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On your own in Belize
Most things in town are within walking distance - even the airport, Still I will recommend hiring a golf cart, which is one of the most common ways of getting around on the island for both locals and tourists. The cart makes travelling to a from town for dining and shopping a breeze, and also facilitates getting to more remote areas for some coastal fishing.
The prices do not vary much, and expect the prices to wind up in the vicinity of 200 US$ for a week for a cart that takes four persons. You can also get two and six seaters.
On you own
Spotting and hooking a fish on you own is a rewarding experience. On top of that the chances of picking up all kinds of species makes it even more fun. Expect jacks, snappers, shad, pompano and even an odd small permit apart from the bonefish that seem present in small numbers over most of the suitable spots.
Look for shallow areas with coral sand, mud and turtle grass. Places with just 15 centimeters or 6 inches of water can hold bonefish, especially if there are deeper channels nearby. You need keen eyes and polarized glasses to see them if they do not break the surface. On the other hand you will often see nervous water as a result of the activity of almost any fish in the shallow water. This fishing is particularly attractive in the mornings and evenings when the sun is more merciful and the fish seem less anxious.
If you want to go to more remote parts of the island, you can arrange to be set off and picked up by a water taxi. This will cost you considerably less than a guided trip, but can be almost as rewarding. Strolling along undisturbed beaches is balsam for the soul. An occasional bent rod does not make the balsam less delightful.
The backstreets of San Pedro
We fished semi-intensivley on the beach north and south of San Pedro. This is easily accessible water, much of it withing walking distance, and we caught both snappers, shad, barracuda and bonefish here. Walk along and scout for movement. Cast to what you see and be prepated for pleasant surprises. Notice that fishing is prohibited from most of the piers - especially in the town itself. The Amigos del Mar pier in front of Lilly's Restaurant is particularly tempting. A snorkel trip will reveal a wealth of fish including large barracudas, hundreds of snappers and a huge school of about 50-100 bonefish in a size, which is found few other places on the island. These bonefish gross up to 4 kilos or 8 lbs. and swim around in a very limited area waiting for goodies to be thrown from the piers.
A cast from this pier is certain to bring more attention than you will like, and I strongly recommend not to try. Probe the many piers outside town in stead. You are allowed to fish from most of them, and even though the probability of running into fish like under Amigos del Mar is slim, the piers still seem to attract fish like few other structures along the beach.
The trip is about 40-50 meters or 150 feet and is overcome by hand power. Yes, the ferry is simply pulled over with the aid of a rope hanging across the channel. There are no guiding wires or other means of steering. During tide and ebb the current will be strong and the ferry will swing around at the mercy of the elements and the muscles of a couple of deck hands.
It easily loads three golf carts and a large number of pedestrians and bikes. We did the trip several times, and nothing out of the ordinary occurred. The trip is an experience in itself, and you should definitely try it - not least to get to the northern part of the island and see that. The fee is 5.- BZ$ each way for a cart and free for pedestrians.