Sport fishing in Antigua usually means offshore boat fishing (aka Sea Fishing) but there is an increasing amount of lake and brackish water fishing like the salt flats as an example. But firstly lets run down the usual sport fishing that takes place in Antigua.
There are 2 kinds to concern yourself with deep sea and bottom fishing. The former is more expensive and for the more experienced. this doesn’t mean you should discount it outright but you might get more seasick and find it a bit less relaxing, some call this the ultimate kind of fishing indeed a 400 lb fish is extreme. Don’t expect that by the way, one of the joys of visiting the Antigua fishing tournament is that you can see sometimes what such a fish looks like. Even a 200 lb Marlin is very impressive but you won’t see Marlin as they are protected and catch and release applies.
Read this real life experience of a sea fishing tour in Antigua.
Deep sea fishing usually involves trolling lures that this fast pelagic fish kind hit. Fish such as Mahi Mahi (also known as dolphin fish and rainbow runners) King fish, Tuna Marlin Sail fish and Baracuda are on the cards oh I forgot Wahoo too ! This is usually in deeper waters and this is why these kind of charters are more expensive as the boat diesel for a start to get out 10 miles plus is a factor. You might try bottom or regular boat fishing or reef fishing for the fish that inhabit the reefs. Grouper might be your big target fish though in danger as they have a long time before they reach sexual maturity and can’t breed while young. So fishing out a bigger older fish deprives the reproduction. You don’t see many scuba-diving these days. More likely candidates are snappers and hind and grunt fish. Your boat might be able to anchor in calmer water but unless you are used to it sea sickness can affect novice fishermen. This fishing is much more relaxing and less taxing as the fish are smaller but the rods not as powerful. You most likely won’t need a harness here. In deep sea fishing the crew will be ready to get the harness on you should you hook in to a big one. There are lures that have no hooks and that are designed to wrap around the bill of the marlin and sail fish though not common on charters. Because smell is important the bait could be a hybrid bait plus lure so the first part is a lure with bright attracting thingys and then there is the hook where you would hook your baitfish.
What does sea fishing cost in Antigua ?
Prices for bottom fishing are cheaper and you can get around 6 fisherman on the boat from 450 USD splitting the cost (based on a 4 hour fishing session). For trolling or deep sea it is a bit more and expectation is for a longer trip up to 12 hours costing in excess of 1000 USD.
The folks at Antigua Island have organised perhaps the best value and very real trolling fishing tour in Antigua just for their readers ! Click on the contact us and mention you want to book the sea fishing tour that’s all !
What fishes can you catch in Antigua ?
Mahi Mahi, King fish, Tuna (Black and Yellow fin), Marlin Sail Fish, Barracuda and Wahoo. And a host of kinds like snapper grunts groupers and bat fish.
Take a look at the Fishes found in Antigua page.
Take a look at some of these – http://www.superpuppan.se/Antigua2.html
Fishing Websites in Antigua
Fishing on the Obsession in Antigua –http://www.charternet.com/charters/obsession/index.html
See our blog post on this trolling in Antigua
Boating Websites in Antigua
Good Fishing Articles Online
This is a nice account of a guys experience of sea fishing in Antigua http://www.planetseafishing.com/features/read/antigua-adventure-fishing
Good tips here in this forum post on fishing in st James club dark wood beach and dickenson bay
A quick useful and joyful read about fishing from your cruiser Quit Wishin Go Fishin
An episode of Tales from the Tropics ™
Where : The Sea (Caribbean) and English Harbour Antigua.
What : One marlin only but king fish, tons of wahoo (yeah !), dolphin fish (not dolphins !) also known as mahi mahi and rainbow runners I think.
My time was getting short in Antigua and my heart was heavy. It has been a hell of a time for me and life was too good for the 3 whole months they were gracious enough to give me at the airport upon arrival. Little did I know at that time the people I would encounter and the friendships I would strike up. That’s the real essence of travel FOR ME at least. Sure places can be amazing but there is nothing like being away from home to bring out your real self. And this then counts for the people you meet often as well and hence why the best friendships I have struck up have been while on such adventures. Give it a go before it’s too late – but here this it’s never too late!
Well one mini event to make the mood less heavy was the fishing tournament’s weigh in. A fishing match open to anyone you just have to get up at stupid o’clock and keep flying on the rum rather than battle a hangover. On board you might try to keep the flow natural. But the main name of the game is trolling. You understand that I missed a trick and didn’t partake in the most fun part. I don’t have a boat * and the people that I know who do stuff on boats just work on them. I wasn’t about to swan in on their perk. So I just got to enjoy the festivities at the weigh in as did hundreds of others.
It was 3 in the afternoon and I had my last dip for the moment in pigeon point beach and set off around the corner for the harbour. Lord Horatio Nelson really did at one point preside over affairs here as the English established a base to strengthen the territories in the west indies. English harbour is a natural one that was selected with high lookouts and fort points from which to fire cannon down into any marauders. Today the flags were the surf kind that sponsors like and there were it has to be said a few too many. There were wine bars cocktail stands and BBQ’s a big set of digital scales allowed photographic opportunities for the fisherman great white hunters that some were 😉
The first boat came in shortly and then all of a sudden they all seemed to be in. Wifi was available and instagram got a rare spike of photos from me. Though I kept having to get close to the scales. Well done guys for getting wifi and not locking it off. So the fish were egressed from the boats into wheelbarrows and then taken to be weighed. Dolphin fish, barracuda, wahoo, king fish the pelagics that get around and have a turn of speed were the fishes most caught. After they were taken back to the boats for cleanup and subsequent gutting etc. Here is where you will see some of the more gory stuff.
To think a few hours ago these fish were cock of the walk in their world. Piers Morgans if you like – now there’s a tangential thought when faced with such a still end game. In truth I would have liked to escape the camera a bit more however the flip side will be me enjoying and reliving the afternoon from the photos. I met various people most I had known some new and it was a family affair. It got busier with boats families and the sun shone down – and I got my first coup du soleil after 3 months. Just a couple of hours running up and down the line of boats looking for the marlins and sail fish I had expected since my last fishing tournament. I decided that I was not going to hang round as Guinness were painting the town black and I had seen all I wanted. I also wanted to enjoy Fig Tree Drive on last time under the sun. I got to the end of the line of boats and kept walking around – I dare not look back as I may have stayed forever. I was going to blast my joyride riddim over the pass.
What lay before me on exiting I have never seen before in all my umpteen times here at the entrance to English Harbour. A sea of cars for as far as the eye could see. Is this what race week is like? All of a sudden Antigua fills up every year. I will be back reporting on this very different time of the year. Anyway Bashment Girl awaited to bury my thoughts and once more I flicked the rio into D for the last Fig Tree Drive I may ever do if my luck one day runs out – no chance no worries menawa leave.
Follow my life in photos
I have not found much online about this. Knowing about coarse fishing in England only I can impart some advice but this link is a great start.
In my condo in Jolly Harbour were some rods and reels and equipment – nothing set up well spent a good hour untangling line from the spools etc. From the link above I tried the surface popping method dragging a rubber lure. I caught two silver fish even though the hook was too big for them. I need a disgorger next time. and am using my hawksbills bandana as a rag since that wont be coming home with me. I will continue with this technique the rod I have has a broken end eye and if I get anything over a pound its going to be impossible to land !