You Need to Try River Fishing in Belize  

by Larry Waight
river fishing

Belize’s fresh, sparkling waters are teeming with fish of all kinds. Discover what it’s like to fish for the most challenging, exciting fish as they spawn in Belize’s rivers, estuaries, waterways, barrier islands, mangrove flats, salt marshes, and bays.

Why River Fishing in Belize Is a Total Thrill

Belize has an amazing array of fish and sea mammals in the waters surrounding the Belize Barrier Reef. These waters are justly famous for their great fishing, but did you know you can get equally great thrills by going inland?

Belize’s inland territory is rich with brackish and freshwater waterways. Many of them form parts of protected marine and fishing reserves. Others are prime spawning grounds for fish on their way out to sea. All of this means an abundance of fish waiting to challenge you along the riverbanks.

Come discover what real river fishing in a wild jungle is like.

What Can You Catch?

Your catch depends on where you choose to fish. The best fishing rivers are probably the Belize River, New River, Sibun River, Manatee River, Rio Grande River, Sittee River, and Moho River. These rivers are ideal for catching snappers, bonefish, jacks, and tarpon.

Don’t miss the chance to fish for a local favorite. The fish we call the cubera snapper is a large, feisty fish known as the “river rhino” for its ability to break hooks and snap lines.

Monkey River Town is a popular destination for fans of fly fishing. You’ll find plenty of bonefish, permit fish and tarpons at the mouth of the Monkey River. Venture deeper inland to the Punta Ycacos Lagoon and Punta Negra Lake where you’ll find huge schools of tarpon, barracudas, and jacks.

river fishing

Follow Our Laws

It’s important to follow Belize’s fishing laws. They exist to protect important fish species, conserve marine life and preserve Belize’s environment for the future. Hiring a professional guide with a government license is the best way to ensure you’re following the rules. Here are a few to keep in mind: 

  • All sport fishing is catch and release. The exception is lionfish, an invasive species the Belizean government encourages you to kill. 
  • In protected marine reserves, you may not use longlines, nets or traps. 
  • You may not catch or interfere with sea turtles, Nassau groupers or sea cucumber. 

Gear Up for River Fishing

River fishing has become enormously popular in Belize. If you want to take part, hire a fishing guide who’s licensed by the government. Most professional guides speak fluent English, are knowledgeable about where to go and can ensure you have a great time fishing. 

Written by Larry Waight

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