The Belize Fisherman's Guide to Belize
The sun is starting to rise. My mind is filled with anticipation for the day of fishing that lies ahead. The only problem, my stomach is churning, no fault of the staff nor owners of El Pescador Ambergis Caye. Over the last twelve hours since my arrival to the family owned and operated resort on the island of Ambergris Caye off the coast of the western Caribbean nation of Belize I have been extended some of the best hospitality of any angling operation I have ever had the pleasure to fish. No, my stomach problem originates back to the mainland of Belize where I ate a wannabe cheeseburger at a street vendors stand in downtown Belize City. Right about now my head is pounding as that burger plans to be my demise.
The fact is, in order to make it through the day, I will end up embarrassing myself by having to sit on a bucket as my guide looks politely the other way. To compound the problem, the water was a bit choppy, to say the least. I will hook a fish time and again over the course of the day, but I will have only myself to blame for not boating a fin or two. Such is the life of an open boat angler, for this is not a deal where you can drop the baited hook and reel in a catch of the day. No this is all about the art and perfection of fishing. As a cast reeler and not a fly rod casters that define the sport these days, my guide and I both understand, you have to lead a fish to bait, nothing less will be accepted.
Return of an angler from a successful day of fishing.
Tarpons caught by an angler from El Pescador, Ambergris Caye. (above and below)
But let's be honest, a guide provided by a world class resort such as El Pescador is such a professional that he not only will lead an angler to the best that the waters can offer up, he also understands clearly that an angler is often stressed, always faced with a schedule of arriving rushed and departing relaxed. Most anglers seldom have enough time to become acclimated to the pace that places like Belize afford. Regardless of their love of fishing, most true anglers from the United Sates or Canada or Europe or the rest of the world, men and women alike, they walk out of the board room and literally hours later are attempting to relax in the idyllic atmosphere that a location like El Pescador Ambergris provides.
With amenities like three swimming pools, complimentary kayaks and bicycles, email service and "The Exclusive Scientific Angler Mastery Series Fly Shop", El Pescador, Spanish for "The Fisherman", offers the best available fishing lodge on Ambergris Caye. Seclusion and relaxation in well appointed accommodations in a private villa or in a standard hotel room in the old colonial lodge, like I was housed, all guests have access to the complimentary hors d'ouvres from 4:30 pm in the bar. It's there that you will be able to share fishing tales with fellow anglers before you dine upon the local culinary Caribbean delights offered up on the outdoor deck or in the great room of the main lodge that has accommodated the complete angler for well over thirty years.
As with most fishing outfitters in Belize and around the world these days, El Pescador also practices a catch and release program. And rightfully so, in light of the offshore bounty that includes Bonefish, Tarpon, Snook and the price of them all, the illusive Permit, in order for future generations to experience the thrill of the catch, today's anglers need to respect the reality that the above mentioned species are diminishing.
All said, at the end of the day, the staff and management of El Pescador Ambergris Caye insure that each and every angler will have the very best day of fishing that money can buy. Located literally within seeing distance of the second largest barrier reef on the planet, El Pescador Ambergris Caye is quality, top end comfort. The staff caters to the whims of those anglers that are either pushed for time or patiently arriving to attempt 'a grand slam', the ultimate in Belize fishing, whereas the angler hooks a tarpon, a bonefish, a snook, and a permit. Photo ops and bragging rights aside, if casting long and hard is your cup of tea, look no further than El Pescador Ambergris Caye to make a fisherman out of you.