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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