No trip to the Caribbean is complete without a deep sea fishing excursion. A day spent on the sparkling waters hunting for tuna, marlin, swordfish and more is exhilarating, entertaining and potentially hugely rewarding. There are few better feelings than landing that huge catch and taking her home for supper.
Go with family, friends or even alone; excursions begin at most islands across the Caribbean. You can charter your own boat or join a group booking. The former is exceptional if you have a group of family or friends, whilst the latter is brilliant if your group is small or you want to bond with fellow anglers.
Before you set off on your excursion, it’s likely you’ll want to know what sort of fish you’ll be able to catch. Fortunately in the Caribbean the wildlife is teeming and there are a plethora of different species swimming around down there for you to hunt. Your location in the Caribbean will influence what’s on offer, although there are certain fish that can be found across almost all of the area.
The reef, warm climate and sparkling waters are home to a whole host of fish, some of which we’ll take a look at here.
There are several species of tuna in the Caribbean, including the yellowfin, blackfin and Bluefin. The latter is highly sort after and increasingly rare. The fish, which can grow up to 700kg in size, are extremely popular targets for game fishing as well as commercial fishing. Their rich, meaty flesh is ideal for canning and also delicious when served as a steal.
A member of the mackerel family, tuna are streamlined and quick. They has a silver or white underbelly and a deep, metallic blue side. They have two fins on its back, the first which they can lay down along a groove that runs along their back. The tail curves in the shape of a crescent moon and tapers to two tips.
Another popular Caribbean fish is the marlin. They are distinguishable by their elongated bodies, beautiful cobalt blue bodies and spear like bill. Marlin are incredibly fast swimmers and also notoriously difficult to catch. Even when hooked onto a line, these powerful and quick creatures put up a tremendous fight to escape.
The female of species grow larger than the males and can reach up to a whopping 4 metres long and 900kg! Like the tuna, there are a variety of species. In the Caribbean you are most likely to come across blue marlin, although black marlin also swim in the area.
Another incredibly interesting fish, extremely popular with sport and big game anglers are the swordfish. Named after its fierce looking bill, the swordfish is a predatory fish that scours the Caribbean for squid and small fish. They have blue coloured scales, with a white underbelly and long flat fins and tail.
Swordfish are extremely fast and can weigh up to 600kg, making them a serious competition for anyone who tries to pull them out of the water. Unlike many deep sea fish, swordfish have exceptional eyesight due to their ability to heat their eyes via a special organ.
Finally, the wahoo is a highly sort after Caribbean fish famous for its speed, agility and the skill required to catch it. Moreover, its flesh is deliciously tender and flaky. A typically solitary fish, wahoo can be particularly difficult to find, particularly in waters teeming with other species.
Their bodies are long and elongated, with silvery sides and a blue back. The scales are tiny and barely visible to the naked eye although its sides are patterned with blue bars. Its mouth is large and its teeth razor sharp; ideal for hunting smaller fish and squid.
Whilst typically smaller than the other game fish mentioned here, wahoo have been caught up to 2.5m in length, the heaviest of which weighed 83kg.
So what are you waiting for? The Caribbean is teaming with these species, plus many more. Deep sea fishing excursions leave from islands across the region and no prior experience is required. Try it once and you’ll be hooked for life. No pun intended, I promise.