Lured to Sport Fishing? Jamaica Hooks More Than Your Attention

Deep and productive waters

only 15 minutes from shore,

well-equipped sport fishing

boats and scenic views add up

to a quality fishing experience

in Jamaica. Visiting anglers

have a chance at landing blue

and white marlin, wahoo,

tuna and dolphin (dorado) in

deep water that drops to thousands

of feet beyond the reefs.

Blue marlin is the mostprized

big game fish and

catching your first marlin in

Jamaica is well within reach.

The Cayman Trench creates

conditions of one to two knots

of consistent current which

helps clump together seaweed

to form “weed lines”- these

are every offshore angler’s

dream. Heavy rainfall also

erodes riverbanks causing

trees and other debris to drift

out to sea. This floating matter

attracts baitfish and tripletail

sea bass seeking shelter

from the sun, which in turn

attracts bigger fish. Entire

ecosystems exist under these

weed lines which can spread

out for miles and contain all

manner of sea life, including

large numbers of game fish.

During the summer months

when the wind is fairly calm

and the sea is relatively flat

the weed lines get bigger,

which therefore means more

marine activity beneath the


On the south coast there are

quite a number of banks and

cays where you can find a

great number of bottom fish,

namely snapper and grouper.

The largest bank along the

south coast is the Pedro Bank.

This bank is home to a variety

of fish such as yellowtail, mutton

and red tail snapper as

well as grouper and shellfish.

Fishing for wahoo and kingfish

is excellent along the

south coast due to the presence

of these banks. The

North coast also has quite a

few banks and the three main

banks located off the coast of

Port Antonio are Henry

Holmes, Grappler and

Shipwreck. There is also a

popular bank located 15 miles

off the coast of Montego Bay

called the Buckner bank.

Strictly speaking there are

certain periods of the year

when different species of fish

are more common. The dolphin

(dorado) season runs

from January through April,

the black fin and yellow fin

tuna season run from April to

August and the core marlin

season runs from August to

December. Despite this, you

will find that it is quite common

for any of these species to

be caught in Jamaica’s waters


So if you are in Jamaica right

now, it’s a great time to go

fishing. Charter boats can be

booked for full-day or half-day

trips in most resort areas (see

listings in Jam-boree’s golocal

pages). Prices vary little

but be sure to enquire about

whether beverages are included

and who keeps the catch.

Mounting of prize fish is available

and some boats will

arrange to have a fish cleaned

and even cooked to order.

A day of fishing in Jamaica is

about more than just lines,

bait and fighting marlin. It is a

unique opportunity to experience

the island’s topographical

beauty and coastline from

offshore aboard a comfortable

sportfisher with a professional

crew that will ensure that

whether you catch the “bigone”

or not you have a wonderful

experience. Listen to

some music, enjoy some

refreshments and keep an eye

out for porpoises and sea turtles

that frequent Jamaica’s

coastal waters.

Fly fishing and light tackle fishing

The river estuaries, flats, lagoons inshore sea grass beds and

mangrove forests of Jamaica are home to many popular species

of game fish including tarpon, snook and barracuda.

Opportunities abound for exciting fly and light tackle fishing

charters led by experienced guides. Most fish species are available

all year.

Salty Vic provides fishing charters to several areas of the island

including river, inshore and deepsea habitats, as well as technical

fly-fishing lessons for adults and children. Contact Salty Vic

at (876) 863-1599 for information and bookings.

Cayman Trench

Fishing in Jamaica is world-class due in part to the presence of

the Cayman Trench that extends from the Windward Passage at

the southeastern tip of Cuba toward Guatemala. At about half a

mile off the coast of Montego Bay, the drop off begins, starting

at about 400 feet and gradually sloping down to 3000 feet further

offshore. The relatively narrow trough trends east-northeast

to west-southwest and has a maximum depth of 25,216 feet

(7,686 m), the deepest point in the Caribbean Sea. This area is

teeming with sea life as nutrients are carried up the wall from

the abyss to make the waters uncommonly rich for tropical



Several annual blue marlin tournaments are held in Jamaica,

attracting world-wide anglers. The Port Antonio International

Billfish Tournament, usually held in October, is one of the most

celebrated and prestigious in the Caribbean. Each year this

event attracts up to 50 boats, including anglers from the U.S.A.

and neighboring Caribbean islands. Other tournaments are held

in Montego Bay, Falmouth, Discovery Bay and Treasure Beach. for more information

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