Imagine hundreds of square miles of pristine saltwater flats, stretching as far as your eye can see, to where the horizon of water blurs into the hazy Caribbean sky. Aquatic habitat ranging from dense mangrove alleys to wide-open, savannah-like white sand flats, to reef-edge rollers… all within reach of the region’s preferred vessel: a simple panga.
Whether you’re a frequent flyer or once-a-decade bucket list traveler, you’ve likely daydreamed of such a location. Not far from the United States, Belize’s wide-open spaces taunt anglers with their promise of permit, tarpon, bonefish, snook, and more. The shallow inshore flats lining this Central American country are home to some of the most prolific saltwater sportfishing in the world. And the northern part of the country, near the tourist-friendly islands of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, draw fly-fishers from around the globe. Anglers fishing this area can expect to encounter a variety of water, ranging from the mangrove alleys of Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Mexico/Belize border, to the wide-open, stellar white sand flats off Long Caye, nearly a two-hour panga run south from Bacalar Chico.
Seasoned saltwater anglers and first-timers alike come to these islands and try their hand at connecting with a grand slam. And this portion of Belize is one of the best places in the world to do just that.