Fishing in Belize Fishing in Belize
Global Travel Club
Belize Travel Specialists


"Catch & Release"
Sport Fishing in Belize



Although in Belize, "Catch & Release" is a fairly new concept, conservation is treated very seriously and protection of natural assets is high on everyone's agenda. In inviting you to fish Belize's bountiful waters, we ask that you also promote and practise "Catch & Release" sport fishing, unless you are bringing home the supper!

Fly fishermen describe their technique as an art rather than a skill and consider themselves to be conservationists as well as sportsmen. They are the first to argue in favour of preserving both the fish and their natural habitats in order to ensure a healthy population in the future. The better resorts and progressive thinking guides are now practicing "Catch & Release" fishing with very few fish actually being killed.

In Belize there are social and economic conditions that are not as evident in North America and Europe, that must be taken into consideration. It is very difficult to convince a man, with a large family to feed, to release the fish he caught for supper because it will be worth far more next year. On the other hand, sport fishing guides who take out anglers, own their own boat & motor and are well paid for their services are not in this position. When fishing with a guide, please insist on releasing all large fish, keeping only a few small ones if a meal is desired.

We hope that the days of hearing stories about people returning home with refrigerated trucks, coolers and trunks full of fish are over! With everyone's co-operation, Belize looks set to remain one of the Western Hemisphere's greatest fishing venues, with it's year-round warm weather, for many years to come.

Some tips on the handling of fish for a successful release:
  1. Land your fish as soon as possible. Large fish undergo considerable stress and strain, particularly during a long battle. Anglers used to think that light line and tackle was more sporting, but today heavier line and tackle is used when going after big ones causing less stress and delayed mortality.
  2. Wet your hands or wear a wet woollen glove before handling your catch. This will help reduce the damage to the fish's protective slime.
  3. Don't use a gaff. For many species a fine mesh handling net will allow for even weight distribution over a large area, again for less stress and internal damage to the fish.
  4. Do NOT pull the hook from a fish's mouth. If the hook is deeply embedded in the throat or back of the mouth, just cut the line as close to the hook as possible. The fish's digestive acids will dissolve the hook in a very short time, for many species, in less than a week.
  5. Never "throw" a fish back in the water. Ease the fish back into the water slowly. Where possible hold it by the tail allowing water to flow through the gills, until the fish revives itself. When in a current, make sure the head of the fish is facing the current to allow water to pass through the mouth and out of the gills.
  6. Do not touch the fish's eyes or squeeze tightly when handling it. If a picture of your trophy is desired, support the belly with your hand and grasp the tail with your other hand.
  7. Stop the old method of weighing your catch. Measure the length and girth. There are charts for most sport species that will translate this to a weight factor.
  8. Do not handle the fish by putting your fingers in the gills. this is one of the fish's most sensitive areas and frequently results in delayed mortality
PLEASE do YOUR part to conserve Belize's fishing by releasing the large trophy fish. These are the prime spawners and are important to ensure healthy and abundant populations for future generations.

Please contact us for further information:

Global Travel Club
scuba diving on Tobacco Caye, Belize Barrier Reef Tel: +44 (0)1268 541732 scuba diving on Tobacco Caye, Belize Barrier Reef Fax: +44 (0)1268 541363
scuba diving on Tobacco Caye, Belize Barrier ReefE-mail: info@global-travel.co.ukscuba diving on Tobacco Caye, Belize Barrier Reefhttp://www.global-travel.co.uk


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