Caye Caulker

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Fishing in Caye Caulker

Ever since it was discovered as the next up-and-coming Caribbean tourist destination in the 1970s, Caye Caulker, Belize hasn’t stopped attracting travelers and adventurers from all over the globe. Located 20 miles from Belize City and 14 miles from San Pedro, this tiny limestone coral island measures only a mile from east to west, and 5 miles from north to south. Even though the island is small in size, Caye Caulker fishing is larger than life!
 
Fishing has always been the essence of the local way of life and a generations-long tradition. It is said that Caye's fishing guides are some of the best in the country – saltwater runs through their veins and so does their love of fishing. 
 

Known For

 
Caye Caulker attracts scores of passionate anglers eager to test their game fishing skills. Formed of a limestone shelf covered by a sandbar, it lies in the heart of various species’ migratory routes, and its waters are exploding with lobster and conch as well. 
 
The abundance of species combined with the island's unique location and geography bring a variety of game fishing opportunities to the table. From fly fishing for the "Grand Slam" on the flats to reef and deep sea fishing, Caye Caulker has something special in store for any type of angler. With 12 different Snapper species, eight Grouper species, and eight species of Jacks – the sky's the limit. And of course, don't forget about all the Marlin, Sailfish, Tuna, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, Mackerel, Tarpon, and Permit. 
 

Flats Fishing

 
The shallow lagoon in front of Caye Caulker Village is considered to be one of the best fly fishing locations in Belize, and for a good reason. Thanks to its extensive flats stretching as far as the eye can see, these waters are the ultimate playground for anglers looking for something challenging and exciting. The white sand floors and clear waters (6 inches to 14 feet deep) provide a unique opportunity to see the fish almost at all times, depending on the weather. 
 
The Grand Slam is the name of the game in these flats – Tarpon, Permit, and Bonefish are just waiting for a skilled fly or spin angler to give them a good fight. And the best part? These shallow waters are located just within a mile from the deeper blues, so you could easily combine flats fishing with some deep sea action during the same trip. 
 

Reef Fishing

 
With the Belize Barrier Reef at its doorstep, it's no wonder that reef fishing is a favorite among many novice and experienced anglers. Dropping lines in the world’s second largest reef for a variety of Snapper and Grouper, as well as Mackerel and Barracuda, is something you definitely shouldn't miss. You can also expect to come "face-to-gills" with Wahoo, Cobia, Jacks, Gilt-Head, and others on this trip. Most of the reef trips will start at the Split, the legendary narrow waterway that splits Caye Caulker in two. 
 

Deep Sea Fishing

 
Any Caye Caulker fishing charter can take you deep sea fishing just a couple of minutes after leaving the dock. Thanks to a huge drop off located just a few miles from the flats, you can target the biggest of big game species even on a half day trip. The local guides can show you the best hot spots teeming with trophies such as Sailfish, Marlin, Tuna, Wahoo, and Mahi Mahi, in waters 800–2,000 feet deep. Trolling for these amazing creatures with the soft breeze in your hair will be more than just fishing. Enjoying the untouched nature of the area while chasing your dream catch? Priceless!
 

Caye Caulker Fishing Tips

  • If you decide to focus on Caye Caulker fly fishing, your success will depend on you using the right equipment and techniques. These flats will challenge your casting skills – try casting 70-80 feet away, as precise as you can. Using a stiff 8–9 wt rod will usually have you covered in all scenarios. 

 

  • If you're interested in some prime spearfishing, Caye Caulker waters will provide for that, too. You'll be free diving in 20–30 feet of water, using spear guns and probably a Hawaiian sling. Just keep in mind that tanks are illegal. 

 

Need to Know

Most of the Caye Caulker locals are bilingual; they speak both Spanish and English. They are known to be very friendly, welcoming, and laid back – the "mañana" attitude of the islanders will make you want to slow down and take it easy. Tipping is customary, though the amount is completely up to you.
 

Regulations

Fishing anywhere in Belize will require a valid fishing license, and Caye Caulker is no exception. But no worries, most of the charter boats include licenses – if not, you can buy them from Belize’s Coastal Zone Management Authority (CZMA). Bonefish, Permit, and Tarpon are strictly catch and release. 
 

Budget

A full day of deep sea fishing will cost you approximately $500–$1,200, depending on the boat and the charter company, while half days are usually $450–$700. What about reef trips? Expect to pay between $500 and $800 for full days and around $400 for half day trips. Some of the charters offer pickup from Belize City at an additional cost. 
 

Getting There 

The easiest way to reach Caye Caulker is by plane – there are regular flights from Belize City to Caye Caulker Airport. Another great option is taking a high-speed water taxi from the main airport in Belize City. The ride usually takes 45–50 minutes and these speed boats can carry around 50 passengers. 
 
When you get to the island, don't miss the opportunity to explore the serene scenery on foot and try everything that these timeless waters have to offer. Be it world-class snorkeling at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve, windsurfing, or fishing for your next trophy, this miniature paradise is sure to give you the time of your life on the water.
 

Caye Caulker Fishing Seasons

January
Bonefishing and reef fishing can be great, but this month's superstars are definitely Tarpon. Wahoo and Grouper are excellent, too – catch as many as you can!
February
Wahoo and Grouper are still great during February. Provided that the wind doesn't go wild, flats could be teeming with fish. Focus on Tarpon, Bonefish, and Permit. 
March
March brings schools of Permit and Bones – don't miss the opportunity to land as many as you can. Reef fishing and Tarpon fishing in the lagoons are also amazing. 
 
April
This is the start of the prime Sailfish and King Mackerel season, as well as the best flats fishing. Migrating Tarpon are gathering around the reefs. Bones and Permit can be found in abundance. 
 
May
Usually the warmest month, May brings schools of Bonefish. Tarpon fishing is great both on flats and at the reefs. Don't miss the Caye Caulker's Coconut Festival. 
 
June
King Mackerel is still excellent, and Bones are at their peak. Tarpon can be found both at the reefs and on the flats. June is also the time of the Caye Caulker Lobster Fest.
 
July
This is the start of the prime Tarpon season, as well as Lobster hunting season. Fishing in the flats and at the reefs is still a great option. 
 

 

August
August brings the biggest of big when it comes to Permit and Tarpon – don't miss the chance to land your personal best. Barracuda, Marlin, and Snapper are also great.
 
September
September is the month of important local holidays – this is when the St. George's Caye Day and the Independence Day are celebrated. The abundance of Tarpon is also a reason to celebrate. 
 
October
October brings Jack Crevalle and Snook to the flats. The "Grand Slam" is still going strong, as well as reef fishing. Columbus Day is celebrated throughout the country. 
 
November
Fishing for Bones and Jack Crevalle is amazing, as well as reef fishing. Marlin, Tuna, and Wahoo can be found if you head offshore – get ready for a battle of a lifetime. 
 
December
December is a month of abundance, bringing anything from Bones, Tarpon, Ladyfish, Jacks, and Barracuda to the table. Snapper and Grouper are spawning at the reefs, a perfect time to reel them in.
 

Caye Caulker Fishing Calendar

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Reviews of Fishing in Caye Caulker

One Great Experience
April J. fished with Esley Usher Fishing - Agua Mala on July 12, 2019
Bring sunscreen even though there is a awning just in case and be patient.
Half day with Esley
Bradley F. fished with Esley Usher Fishing - Agua Mala on September 2, 2018
Use Esley Usher's services. You won't be disappointed!
Full day with Captain Esley
Kyle K. fished with Esley Usher Fishing - Agua Mala on July 24, 2017
Book with Esley, inform him what interests you and he will take care of the rest. Esley is the best Captain on the island.

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