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Top Fishing Charters in Belize

Fishing in Belize

If the fish gods exist, they certainly have a soft spot for Belize. The country is host to a wide variety of marine environments, all pulling together to attract game fish of all shapes and sizes to its coastline. From catching Grand Slams in the infinite flats to trolling offshore for Billfish and Tuna, Belize fishing charters have something to offer even the pickiest of sportfishermen and women. And vacation spots don’t get much better than this, either. 

Known For

Belize’s fishing grounds are a sight for sore eyes, as far as most anglers are concerned. The relatively undeveloped shoreline is perfect for inshore and flats fishing—Tarpon, Bonefish, and Permit abound around the river mouths, creeks, bays, and estuaries. 
 
Just a few miles from shore, the Belize Barrier Reef is one of the finest and most diverse examples of living coral in the world—so much so that it’s made the UNESCO World Heritage list. This is home to a thriving ecosystem presided over by predators the likes of Barracuda, Black Grouper, Snappers, and Wahoo—all prime sportfishing targets. 
 
Beyond the offshore edge of the reef, the seafloor drops off from depths of 600 ft to 2000 ft in a matter of miles, bringing Marlin, Mahi Mahi, and Tuna within reach of a day’s fishing trip. 

Belize fishing hotspots

While the fishing is good across the country, there are a few prime locations that attract anglers and holiday makers alike. Here’s our rundown:
 

Ambergris Caye

Light tackle and fly anglers come to  Ambergris Caye to test themselves against its prolific schools of Bonefish, and Tarpon, as well as Permit, Jack Crevalle, and Barracuda. Belize fishing guides pride themselves on the speed at which they get on with the job at hand, and those in San Pedro and the rest of Ambergris Caye are no exception. 15 minutes from leaving the dock, and you can either be fishing the tidal flats or trolling the bluewater. 
 
Get there: Ferries run from Belize City several times a day. The journey lasts between 75-90 minutes and tickets cost roughly $20 one-way.  There are also regular flights to San Pedro Airport from the Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport near Belize City. The flight lasts approximately 20 minutes. 
 
Charter a fishing boat: Reef and flats fishing trips start at $250–350 for a half day trip, extending to $400–$500 for a full day. Offshore fishing ranges from $400–$600 for a half day and $550–$900 for a full day, depending on the quality of the boat and experience of the crew. 
 

Belize City

The starting point for most Belize vacations, Belize City has its fair share of fishing opportunities, too. The highlight of fishing in Belize City is the huge Tarpon that cruise the flats in front of the Belize River, and there’s excellent Snook and Tarpon fishing upstream in the Belize and Sibun Rivers.
 
World-class offshore fishing is accessible from here, too. The Turneffe Islands, about 20 miles east of the city, are home to some of the country's best flats and offshore fishing. Travel another 12 miles from there, and you reach the legendary Lighthouse Reef, famous for Bonefish on the flats and its huge drop off to the south. Local anglers tell stories of behemoth Wahoo from these waters, as well as King Mackerel, Amberjack, Nassau Grouper, and even Billfish.  
 
Get there: Most resorts and charter boats in the atolls offer a pickup service from Belize city, often coming in at an extra cost. Be sure to check this with your guide before the trip. 
 
Charter a fishing boat: Most charter operators starting from Belize City offer multiple day trips, which can be in the range of roughly $1000 per day, all-inclusive.
 

Placenia

Towards the south of Belize, Placenia and Hopkins offer some of the best deep sea fishing in the country. And while the ride to the offshore fishing grounds is slightly further than it is in the north, it's more than worth the additional travel time. Inshore, southern Belize is known for its healthy Permit population, with local Permit and Tarpon being among the largest caught in the country. Combine this with schools of Bonefish in the flats, and this could be one of the best places to catch a Grand Slam in Belize.
 
Fishing guides in Placenia and Hopkins are especially proud of how close they are to Glover’s Reef and the offshore pinnacles. Glover’s Reef is a partially submerged atoll that lies around 30 miles from Hopkins and is also accessible from Placenia on a full day trip. Having been a marine preserve for over 25 years, its rich ecosystem attracts Blue and White Marlin, Sailfish, Wahoo, Tuna, Mahi Mahi, and a variety of Sharks. Meanwhile, the dropoff at the outer barrier reef wall is a proven Blue Marlin hotspot. The inner reefs are just as eager to please, offering up a rich selection of Mutton, Cubera, and Yellowtail Snappers, Groupers, Mackerels, Bonito, and much more. 
 
Get there: Placenia is a three hour drive from Belize City by car or bus. By plane, it’s 40 minutes from Belize City. 
 
Charter a fishing boat: Inshore and reef fishing trips range from $250–$350 for half a day, and $450–$550 for a full 8 hours. Offshore trips are in the range of $600–$900 for a half day, which may take you up to 25 miles out to the reefs, while full day trips may travel up to 40 miles and cost $1000–$1500. 

Know before you go

Many Belize fishing charters include fishing licenses as part of the package; if they don’t, you will need to purchase one from Belize’s Coastal Zone Management Authority (CZMA).
 
Fishing with scuba gear is prohibited, and catch and release is mandatory for Tarpon, Bonefish, and Permit. 
 
Belize was the first country in the world to ban all bottom trawling, a destructive commercial fishing technique that involves dragging nets along the bottom of the seafloor. This allows the reef—and the sportfishing around it—to flourish. 
 
The world-famous flats fishing in Belize draws anglers here from across the globe. Pay the country a visit, and see for yourself how it’s not just the flats, but also the reef and deep sea fishing, that make people want to stay.
 
Belize
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Belize Fishing Seasons

January is the middle of the dry season in North and Central Belize and is often considered to be the perfect time of year to visit. Tarpon are prolific, with up to 50–75 being spotted per day!

The dry season continues, although the weather can be changeable. Flats fishing is excellent as long as there isn’t too much wind, while reef fishing is consistently very good. Look out for huge Wahoo over the reefs. 

March can be windy in Belize. There's plenty of Bonefish around, though, with Tarpon appearing on calmer days and a fair amount of Permit schooling up. Reef fishing remains excellent for Wahoo. 
April is the beginning of the prime flats fishing season, which lasts until October. The water is calm and clear, while rising temperatures may be marked by brief rain showers. Look for King Mackerel on the reefs. 
May is usually the hottest time of year in Belize, but that doesn’t stop the fish. This is a great time of year for enormous schools of Bonefish on the flats, with Tarpon present on the flats and the reefs. 

Temperatures are high, with morning rain showers bringing a welcome relief. Bone fishing is at its peak, while Tarpon is still there to be caught on the flats and the reef. This makes for a summer holiday you won’t forget!

This is lobster season, and the numerous festivals along the coastline won’t let you forget it! With warm weather broken by showers and cool breezes, this is real summer. Flats and reef fishing are extremely good. 

Don't miss the International Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Escape the crowds and you’ll find that this is also peak season for Tarpon, with catches reaching over 100 lbs!

The celebrations contine, with locals celebrating both the Battle of St George’s Caye day and Independence day. Will you be having your own little celebration by taming the biggest Tarpon of your angling career?

The fish on the flats are generally larger and more aggressive at this time of year. Permit fishing is heating up, while Tarpon and Bonefish are still breaking lines whenever they can. Jack Crevalle and Snook are also plentiful.

Deep sea fishing is as good as it gets in Belize in November, and the Belize Game Fish Association celebrates this with their annual Bluewater Classic. Look out for Marlin, Tuna, and Belize’s famously large Wahoo. 

Peak tourist season means it can be hard to find accomodations. But secure your lodging, and we think you won’t be in your room for long — not with Bonefish, Tarpon, Jacks, Wahoo, Groupers, and Snappers all biting.
 

Belize Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Belize

"Full day trip. This was my first time flats fishing. We fished for bone fish. I used spinning gear, as I am not a fly Fisher. Nano was very patient with me and was very willing to instruct me on the proper techniques and delivery of the bait. Bone fis"

Joe O. fished with Nano Guerrero on March 22, 2019

Be patient. Do plenty of research on a guide before booking.

"Full day on Strike Force"

Pete C. fished with Strike Force Belize on March 19, 2019

Book fishing before you depart. For bonefishing try to get away from the city.

"Experienced guide"

Scott Z. fished with Belize Tarpon Fly on March 18, 2019

If new to fly fishing in salt water do your homework. It's not the same as fishing for trout or salmon but that's also what makes it interesting.

"Full day excursion"

Julie W. fished with South Water Adventures Belize on March 6, 2019

Yes! Our Captain knew where to find the fish and made catching them super simple.

Top Fishing Techniques in Belize

  1. Deep Sea Fishing
  2. Fly Fishing

Top Targeted Species in Belize

Barracuda (Great)

Barracuda (Great)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

Wahoo

Wahoo

Top Belize Destinations

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