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Where to Go Fishing for the Big 3 in Belize

Fly fishing in Belize
Belize is well known as a world-class fishing destination. Visitors to this beautiful country can experience fishing for the “Big 3” which are the prized Bonefish, Tarpon and the elusive Permit (all these fish are catch and release only).

The Belize coastline is incredibly diverse - it’s blessed with the second largest barrier reef in the world, an interlocking networks of rivers, creeks and lagoons, shallow water flats, small cayes and mangrove islands. All these geographical features provide the perfect habitat for marine life and fishing.

Here we look at some of the best places to fish for the Big 3 in Belize:

El Pescador Lodge, San Pedro

El Pescador Lodge specialises in Belize fishing, diving and eco-adventures. This lodge is located just outside of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye and offers outstanding flats fishing for bonefish, tarpon and permit. El Pescador has a range of accommodation from guest rooms in the mahogany main lodge, as well as one, two, and three bedroom luxury beachfront villas. The villas are perfect for couples, families and small groups traveling together. 

El Pescador Lodge Belize
Fly fishing at El Pescador Lodge. Photo courtesy of El Pescador Lodge

Tarpon Caye Lodge, Placencia 

Tarpon Caye is a Belize fishing lodge located just a 30-minute boat ride from the Placencia Peninsula. The lodge specialises in offering guests a unique saltwater fly fishing experience. Tarpon Caye has a prime fishing location as it sits on a fringe reef in the middle of the Victoria Channel (aka the Permit Capital of the world)!

Tarpon caye Lodge
Tarpon Caye Lodge. Photo courtesy of Tarpon Caye Lodge

Glover’s Reef Atoll

The saltwater flats and adjoining deep waters of Glover's Reef are one of the best places in the world to fly fish for tarpon and bonefish. Inside the Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve all fishing is catch and release only.  The Glover’s Reef Basecamp, located on Southwest Caye is the perfect place to stay and experience fly fishing and a range of other activities including sea kayaking, snorkeling and SUP.  Not far from Southwest Caye is the marine reserve boundary where guides will also lead fishing trips. Here you can experience traditional Belizean handline fishing which is hugely popular with kids and first-timers.

Fishing at Glovers Reef
Guide Mike and guests with a Barracuda at Glover’s Reef, Belize

Belize River Lodge

The historic Belize River Lodge is located just 9 miles northwest of Belize City and is known for its world-class fly fishing and dining. Nestled in the tropical forest, the lodge is just 3.5 miles from the mouth of the Belize River and the entrance into the Caribbean Sea and flats fishing. The lodge specialises in guests looking to fish the flats for bonefish, tarpon, permit and snook and many come in pursuit of the “Grand Slam.”

Best Time of Year for Fishing in Belize

Bonefish are present throughout the year in Belize, so there is not a defined best time to fish for them. March to August are the best months to fish for Permit. Tarpon are migratory species and their numbers begin to increase in April and May, with June, July and August being the best months to fish. Tarpon numbers begin to drop off in September or October.

Fly Fishing at Glovers Reef
Fly fishing at Glover’s Reef, Belize

Good to know:

Belize Sports Fishing Licences (catch & release only) are required in Belize. If you are planning on fishing, you should consider getting your licence before you arrive in Belize.

Relevant Links:

If you go:

Contact one of our Belize travel specialists at 1.800.667.1630 or email info@islandexpeditions.com and let us help you plan your Belize fishing vacation.