Summer is when fish start really running — from permit in Belize to salmon in the Pacific Ocean — but who says you need to set up your fishing trip yourself? Luxury hotels in top fishing destinations take care of everything — from boat charters to gourmet lunches with wine pairings. Check out Forbes Travel Guide’s five fishing package picks for anglers from novice to expert.
One & Only Palmilla, Los Cabos, Mexico
Spend two days deep-sea fishing for catch from marlin to dorado with this beach hotel’s sport fishing package — the Sea of Cortez has more than 800 species of game fish. Some are common all year long (snapper and striped marlin), while others (black marlin, sailfish, yellowfin tuna and mahi-mahi) are plentiful between July and December. Each boat is allowed to keep just one marlin, but you can bring home other fish — the hotel’s chef will cook your catch for you at night. End each day with an included 80-minute massage.
The Little Nell, Aspen, Colo.
You’ll be staying among expert anglers at this Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel — it even has its own director of fly-fishing on staff. There are plenty of options for fishing at The Little Nell — load your gear into a Land Rover and head to the Roaring Fork River for a half day of trout fishing, or board a helicopter to head over the Colorado Rockies to cast a fly at a private ranch. The hotel’s executive chef will pack you a gourmet lunch and even include wine pairings selected by the master sommelier. Better yet, have the chef come along to the private lake and cook up your fish on site.
Turtle Inn, Placencia, Belize
The sand and coral flats off Placencia make the area prime for saltwater fly-fishing — there are plenty of islands, flats, lagoons, creeks and rivers that hold fish year-round. Check in to your cottage at Francis Ford Coppola’s Turtle Inn, then pick up your Beulah rod from the tackle shop and hop aboard a skiff with a local guide. It’s mostly a catch-and-release policy, but reeling in permit, bonefish, tarpon and snook is a thrill, even if you have to let it go after the photo-op.
King Pacific Lodge, A Rosewood Resort, Princess Royal Island, Canada
This northern British Columbia fishing lodge has its own boats to take you out to the Pacific Ocean — try your hand at catching Chinook and Coho salmon, halibut and ling cod. Summer is the best season for salmon — that’s when you can try to reel in a 50-pound Chinook. Though you can catch halibut and ling cod year-round, King Pacific Lodge suggests you keep only one under-40-pound halibut. The hotel also offers helicopter fly-fishing trips for trout and river salmon.
The Wauwinet, Nantucket, Mass.
Forget the pole and reel — go lobstering. Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star resort The Wauwinet lets you set sail on a lobstering cruise, where you’ll learn to bait and pull up lobster traps just off the island. The captain will teach you how to tell a male from a female (traditionally, females are thrown back to let them breed) and learn to properly band the claws. When you get back, the chefs at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star restaurant Topper’s will prepare your lobster for dinner. Plan your trip during the summer when lobster season is in full swing — the luxury hotel is only open between May and October.
Photos courtesy of King Pacific Lodge, A Rosewood Resort, Princess Royal Island, Canada