Kayak Fishing Belize

This sport is taking off for one reason. Because you catch more fish!

Kayak fly-fishing is one of the rising trends among dedicated anglers. People who have heard about fishing at Glover’s Reef now have the opportunity to use our top-of-the-line, new fishing kayaks as an alternative to wading in from shore or fishing off of our dock. This allows fishermen to be able to fish in places where they might otherwise feel they need to hire a fishing guide and boat (at several hundred dollars/day). Read more about sport fishing at Glover’s Reef, Belize and what tackle to bring on our Belize Sport Fishing page.

You can stand to cast in our fishing kayaks

You can stand to cast in our fishing kayaks
Cully Erdman

You Can Fish Anytime You Want

Fishing from our island is not available without purchasing a Belize vacation package. Our island is located far out to sea, which is one of the reasons it is such a fabulous place; we experience none of the crowding found in other parts of Belize. There is no way to visit our island only for the day, a 5-night package (3 nights on the island) is our minimum as our private boat charter only goes to and from the island two days a week. Packages include hotels and meals in Belize City before and after the trip, transport to and from the island, accommodations and meals on the island, soda and beer on the island, and windsurf and other sports gear and instruction. We specialize in Belize multisport trips; we aren’t just a fishing resort! For a complete summary of all the sea sports we offer, visit our adventure sportspage.

Each sport has a mandatory orientation session where we introduce our gear to you. Once you have had the orientation session, you are free to use the gear anytime you like, as long as you have a buddy. The buddy system is different for each sport, and that’s explained during the orientation. For fishing nearby you don’t need a buddy if you are just wading in from shore or anchoring just off our shore. But if you wish to paddle to a neighboring island where the fishing is exceptional, you will need a buddy to join you because you will be paddling to and from there without a guide.

Included in the package is a fishing license for anyone who fishes. Therefore, you can begin fishing at anytime, you don’t have to wait for the rangers to show up before you can start.

[photo credit at top of page: Peter McDermott]

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We have our own school of bonefish! This video gives you an idea of how big a school it is. 

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kayak fishing glovers reef belize

“The fishing was incredible; where else but Glover’s Reef could you walk off shore and consistently catch good-sized bonefish and in such numbers! We also loved the fishing kayak. It was a great way to fish off shore on your own. Very stable boat. We also caught snapper and barracuda. If we were to choose a place to come bonefishing in the Caribbean, we would come back to Long Caye on Glovers Reef. On our last day, we were paddling back from a great snorkel and as we were approaching the beach, we saw a big shadow moving towards us in the water. In seconds we were surrounded by several hundred bonefish, several as long as our arms! Morgan quickly paddled back to the shore, put away his gear and ran to grab his fly rod. Within 3 casts, he had a bonefish on. We had a lighter rod than recommended, so it took a good 30 minutes and several runs to get the fish in. I love to fish, but it was so much fun watching him work that fish in. It was such a great way to end the trip, but it made it harder to leave!”

Dessa Dale, Gardiner, MT

Adventure Island at Glover's Reef, December 2010

Have You Ever Thought of Fishing From a Kayak?

Kayak Fishing for Beginners!

Paddling a fishing kayak is easier than you might think, and we include this instruction. Fishing kayaks are wider than sea kayaks to prevent them from tipping over while casting. They also use anchors and pontoons to stabilize the craft.

There’s more to kayaking than hopping aboard and paddling out to catch that bonefish with your name on it. On the first day we familiarize you with all of the parts of a standard kayak, as well as paddling, getting in and out of the boat while in the water, etc. Later you can check out our fishing kayaks and familiarize yourself with storing your gear onboard.

Anchor your fishing kayak just off our shore for great bonefishing!
Cully Erdman

Kayak Fishing Equipment

We did the research to find the best fishing kayaks available. Our fishing kayaks have tackle storage, rod holders, fish holds, and anchors. With the versatility and stealth advantages of a sit-on-top kayak, sport fishermen can more easily access our fantastic fishing spots. Most of the sand flats at Glover’s Reef are too deep to wade, so you need a fishing kayak to take advantage of all of the ocean fishing opportunities in this seldom-fished area of Belize.

Kayaks: Ride 135 and Tarpon 160i by Wilderness Systems

Lifejackets: Stohlquist Fishing Jackets

Our fishing kayaks are top-of-the-line
Lucy Wallingford

What Will We Catch?

Bonefish and permit are the most common game fish found inside the atoll. The atoll sees very little sportfishing, so the fish populations are thriving, and there is a school of bonefish that lives right off the beach at the end of our island.

Fishing out in front of the island, Long Caye at Glover's Reef
Jim Schmonsky

Just How Good is the Fishing at Long Caye?

Commercial fishing guides from the mainland sometimes bring their guests 35 miles out to the spot where we just wade or paddle in, less than 100 feet from our shore!

In addition to fishing inside the atoll, trolling on the outside reef can be very exciting. Conditions do not occur every trip for this activity, but huge grouper, dorado, permit, kingfish and marlin on the outer reef wall, which is only about 100 yards from your cabana! You would definitely have to have a buddy to do this with you, single paddlers cannot paddle outside alone, and sometimes a guide will be required, even for two fishermen.

Kayak fishing at Glover's Reef, Belize
Cully Erdman

Some Thoughts On Fishing Glover’s Reef

Paddling out to reel in another bonefish
Lucy Wallingford

You can push the boundaries of a day fishing early and then again late, leaving plenty of time for all of the other sports
Cully Erdman

Fishing from your kayak, Long Caye at Glover's Reef
Grant Amaral

He just caught a bonefish!
Eric Sanford

Last winter, my wife and I decided to go to Belize again for our vacation. Unlike the last few times we decided to sign on with the Slickrock outfitters and travel to Glover’s Reef. We knew we would be kayaking, snorkeling, and doing other sea sport activities to our hearts content.Belize fishing report

On our other trips we had seen many tourists carrying really expensive looking fishing poles, sheathed in multicolored gear tins as carry-on luggage. Also, I had met fishing enthusiasts who spoke rhapsodically about bonefish fishing and deep sea fishing in Belize. I concluded that Belize is a “primo” fishing spot that should be tried as a life experience even if I only had a mild interest. So, with a New York January winter raging outside my Brooklyn apartment, I decided that by the time I traveled to Belize in February I would be outfitted and knowledgeable enough to fish the mythic Belizean waters.

However, before I got into this effort, I wanted to impose some rigorous parameters to this fun/sport effort. Because I am sort of a “gear head” (kayaking, snorkeling, cycling, hiking… you get the picture) I did not want to buy a lot more stuff. Apartment storage is already impossible. First rule: I would not buy to the high tech side of the fishing gear spectrum and I would be budget conscious (cheap) for once. Secondly, I wanted to avoid becoming “expert” at another activity: you know the type… I wanted to avoid being able to quote “High Tech Fishing Today Magazine” about titanium blah, blah, blah… In New York there is pressure to know a lot about everything you’ve become an enthusiast about. I decided my goal was to remain relatively stupid about fishing: the “babe in the woods” approach. Thirdly, I like fish in general and did not want to kill many of them. The behavior of fishing, standing knee deep in warm, aquamarine water in the middle of a tropically heaven casting lures while working on an even tan, this appealed to me. The act of fishing that is about “killing” fish wasn’t exactly my cup of brine. Lucky for me, Glover’s Reef is a catch and release site.Belize fishing trips

I like books and am a firm believer in the adage “If you can read, you can cook”. I decided to teach myself to fish from reading books in my apartment, after work and the dishes. After some in-store reading to sample what was available at the local Barnes and Noble, I bought the following two books: The KISS Guide to Fishing (stands for “Keep It Simple, Stupid!”) by Robert Roth and North American Fishing, by Ken Schultz. From them I learned that I was probably interested in spin casting: the reels look very cool and the process is very low tech. Fly fishing is a little fussy, lending itself to that expert syndrome again, and the effort with the deep sea gear strikes me as some kind of over-kill extravaganza (you remember the stuff in “Jaws”?).

After more reading I came to the conclusion that I could fish in Belize with a light to medium weight spin casting reel, a light weight spin casting rod which broke down to a some of parts in a tidy way, some 8 to 12 pound test mono filament line and a variety of lures. My actual outfit included a Shakespear brand, “Tidewater” model reel for approx. $50, a nine foot “Ugly Stick” rod which broke down to lengths of 20-24 inches for another $50 (fits in a duffle), 250 yards of ten pound test line (clear) for $7., and some lures. If you ‘re determined to follow a budget (cheap), watch out in the lures department! I unfortunately tend to buy lures that I find attractive, not because they are tried and true fish killers. Lucky for me form and function came together in chrome and/or gold “jigs”. From experience, I would say to bring at least five of each of your favorites, varying the size from one to three inches. Expect to spend at least $75. on lures: ones you like, ones you’ve read that the fish like, and the ones that your sales person needs to sell some of. Other stuff to think about absently: swivels, leaders, a variety of rubber painted minnows (you won’t believe it), a nifty box to store all this cool stuff in. A knife is a valuable piece of equipment in case you have to cut line, but it isn’t necessary to have a BIG knife. More importantly, fishermen’s pliers are helpful for extracting your hooks from the fish with the least amount of harm to you both.

Please realize that you can spend much more on better and more complicated fishing equipment. I made my choices based on a low impact to pocket and storage basis. I also caught a number of fish with a minimal investment. And you should have seen the ones that got away!

A humanitarian note: there is no need to “super set” the hook when a fish has your lure. Unless you are a dentist who misses his oral surgery appointments, an exaggerated jerking of the rod to drive your hook deep into the fish’s mouth isn’t really necessary, especially in a catch and release environment. So what if the fish gets away! After the five minutes of intense play you’ve just had, you should give thanks and gratitude for the experience of having shared a life’s joy with an aquatic life form.

Some fun stuff: don’t be surprised if while you’re bringing in a good sized snapper or jack, pole bending under the strain while you squint into the light like Spencer Tracy in the “Old Man and the Sea”, that a large barracuda doesn’t just bite the fish in half. Though I brought in fish heads twice, I really love telling the stories.

Belize sun light while fishing: If you wade a lot, remember your sun screen will begin to come off, no matter what the claim at purchase. The sun is always intense, but while fishing there is real possibility of burning. So, work on your even tan, but be careful about parts exposed for too long or that have been wet for a long period. Hats and sun glasses are a must. A very lightweight shirt with collar and sleeves is helpful to protect neck and arms.

The really fine points of casting won’t be worked out in your apartment, and I haven’t really tried hard to master them anyway. Hopefully you will benefit from some of my not-expert advice about fishing in Belize and have fun working on your even tan. Remember to be respectful when asking the fish to take your lure.

-Matt Waldo, Brooklyn NY

Adventure Island at Glover’s Reef, February 2004 and April 2006