Go saltwater sport fishing in Cayo Santa Maria

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The chance of hooking something big when you're fishing in a highly regulated and healthy reserve is more likely than usual. Cayo Santa Maria's charter boat operators offer two sport-fishing options. You can fish the deep waters aboard a comfortable 15 metre powerboat for mahi mahi, wahoo, amberjack, grouper and barracuda. Or, you can fly fish in the shallow waters from a flat-bottomed skiff for horse-eye jacks, mutton snapper, tarpon and bonefish.

The causeway linking the island to the mainland has 46 bridges. Twice a day, the tide rushes in and out under them and they're a favourite hunting spot for the lagoon's big predators. Cruising the edges of these fast-flowing waters, hungry 30-kg tarpons, Cubera snappers and crevalle jacks wait to strip the line from your reel. If you hire a government-licensed guide, you can also fish from the bridges, but you must bring your own tackle.

Boat charters are four to eight hours long and usually require a minimum number of anglers. Most include bait and tackle, an open bar and snacks.