Reef fishing is the most popular fishing trip done by most visitors to Ambergris Caye. It is always a great day reef fishing because you are almost guaranteed a catch and if you are lucky you might even bring enough fish to feed the family for your entire trip.
There is much action reef fishing and most of it is done inside the reef and channels. Snapper, barracuda, jacks and grouper are some of the common catches on a day trip. All tackle, gear and bait is provided by your guide. Most guides will have a cooler with water and ice. You can bring your own drinks and food. Check with your guide to make sure he will have a cooler with ice.
Reef fishing may be done as half day charters or full day charters. Half days usually being 4 hours and full days 7 to 8 hours. Most guides will start the day at 7 or 8 in the morning but you can arrange for earlier or later start. Half day charters can be either morning or afternoon.
All fishing guides have their own boat and they are all well equipped with all you will need for reef fishing. Most boats have a livewell and your guide will usually catch sardines with his cast net for bait. If you have a favorite lure or would like to try a new bait, go ahead a bring it along. That is true too for rod and reels etc. Most guides will have an assortment of spinning reels and trolling rigs as well.
Most charter boats in the island are locally made. They range from 18 to 30 feet. Very few if any have a potty onboard so if you do have to go you may have to get in the water or if you are close to a resort your guide may bring you to shore. Charter fishing boats usually have a canopy for shade but you should confirm this with your guide when booking.
Where they go:-
The barrier reef runs the entire length of the island and way more. Depending where you are staying or are picked up and planning to be dropped off, your guide will decide where he will take you fishing. Usually guides will venture 5 to 10 miles away from you pick up point. This is also depending on whether it is a half day or full day and also weather conditions. Great fishing spots are all over the place, but they may be tough to spot. Fishing guides usually know where the fish have been biting and which baits work best. Superb fishing is also found in the leeward part of the island. This is by mangrove islands and sink holes and it is consider reef fishing too.
How about lunch -
Now this has become a favorite with many frequent visitors. Go fishing, catch some nice fish and cook out on the beach. Most fishing guides will do this but you need to request it because your guide will need to prepare and bring some extra ingredients. Depending on the group size, boat and guide, there will be an additional charge per person for this cook out. But I believe it is worth it. It usually is about $15.00 to $25.00 extra persons for the cookout. Your guide will prepare your catch and cook at some beach for you. He will usually bring side dishes such as potatoes, fruit, rice etc. The food is great. Ask for ceviche. You can't beat fresh fish or conch and beer. Guides will usually bring beer and sodas for lunch but confirm this when booking. While he prepares lunch, it is your perfect time to take a dip in the water, so don't forget to bring your swimsuit and even snorkeling gear.
How much -
Charter prices vary from US$240.00 for half day to US$350.00 for full day. Price may vary a bit depending on the boat size. The charter price is usually for 2 to 4 people depending on the boat and guide. Most charter boats can accommodate more that 2 persons but some will have an extra charge per person. You must also be aware that usually 2 to 3 people can safely and comfortably fish at a time in a boat. This is dependent on wind conditions, sea currents, boat size, location and other factors. If your group is larger than that some may be spectators or you may rotate fishing times during the day.
Some areas where you may request to go fishing may be designated parks and thus park fees are required. Find out when booking if this is included in the price.