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A Beginner’s Guide to Fishing in Belize: The gear you need, where to buy it, and the regulations you should be aware of

by Maia Muttoo Apr 22, 2019

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With some of the most beautiful fisheries worldwide, it’s no wonder Belize is such a popular spot among anglers.

If you’re just starting to fish in Belize, here’s what you need to know.

Regulations

A license is required to fish in Belize. Sport fishing licenses typically cost $20.00 per week or $50.00 per month and can be purchased online from the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute. If you would like to buy a year-long license, you will need to apply in person with the CZMA.

To protect the country’s marine species, catch and release fishing is preferred; it is required by law for bone-fish, tarpon and permit. Fishing certain species, such as whale sharks, is banned indefinitely.

Belize has designated seasons for fishing certain species such as conch, lobster and Nassau grouper. Be aware of these regulations, so you are not fishing illegally! Contact the Belize Fisheries Department or Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute for more information on species regulations; Ambergris Caye and Belize.com also offers some details.

Essential Equipment

What equipment does a fishing newbie need to join the sport? Here are the pieces to have in your kit:

Rod: A durable pole that allows you to cast your fishing line further and deeper. There are different styles of rods depending on the type of fishing you’ll be doing. Ideally, your rod should be approximately 30 centimetres longer than your height.

Line: A long reel of thread attached to your hook. Always bring extra line when going fishing as it may break or tangle. The type of line you select will depend on your catch, and fishing conditions as rougher seas require tougher material.

Hook: A metal hook used to secure your catch.

Sinker: Sinkers stabilise your line and help it sink deeper into the water. Choose sinkers made from more sustainable materials like brass or steel rather than toxic lead ones.

Bait: To lure in your catch. Live bait is best and will depend on the type of food that attracts your catch. Grub and corn are both popular bait options.

Cooler with ice: This helps to keep your bait fresh.

Sun protection: Fishing can be a sport that requires patience. When you’re out in the sun for hours, it’s important to protect your eyes and skin by wearing polarised sunglasses and reef-safe sunscreen.

Where to Buy Equipment

There are a number of fishing retailers in Belize. Here are a few to visit:

In some areas, you may be able to rent equipment. The Turneffe Flats at the Turneffe Atoll offers rentals on fly fishing equipment.

Belize offers incredible opportunities for both experienced and rookie sport fishermen. Just be sure you’re aware of the regulations, and remember to fish sustainably to protect Belize’s environmental integrity. 

Sources: Leisure Pro, BelizeIt, Ambergris Caye, Belize.com, Belize Fisheries Department, and Fishing Booker.