Hurricanes and a relaxing Caribbean getaway don’t mix well. High winds, low light and lashings of rain are hardly the idyllic combination you may have pictured when you booked your flats-fishing trip.
Guides don’t like those conditions either. If nothing else, a guide’s duty is to make your vacation memorable and passionately share the environment with you. Trying conditions make this an uphill battle. However, I can tell you that some of the best fishing of the year takes place between early July and the end of November, right in the heart of hurricane season.
The Caribbean hurricane season spans six months, beginning in June and ending in November. Practically, half the year we have chance of incurring hurricanes and/or tropical storms. In recent years several hurricanes have caused significant damage to parts of the Caribbean, along with Louisiana, Florida and Texas. Over in the western Caribbean, we don’t usually see destructive storm systems passing through. This is due to our geographic location. Most storms tend to curve away from the Yucatan Peninsula, as opposed to crossing right over it. In addition, the western Caribbean usually doesn’t see a shift in weather patterns until September, and those systems are usually gone by the end of November. Essentially, that makes our hurricane season about half as long as you might find elsewhere in the Caribbean.
We can’t predict the future, so there’s now way to guarantee a storm won’t influence you trip during hurricane season, but those who roll the dice often find significant reward. I often quote Delboy’s classic line from the British sit-com Only Fools and Horses, that being, “He who dares wins, Rodders”. Although comical, the sentiment rings true. I would warn against booking a trip during hurricane season months in advance. But, if you monitor the weather patterns and can book a trip a couple weeks to a month in advance of your arrival date, you limit the risks.