Belize Fishing Vacations
They say Belize is ‘Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret.’ While that may very well be true, anglers have known about Belize’s incredible sport fishing since the 80’s. With nearly 240 miles of Caribbean Coastline, three of the four atolls in the Western Hemisphere, over 400 cayes, and of course the world’s second longest barrier reef, the flats and reef fishing in Belize is some of the best in the world. Our Belize fishing packages below are organized by vacation and fishing types to give you ideas for your next fishing vacation but we customize every fishing package we create. Once you inquire with us we’ll work with you personally to customize your dream Belize fishing vacation. Trust our decades of local expertise and see why nearly 40% of our anglers are repeat & referral guests!
Belize Fly Fishing Trips
Belize Permit Fishing
Belize Tarpon Fishing
Fishing & Adventure Packages
Belize Fishing and Diving
Reef Fishing Packages
Belize Fishing Info
Belize is Central America’s smallest country, but it offers an incredibly diverse fishery with deep sea fishing, reef fishing, and flats fishing. Unlike other Central American countries that have access to both the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean, Belize has just 240 miles of Caribbean Coastline to enjoy. Yet what it lacks in national territory it makes up for it with a bevy of offshore riches like three of the four atolls in the Western Hemisphere, over 400 cayes, and of course the second longest barrier reef in the entire world – the Mesoamerican Reef. Belize has done a wonderful job protecting both the reef and the fishery itself, becoming the first country in the world to mandate the catch and release of all bonefish, permit, and tarpon in 2008. More recently, they have begun to ban gill-netting as well and have put more restrictions on the whale shark tours. Whether you are into big game offshore species or variety fishing inside the reef, conventional tackle or fly fishing, snorkeling or diving – Belize is an ocean lover’s dream destination.
Offshore Fishing in Belize
Central America is known as a corner of the world that offers incredible offshore fishing, but most of that attention is directed towards the Pacific Coasts of Costa Rica, Panama, and Guatemala. Belize is not widely known as an offshore sport fishing destination, and while it can’t compete with the gaudy billfish numbers of it’s neighbors, it does certainly have plenty of pelagic action to offer. Most offshore anglers in Belize head outside the reef in search of wahoo and dorado (mahi-mahi). During the right season, these can be caught by the boatload and make for a delicious Belizean seafood dinner. We will also see the passing schools of yellowfin tuna and the smaller black-fin tuna while fishing the blue water. Offshore anglers are occasionally treated to blue marlin and Atlantic sailfish, though not in large numbers like Costa Rica or Guatemala. Whether you are trolling the drop off outside the reef or the weed lines, the offshore fishing in Belize can produce some very exciting days.
The 600-mile long Mesoamerican Reef stretches from Southern Mexico to the tip of Honduras, so it easily covers the entirety of the 240-mile long Belizean coastline. Located 19 miles from the coast at it’s farthest point in Southern Belize and less than a mile at it’s closest point in Northern Belize, Belizeans and the tourists that visit have always had an intimate relationship with the reef and it’s marine life. Home to hundreds of species of fish – as well as turtles, rays, sharks, and manatee – it truly is a living breathing national treasure. With all the marine life it supports, you can correctly assume that fishing along the reef usually offers a lot of action and variety. Light tackle fishing inside of the reef typically features several species of snappers and jacks, kingfish, and big barracuda. Fishing along the outside of the reef will give you access to all of those as well as bigger species of snapper, grouper, and wahoo. Reef fishing in Belize allows you to fish with poppers or crank baits, drift live sardines, chunk baiting, or do vertical jigging. While you may not catch monsters here, the real claim to fame of reef fishing in Belize is the incredible variety.
The crown jewel of Belize’s incredible fishery is the flats fishing. Protected by the Mesoamerican Reef, the shallow coastal waters of Belize are the perfect habitat for the big three of saltwater flats fishing – bonefish, permit, and tarpon. The combination of muddy and sand bottoms, turtle grass, shallow coral flats, and mangroves keep these fish in Belize throughout the entire year which is why fly anglers have been traveling to Belize to fish for them since the 1980’s. Whether you are wading the flats or having your guide slowly pole across them, few types of fishing are more fun than stalking and sight casting to your target species. All bonefish, permit, and tarpon have been strictly catch-and-release in Belize since 2008, so the populations are healthy and over-fishing is not a concern. Better yet, Belize has miles and miles of flats to fish so it’s quite common to fish all day and not see other angler on the same flat you are fishing. The Inshore Grand Slam gets all the attention, but other fun species that will tug on your line are snook, triggerfish, jacks, and barracuda.
Most of our anglers who come to fish the flats are fly anglers, but this can be done on light tackle spinning gear as well. Permit and bonefish have a hard time passing up a chunk of fresh conch meat, and once hooked they peel off line on a spinning reel just as fast as a fly reel. We can even customize our Belize fishing packages so that your guide is prepared with fly rods and rods.
When is the Best Fishing in Belize?
With the different venues of offshore fishing, reef fishing, and flats fishing there is never a bad time to plan your next Belize fishing vacation. Some of the game fish in Belize are seasonal and migratory species while others are present year round and are affected more by weather and wind, so knowing when to go is of the utmost importance. By nature of being on the Caribbean, the weather can be wildly unpredictable and can change from day to day, but the good news is even the bad weather systems don’t last for more than a few days. Below is our Belize fishing calendar to give you a general idea of the different species and fishing seasons. We customize all of our Belize fishing packages so once you contact us we’ll work with you personally to make sure you are in the right spot at the right time for the fishing you want to do.
Available Species List
Despite being Central America’s smallest country, Belize offers an incredible variety of species for anglers. Fishing the blue water outside the reef can produce pelagics like billfish, dorado, and wahoo. Fishing along the Mesoamerican Reef offers the most variety as we’ll catch several species of jacks, snappers, groupers as well as mackerel and barracuda. Last but not least, the fishing in Belize that is most popular is the flats fishing where the main targets are bonefish, permit and tarpon. In addition to the Inshore Grand Slam species, we can also catch jacks, triggerfish, and barracuda on the flats as well as snook in the lagoons and mangroves. We can even customize our Belize fishing packages to include fishing in all three venues!
Offshore & Reef Fishing
Belize Fishing Lodges & Accommodations
Anglers have been fishing in Belize for forty years so fortunately there are plenty of great properties to fit almost any travel style and budget. Your choices include affordable boutique hotels, luxury beach resorts, and all inclusive fishing lodges including one located 20-miles out to sea on an atoll. We even have several fishing lodges and exclusive boutique hotels that are located on private islands. As a luxury vacation outfitter, we only work with the nicest 3, 4, and 5-star operations that meet our expectations for quality, reliability, and service. Being local experts, we have personally visited every single property we represent so we’ll use our personal experience to hand pick the perfect fit for your Belize fishing vacation.
Day Tours & Excursions
Your Belize Fishing Vacation doesn’t need to be all fishing, all the time. Belize is nicknamed “Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret” for a reason, so while you are here you can explore Mayan ruins, caves, lush rain forest with incredible wildlife, waterfalls, white sand beaches, islands, and of course the famous Mesoamerican Reef. Whether it’s an off day from fishing or for the non-anglers in your group, there are several great eco and adventure tours available. We can also customize your Belize fishing vacation so you spend a few nights in different locations throughout the country so you can see all that it offers.The list includes:
- Mayan Ruins
- Cave Explorations
- Cave Tubing
- Horseback Riding
- Canopy zip-line tour
- Waterfall Rappelling
- Guided tours of national parks
- Bird Watching
- Catamaran cruises
- Manatee watching
- Chocolate making
- Cultural Immersion & cooking classes
Belize Fishing FAQs
Do I need a fishing license to fish in Belize?
YES. All anglers between the ages of 16-65 need to purchase a fishing license for their Belize Fishing Vacation. These are sold by the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI). A one day license can be bought for $20 BZ ($10 USD), a one week license for $50 BZ ($25 USD). Some of our Belize fishing packages will include that in the price depnding on which lodge you stay at.
How many people will be on my fishing boat?
All fishing charters booked by Central America Fishing are private, so the boat is 100% yours. We do not set up any shared charters.
What is the standard tip for a fishing charter in Belize?
A standard tip for a charter fishing crew in Belize is 10%-20% of the cost of the charter. For most flats guides, that works out to be $50-$100 USD per day. For larger boats with a captain and mate for reef and offshore fishing trips, confirm the cost of the charter before you hit the water. Many Belizean fishing guides work as commercial fishermen diving for conch and lobster when they aren’t fishing with clients, so a tip is appreciated. Tipping in USD or Belize dollar (BZ) is fine.
Can I bring my own fishing gear?
OF COURSE! On reef fishing and offshore fishing fishing trips our private charters provide all the fishing tackle and bait you’ll need, but you are always welcome to bring your own lures, reels, and even rods if you want to catch fish using your own tackle.
Fly anglers are always encouraged to bring their own fly gear so they are familiar with their casts. We will send you a fly fishing checklist after you book your trip with us so you know what size rods, fly patterns, leaders and tippet you’ll need. Some lodges offer loaner rods or full tackle that you can rent by the day.
Which fish in Belize are catch and release and which ones can I keep to eat?
Belize became the first country in the world to mandate the release of all bonefish, permit, and tarpon in 2008. This was invaluable to protect their highly coveted flats fishery.
Many of the reef and offshore species like tuna, dorado (mahi), wahoo, snappers, groupers, mackerel and even barracuda can be kept and enjoyed for a fresh seafood dinner. In season you may also have the opportunity to dive for fresh lobster.
Can I bring fish back home with me to my own country?
If you really want to enjoy your catch our best advice is to eat it while it’s fresh here in Belize. Belizeans are foodies and the Afro-Caribbean seasoning down here is phenomenal, so we recommend you enjoy it while you can. We do however understand many of you love the idea of a seafood dinner in the comforts of your own home, so the good news is there is no law against it and people do it all the time. However – we do not have the final say in this so there are some things you need to keep in mind:
1 – In Belize there is no service that will package and ship fish home for you. If you want to bring fish home with you you’ll have to do it yourself in your own luggage. Our best advice is to bring down a soft sided, leak-proof cooler, have your fish frozen completely solid, wrap them in newspaper, and then check your cooler as part of your luggage since it will stay cooler in the cargo hold of the plane versus in the cabin as a carry-on. If you don’t have a cooler or forget to bring one, you can purchase affordable plastic coolers here in local grocery stores.
2 – While Belize does not prohibit you from bringing fish fillets home with you, your international airline might. We strongly recommend you confirm this with your airline (in writing if possible) or you may have the fish confiscated from you at the airport check-in.
3 – Even if your airline lets you fly the fish home, your local customs may have an issue with you bringing in meat products from a foreign country. In our experience most customs agents don’t seem too interested in you bringing back frozen fish fillets from your fishing vacation to Belize, but it can depend on the agent and depend on the day.
What if there is bad weather on our fishing day?
This is a question that comes up on all of our Belize fishing packages. Being on the Caribbean, the weather in Belize changes quickly and is much less predictable than the Pacific Coast of Central America. The good news is, when there is a storm or cold front coming through we typically know about it a few days beforehand which can allow us to make some in-country adjustments to try and have you do other activities while the fishing conditions are less-than-ideal.
If your captain/flats guide, the fishing lodge, or government deem the conditions are unsafe the trip will be cancelled. The first course of action is to try and reschedule you, but if that is not possible you will be refunded in full. Keep in mind that rain and dark clouds are not considered bad weather, that can be a daily occurrence in Belize! Rain shower are more common in the Caribbean than the Pacific, but the good news is they typically don’t last long unless there is a storm system moving through.
Every single Belize Fishing Vacation booked with Central America Fishing include the following:
- Free Vacation Planning (no fees + direct rates)
- Meet & Greet upon exiting the BZE Airport
- Private, air-conditioned transfers with English speaking driver.
- All in-country domestic flights
- Luxury accommodations in your choice of all inclusive fishing lodge, luxury beach resort, or a boutique hotel.
- Private fishing charters
- Day tours & excursions
- All Belizean taxes and service fees
- Free quotes on travel insurance
- Pre-arrival assistance with dinner reservations, tee times, pre-stocking your condo or villa, hiring a private chef, and special requests.
- 24/7 support once you are here in country