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Fishing, Fishing & More Fishing

Almost all the lodges here specialize in fishing packages. If you don't fish, you may wonder just what in the world you're doing here. Even though there are excellent opportunities for bird-watching and touring jungle waterways, most lodges still merely pay lip service to ecotourists and would rather see you with a rod and reel.

Fishing takes place year-round. You can do it in the rivers and canals, in the very active river mouth, or offshore. Most anglers come in search of the tarpon, or silver king. Tarpon can be caught year-round, both in the river mouth and, to a lesser extent, in the canals; however, they are much harder to land in July and August -- the 2 rainiest months -- probably because the river runs so high and is so full of runoff and debris. Snook, an aggressive river fish, peak in April, May, October, and November; fat snook, or calba, run heavy November through January. Depending on how far out to sea you venture, you might hook up with barracuda, jack, mackerel (Spanish and king), wahoo, tuna, dorado, marlin, or sailfish. In the rivers and canals, fishermen regularly bring in mojarra, machaca, and guapote (rainbow bass).

Following current trends in sportfishing, more and more anglers have been using fly rods, in addition to traditional rod-and-reel setups, to land just about all the fish mentioned above. To fish here, you'll need a fishing license ($24), which covers both salt and fresh water. The lodges here either include these in your packages or can readily provide the licenses for you.

Nonfishers should see whether their lodge has a good naturalist guide or canoes or kayaks for rent or use.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.