my father's old fishing pole lives a lonely life just outside of
the village of Trujillo on the north coast of Honduras. I miss that
old fishing rod and reel, but not enough to go fetch it back from
where it spins its days in the country I now refer to as hell on
My father taught me how to fish when I was five years old. Until
he passed away in 1996 he went fishing each and every year. Besides
his deep affection for my mother, his other love was to wade out
into the surf and let the ocean pound away at him as he would
cast far out across the waters and beyond the continual procession
of endless waves. When I think of my father I do not think about
him dying a torturous death from lung cancer and the treatments
that the doctors offered in vain, I think only about him smiling
To this very day that is what I love about fishing, the fact
that it made my father forget so easily the hardships of life
onshore. I also love the fact that once the hook has lost it's
bait to a curious fish, it's always rewarding to return to the
beach to re-bait my hook and to dig deep into my cooler for an
ice cold beverage. Despite those that have taken an art form to
an industry, well I still love fishing for what it is, a sport,
a means to forget about the challenges of life and a way to put
food upon the dinner table.
These days, when fly fishing has high jacked the art of the spin
reel, many approach fishing for all the right and wrong reasons.
It should be about pleasure and not about the bottom line. Regardless
of my opinion, the pleasure of fishing has become a way for many
people to make obscene amounts of money Sunday to Saturday off
those that are trying to escape their on personal ball and chain.
For it's no longer simply about room and board and a boat and
a guide for the day that baits the hook and takes you to that
sweet spot where you can catch a fish, it's more about bragging
rights and trophies and having the name dropper fishing equipment
and the old one up-manship. It's all about checking off your score
card, Permit from Belize, Salmon from Alaska, Barramundi from
Australia, Giant catfish from Cambodia and Trout from Mongolia.
Although world class anglers fuel the Belizean sports fisherman
industry that provides a lot of jobs to local fishing guides and
resort employees and regardless of the fact that BELIZEmagazine.com
is supported by many of the premier outfitters across Belize,
the reality is that fishing is big dollars. Not only are anglers
arriving in droves to fish the idyllic Belizean waters from the
rivers to the lagoons to the open sea with an assortment of gear
and equipment that can cost more than the average local family
has access annually, more and more they to are feeling the squeeze.
A recent survey by BELIZEmagazine.com determined that an angler,
after paying for their flights from destinations primarily in
the US and Europe, will pay as much as US$595.00 per day to fish.
Based upon what we found, a seven night lodging package with six
days of fishing for one person in a boat with one guide will cost
US$2175.00. This package does not include required air transfers
from the international airport ion Belize City, no beer, and no
gratuities. Worst yet, the price does not even include lunch during
each day of fishing. That's right, you are stuck on a boat paying
over US$362 per day and they do not even provide lunch.
Sadly, that was the cheaper of the big three. The most expensive
fishing provider in Belize charges US$4,040 for the same seven
nights lodging with six days of fishing. Of course they at least
provide the single angler with the previously required air transfers
from Goldson International Airport in Belize City as well as all
beer, colas, rum and box lunch while chasing down fish.
The best advertised bargain in Belize still will cost the complete
angler for that seven nights lodging with meals and the services
of a qualified guide, US$2,950.00 per person. And though this
particular outfitter also does not include alcohol in the package,
I can personally attest to the fact that their hospitality, atmosphere,
quality of both the food and more importantly the guide that leads
one to the fish, absolutely blew the other big outfitters literally
out of the water.
Although you can find an independent guide with his own boat
down in Punta Gorda and I know of at least one that will take
you to the fish for less than US$150 for a half of day of fishing.
But even this guy is often hired out by a local resort that charges
an arm and a leg to go to the same fishing hole.
All said, consider that I have baited you too in this article,
for over the next three editions of BELIZEmagazine.com I will
detail my adventures in fishing with the best of the best for
fishing in Belize. For myself as well as the editors of BELIZEmagazine.com,
well we all hope you stay hooked.