Fishing is fun for the family

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 15, No. 16            April 21, 2005

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Whether you are an avid fisherman, or someone who can’t remember the last time you “drowned” a worm, “La Isla Bonita” offers something for every type of angler. A day out fishing is a great adventure for vacationers of all ages, and there are many local guides who are skilled at finding where the fish are biting. If you have come to Ambergris in search of serious fishing, there are many skilled guides in the area that your hotel can recommend, or the folks at “El Pescador” can also set you up for whatever level of trip you are looking for. Tarpon and bonefish are very popular sport fish in the area.

    For those who are just looking for a fun, laid back day on the water, there are many guides who offer full day and half-day fishing trips. Some also offer combination fishing and snorkeling trips, which is a great way to spend the day. If eating fresh fish is what you are looking for, some of the guides offer beachside barbeques where they will cook your catch of the day…nothing is more delicious!

    Most of these fishing trips take place inside the reef, where the water is usually calm and transparent. If you are not the original “Old Man of the Sea,” do not fear, as most guides come fully equipped with fishing gear, bait and a cooler with water and cold beverages. You can fish at your own comfort level, whether it be baiting and casting yourself or letting the guide have the honors. They will even take the fish off the hook and filet it for you if you want! Depending on where you are anchored, the non-fishers on the boat may be able to snorkel off the “non-fishing” side of the boat. Your guide may also recommend trolling, depending on the tide, how the fish are biting and what you are fishing for.

    If you have never caught an open-water fish before you are in for a treat. They are strong fighters and it is a thrill (and sometimes a challenge) to reel one in. It is always an exciting moment when the fish is finally brought to the boat, and the small fish that gave you a whale of a fight might surprise you. There is a huge variety of fish that can be caught along the reef, and many of them make fine dining. Most common are snappers, usually yellowtail. Other fish you may catch are porgy, hogfish, grouper, yellow jacks, grunts, and parrot fish to name a few. If you are lucky enough to snag a barracuda, even a small one, be prepared for a heck of a fight!

    This is a great outing for families of all ages and abilities. Children love the excitement of reeling in a fish and the photo opportunities are many. Even the grandparents will have fun and a day like this is what memories are made of. After your fun-filled day you will have many stories to share, and you may even return from your trip with the classic “one that got away” story!
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