The Best Fishing in Belize (Hotspots & Lodges)

Beyond the Barrier Reef Deep Sea Fishing in Belize
Reading Time: 5 mins

With a reef system that stretches across its entire coastline, there is no doubt that fishing in Belize is as good as it gets. Add in the myriad of freshwater rivers snaking throughout its landscape, and fishing can be enjoyed both at sea and inland.

Whether you want to cast a simple line and hook from a wooden dock, or go flyfishing for a Grand Slam on still flats, or prefer to pack some heavy heat and drive out beyond the reef and into the endless blues for deepwater fish, the possibilities are endless in Belize. With this quick guide to some of the best fishing spots and places to stay, your epic fishing adventure in Belize awaits.

On this page
Fishing Destinations
Best Time To Visit
Where to Stay

Top 5 Fishing Spots in Belize

1. Ambergris Caye

Deep sea fishing in Belize

Known for its superb flats fishing, with an abundance of bonefish, permit and tarpon, as well as deep-sea fishing that guarantee big snapper, jacks, barracuda, snook, grouper and more, Ambergris Caye is a major draw for enthusiastic fishermen. Local flyfishing guides know the best spots to land that Grand Slam, and some even double as deep-sea guides for a fresh seafood buffet! After the sun sets, you can opt to enjoy the lively nightlife in San Pedro, or relax at your resort.

2. Turneffe Atoll

If you seek privacy, Turneffe Atoll is the place to hide away and fish to your heart’s content! Fish all day, on one of the most pristine locations in all of Belize. One of the three atolls in Belize, Turneffe Atoll is approximately 30 miles long and 10 miles wide, and contains a network of flats, creeks, and lagoons that house a variety of marine species both commercially important and threatened.

3. Punta Gorda

Fly fishing in the Port Honduras Marine Reserve in Southern Belize

With local environmental NGOs such as TIDE intent on stopping illegal fishing, Punta Gorda has some of the healthiest fishing habitats. Known as a great spot for permit fishing, within two protected areas: Port Honduras Marine Reserve and Payne’s Creek National Park, Punta Gorda is the place to land the toughest of the flyfishing species. It also helps that Toledo, the district where Punta Gorda is located, is one of the most untouched, absolutely beautiful locations in Belize.

4. Hopkins

Stop at Bread and Butter Caye during Fishing tour from Hopkins

The waters off of Hopkins on the Southern coast of Belize are ideal for an abundance of permit bonefish, tarpon, snapper, mackerel, jacks and barracuda. Depending on the fishing tour you’re on, you could be out on the water all day or half a day, with the highlight of the tour being a quick stop for a beach BBQ lunch or dinner at a small caye to enjoy your catch of the day! If not, often you can take the fish you caught to your hotel and have the chef cook it for you.

5. Placencia

Trolling for Barracuda is popular at Southern Belize Barrier Reef

Further south from Hopkins is the Placencia Peninsula. With stunning swaths of beaches to the east and rich, biodiverse mangrove lagoons to the west, there is an endless variety of fish to be had at this tourism hotspot too! You can opt for deep-sea fishing outside of the reef, trying your luck at some dorado, wahoo, and of course, the classic snapper, grouper, barracuda and more. The mangrove flats offer calm waters for permit, bonefish, and tarpon, and on a truly lucky day, you might even spot some gentle manatees.

Best Fishing Time in Belize

Fishing is great year-round in Belize. Believe it or not, many fishermen seeking tuna, snapper and other reef fish will even recommend stormy weather as the best time. This is when the underwater currents are driving schools of fish through the main fishing spots, making for a guaranteed haul.

Flyfishing is also open year-round for the big three flyfishing species: tarpon, bonefish and permit, with a strict catch and release regulation. Migratory tarpon is most abundant from April through September. About the only time when you need to pay attention to the weather and timing is if you’re solely focused on fly fishing – cold fronts and strong breezes come through starting late November through February. It doesn’t mean you can’t fish, but if you seek a challenge, these months will certainly provide you with it!

If you’re interested in fishing for lobster or conch, bear in mind that lobster season runs from July 1st through to February 28th. Conch season, on the other hand, runs from October 1st through to June 30th, or until the pre-set quota has been met.

Where to Stay: Top Fishing Lodges in Belize

Enjoy world-class fishing and eco-adventure by staying at these top Belize fishing lodges and resorts.

Villa at El Pescador Lodge in Ambergris Caye

El Pescador Lodge

For over 40 years, the award-winning El Pescador Fishing Lodge has been offering some of the best in service and fishing to countless fishing enthusiasts. Located on Ambergris Caye, it is famous throughout Central America, and is ideally situated near flats to help anglers’ achieve their ultimate dream – a Grand Slam of bonefish, tarpon and permit.

Basic Cabin at Garbutt's Fishing Lodge in Punta Gorda, Belize

Garbutt’s Fishing Lodge

Built in 2008 by four brothers – Scully, Oliver, Dennis, and Eworth Garbutt – Garbutt’s Fishing Lodge is located on Joe Taylor Creek in Punta Gorda Town. It’s a fishing-focused no-frills lodge – simple, clean, functional, and built by fishermen for fishermen. Garbutt’s is centrally located to make easy mingling with locals, immersing in the culture or simply relaxing and enjoying southern Belize after a day out fishing.

Aerial view of Turneffe Flats Resort at Turneffe Atoll, Belize

Turneffe Flats

In 1981, Turneffe Flats went from a fishing camp with an outdoor bathroom facility, to small guest cabins and indoor plumbing. Over the years, and through three hurricanes, Turneffe Flats has evolved into a premier, eco-fishing resort on Turneffe Atoll. Flats fishing, diving, snorkeling, and other fantastic tours are available to guests. As quiet and remote as it is, the owners have taken care to provide creature comforts, including air conditioning made possible through solar power.

Long Caye Outpost Lodge at Lighthouse Reef Atoll

Long Caye Outpost Lodge

Located on the Lighthouse Atoll, Long Caye Outpost Lodge offers direct “on the reef” access to some of the best fishing in Belize. The out-of-the-way location, with the hideaway feel, surrounded by expansive swaths of white sand and flats as far as the eye can see, is perfect for those seeking a private lodge feel.



Reader Interactions


  1. Len says

    I went fishing in Belize in the eighties in January. I stayed in Placencia and visited a couple of the cayes. I caught two 3 foot barracuda and a snapper. I even trolled in a large river but no hits. Belize is best known for its fly fishing for bonefish on its expansive flats.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *