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The Backstage Pass

Belize Bonefish: Best Season for Chasing the Grey Ghost

May 03, 23

Belize is known for warm hospitality, a massive barrier reef, and miles of saltwater flats. On these flats cruise a prized gamefish of the saltwater flats angler...the bonefish. Sleek and fast, it is possible the bonefish was created purely for the saltwater angler.

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Belize has some of the best waters in the world for saltwater fly fishing. The country's coastline is protected by a barrier reef that runs the length of the country and is the second-largest reef system in the world, the largest being Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. A tropical climate with very little temperature fluctuation and a seemingly endless expanse of flats running the length of the country, Belize is a bonefish paradise. Anglers venturing south to experience the diverse Belize fly fishing opportunities will most likely be met with exceptional bonefishing.

When to fish for bonefish in belize

The short answer: whenever you can!

The Belize bonefishing season is virtually year-round. However, historically April through November has been considered the prime month to find lots of bonefish. December through March is considered peak season for Belize. (In order to reserve prime bonefishing dates in Belize, we recommend booking at least a year in advance!) However, this has nothing to do with fishing. It has more to do with the weather in North America than anything else.

December through March is when you need to factor in the possibility of cold fronts. Cold fronts typically move through Belize, especially the outer islands and Atoll, quickly but it does affect the fishing. Cold front brings with them increased wind speeds and cloud cover which makes spotting fish more difficult. Another thing to keep in mind, although it can’t generally be planned for, is fishing on either side of a warm or cold front is typically very productive.

Understanding Weather in Belize

Belize’s weather doesn’t vary by much throughout the year. With the average temperature of about 80 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, Belize doesn’t see huge swings on the thermometer. Combined with a pleasant wind on the flats, the climate of Belize is enjoyable.

Since temperatures don’t vary by much, the fishing isn’t subject to drastic weather changes found in other parts of the world. What this means for bonefishing is that it’s consistently good throughout the year. However, with that said, there are certain times that are more optimal for catching large bonefish than others.

Where To Find Bonefish in Belize

With Belize’s barrier reef running the entire length of the country’s coastline the opportunities to fish for bonefish are virtually endless. The light-colored sand with patches of turtle grass makes for the perfect habitat for bonefish. Furthermore, Belize has a number of rivers that dump into the ocean. At the mouths of these rivers, as they pour into the flats, bonefish can be found patrolling for their next meal.

Rods, Reels, and the Best Flies

The tried and true bonefish rod is the 8-weight; however, a 7-weight fly rod can be used and a 9-weight is useful during windy days. As far as flies go, small shrimp imitations and Crazy Charlies will get the job done.

These are two great articles on fly selection: Best Flies for Northern Belize and Best Flies for Southern Belize.

There are plenty of reasons to fly fish in Belize and the incredible bonefishing is one of the best. With Belize’s excellent weather and superb flats habitats, fly fishing for bonefish is excellent virtually year-round. Be sure to check out our other worldwide fly fishing trips!

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