, St. Barts boasts some of the best Blue and White Marlin fishing in the Caribbean. If Marlin sound a little too daunting, you’ll be glad to know that Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Yellowfin Tuna, and Barracuda are all biting pretty much year-round.
The local fishing guides will be happy to show you around the island’s beautiful reefs. But that might sound a little too mundane for you. In that case, go all-out, hire a de-luxe yacht or sailboat, and fish the deeper waters for bigger game, with a few scuba diving breaks in between. Top it all off with a fresh seafood dinner on deck, as the Caribbean sun sets on the horizon.
Ambergris Caye, Belize
A fly fisherman’s paradise, Belize offers a wide variety of luxury fishing lodges all along its coast. One of these special Belizean locales stands out, however, and that is Ambergris Caye. Located in the middle of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, this tropical island boasts picture-perfect vistas and amazing weather year round.
It might be hard to believe, but it wasn’t the Reef that put Ambergris Caye on the map. It was the bays, estuaries, creeks, and river mouths of the island. Why? Because this is where you’ll find the best Tarpon, Permit, and Bonefish fishing known to man.
Want something bigger? You’ll be glad to know that as soon as you pass the reef’s outer edge, just a few miles offshore, the seabed drops by a staggering 1,400 feet. This means that the big game pelagics are right at your doorstep. Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, White and Blue Marlin are all on the menu in these waters.
To make the most out of your trip, aim for May to November. This is when most of the species are on the bite.
Private snorkeling tours will take you around the reef to see manatees, turtles, and Nurse Sharks. Snorkeling can work up your appetite, so be sure to take a break for some beach barbecue. If you want to enjoy the colorful reef from above, book a parasailing tour – you’ll behold a sight to remember.
The accommodation on the island is a big part of what makes this place so indulgent. There’s a myriad of boutique hotels, luxury lodges, and beachside villas to choose from, each more enticing than the next. Picture hanging out in a lush private garden with an outdoor tub, flanked by a wooden trail guiding you to a mesmerizing reef panorama. That is the ultimate Belize experience.
Sitka Sound, Alaska
For true nature lovers, there’s no beating fishing in the Alaskan wilderness. The serene beauty you’ll see around Sitka Sound is like nothing else on Earth. Finding yourself in this unblemished nature and watching the richness of wildlife unfold around you is awe-inspiring to say the least.
You might think that such wilderness calls for sleeping bags and backpacks. It can, and adventurers are known to frequent the park pretty much year round. But it can also be a place of undisturbed relaxation and indulgence.
The fishing charters in Sitka are well versed in multi-day outings. You know those ‘80s movies when the hero jumps out of a float plane in the wild to save the day? Well, you can be the hero, only you won’t be catching bad guys – you’ll be catching some monster fish!
Highlighting species like Salmon, Halibut, Rockfish, and Lingcod, Sitka Sound is one of those rare places where freshwater and saltwater fishing are equally good. If you’re venturing out into the ocean, keep an eye out for whales, you don’t want to miss the sight of these big guys splashing around!
Scattered all around the coast and the neighboring islands are the luxury fishing lodges. Offering all-inclusive packages with everything from fish packaging and airport transfers, to delicious meals and relaxing massages, the lodges are made for enjoyment.
A lot of the places we mentioned are secluded, distant paradises. And that’s fine – everyone needs to zone out from all the hustle and bustle from time to time. But what if you could have all that natural wonder, without losing out on any of the urban comforts and culture a larger city brings? You need look no further than Sicily.
Fishing in Sicily is nothing short of spectacular. Fishing charters frequent the Tyrrhenian Sea to the north, and the Strait of Sicily to the south.
There’s a wide range of species to catch in these waters, suited for all kinds of trip durations and difficulty levels. Beginners will have a blast with Mackerel, Barracuda and Dentex, while more experienced anglers can try their luck against the likes of Amberjack, Grouper, and the mighty Bluefin Tuna.
The Mediterranean’s largest island, Sicily is a historic gem with a palpable heartbeat. The island is home to six World Heritage sites, making for a-once-in-a-lifetime experience. The locals know how to enjoy themselves, and it won’t take you long to get into the mood yourself.
The medieval streets of Palermo are an intoxicating blend of opulence and down-to-earth charm. One stroll through these genial alleys will spark your mind with all sorts of indulgent ideas. The 2,700 year old city has a lot to offer on this front.
Luxury yachting is one of Sicily’s staples. These floating palaces will take you around the island to see the historic towns of Syracuse and Catania, or up and along the beautiful mainland coast.
Back ashore, Sicily has a number of luxury thematic tours to please every appetite. The local wine trails will show you some of Europe’s finest vintages. Foodies will love the personalized cooking courses, and movie buffs will get to relive some of their favorite cinematic moments on this iconic island.
No matter your age or style, Sicilian accommodation is bound to amaze you. Whether it’s relaxing on a peaceful medieval retreat, or living large in a contemporary waterfront villa, this place has what you need.
San Diego, California
If you’d like to experience the pinnacle of sportfishing, San Diego is the place to be. San Diego’s signature long range fishing trips have become legendary for their record-breaking catches, distant and exotic locales, and abundant creature comforts. To read our full guide on San Diego long range fishing, click here.
You don’t need millions to enjoy these amazing destinations. Sure, you’ll spend a few more bucks than on your regular fishing excursion, but seriously, a fishing trip in any of these places will be something you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
What do you think of our picks? Where would you choose to go on a luxury fishing trip? Have you ever visited any of these luxury fishing destinations? Let us know in the comments below.