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Volcanic islands send out a special type of calling to fishermen. Saint Lucia is no exception. While it’s famous for its towering “pitons” (peaks in the pictures below) and drive-through sulfur springs, it’s the blue waters washing right up against the coastline that gets under our skin. Saint Lucia fishing flaunts deep waters just a mile from shore and plays host to a huge variety of species. It’s no wonder, then, that anglers from all over the globe flock here!
You may be here for the luxurious resorts and thriving culture. Or, you might have come specifically to sample some of the Caribbean’s best billfishing. Either way, you’ll find it hard to resist getting out on the water. We’ll walk you through all the essentials of fishing in Saint Lucia so you can make the most of your trip. Let’s get started.
Saint Lucia Fish Species
Thanks to its position in the Windward Island chain, Saint Lucia is part of a natural barrier between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. All sorts of pelagic predators travel this route, chasing bait fish that are native to the country’s reefs. Here are some that you won’t want to miss.
Some of the most sought-after game fish in the world stop by Saint Lucia. Anglers can catch Blue Marlin here all year round, but they’re most common from October to June. Just like the rest of the Caribbean, you’re unlikely to find “grander” Marlins weighing over 1,000 pounds, but you can expect a good number of fish over the 400-pound mark.
As well as Blue Marlin, White Marlin are occasional visitors to the island – and are highly prized by locals. While it’s technically possible to catch both types of Billfish on a half day trip, you’re much more likely to hook one on a longer trip. These will allow you to explore the offshore waters and FADs. But more on that later.
Speed, taste, and numbers… Tuna have it all. The boisterous schools of Yellowfin Tuna that swim this part of the Caribbean from December to June are most people’s favorite target around here. Blackfin and Skipjack Tuna join them in spring, making the fishing even more exciting.
But that’s not all. Bigeye Tuna visit Saint Lucia from March to May and October to December. These barrel-shaped fish make for some of the tastiest Tuna steaks you can find. And they offer an exciting challenge to anyone fishing the deeper waters.
Ready to set your teeth on edge? Barracudas swim relatively close to Saint Lucia’s sandy beaches all year round. These ferocious fish patrol the reefs, terrorizing small bait fish while looking for their next meal. And your lure may just be their undoing.
That’s good news for you because Barracuda are tasty fish that make up an important part of the local cuisine. Enjoy the fight, snap a photo with this fish’s horrifying grin, and get ready for a cook-up fresh off the boat. All this is possible in just a couple of hours!
Colorful Mahi Mahi, agile Sailfish, huge Wahoo, and smoker King Mackerel (Kingfish) swim alongside Tuna near Saint Lucia’s shores. Meanwhile, Rainbow Runner, Jack Crevalle, Needlefish, and Amberjack fight with anglers over the island’s steep drop-offs.
There are also small Snappers and Grunts around the nearshore reefs, and you can find a healthy population of juvenile Tarpon in the north of the island. And that’s not all! A more recent introduction to the ecosystem, Tilapia are also available in the country’s fresh waterways. That’s plenty of diversity for such a small island!
How to Go Fishing in Saint Lucia
Precisely because it’s so small, fishing in Saint Lucia is much more focused on the sea than freshwater. You’re quite likely to spot locals fishing from typical Caribbean canoes, but modern sportfishing boats also fill the country’s harbors. And it’s easy to hop aboard.
Saint Lucia Fishing Charters
Looking for big fish? You’re going to need a boat. Saint Lucia fishing charters can take you to the best places to fish for deep sea pelagics like Wahoo and Marlin. They’re also experts at introducing complete beginners to the sport.
Most resorts work closely with a couple of charter operators and will handle everything for you. However, not every charter gets the results you might like as a customer. It’s always worth doing your own research and finding a company with a good record of putting customers on fish, and who will tailor the trip to your needs.
Most fishing charters give you the choice of deep sea fishing or inshore/bottom fishing trips. The right one for you depends on how much time you have, and what you’re looking to get out of your trip. Here’s what the different options involve.
Deep Sea Fishing Saint Lucia
By far the most popular trip, Saint Lucia deep sea fishing takes you to the best spots for big fish. Seeing as the sea floor drops to over 1,000 feet within just a mile of the shore, this involves very little traveling – especially compared to most other places. Saint Lucia has one of those enviable fisheries that can genuinely advertise Marlin and Tuna on a half day trip. But the longer you fish, the better your chances of success.
Even though the east of the island looks out onto the productive waters of the Atlantic, most trips take place off the calmer west coast. It’s still worth bringing sea sickness medication with you on a deep sea trip, though!
Saint Lucia Inshore Fishing
When the sea floor drops as quickly as it does here, inshore fishing probably won’t be what you’re used to. Here, it mostly involves bottom fishing very close to shore, using tiny hooks to attract small reef fish. These waters are heavily fished by locals, so the chances of a big catch are slim to nonexistent.
That’s not to say you won’t have a good time. These trips are great for introducing newcomers and children to fishing, as they’re in protected waters close to shore. Exciting fish like Barracuda and Triggerfish are common catches, and you may even come back to shore with some delicacies for dinner.
Saint Lucia Shore Fishing
The resort’s sun loungers driving you crazy? Shore fishing in Saint Lucia is the perfect opportunity to break out. You’re unlikely to catch a monster from the island’s rocks and beaches, but reeling in even the smallest fish in scenery like this is worth a few hours of fun.
It’s quite common to see people fishing the rocks at the entrance to the Rodney Bay Marina or beside the road on Pigeon Island Causeway. You can sometimes find Tarpon around Pigeon Island and the Cap Estate further north. The east coast offers more variety and bigger fish, but at the cost of rougher conditions and trickier access.
If you’d like to up your game, try fishing at night around lights. Tarpon and Snapper will choose this time to hunt shoals of sardines close to shore. Bring heavier tackle and get ready to hold on tight!
Saint Lucia Fly Fishing
Fly fishing may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you mention sea fishing off a Caribbean island. But don’t let that stop you! Saint Lucia fly fishing is very possible – even if it’s still in that stage where concerned locals will offer you a chunk of chicken to fish with instead!
Bring your fly rod with you and seek out Tarpon in the north, or hire a kayak or a skiff and fish over the nearshore reefs. Here, you’ll find all sorts of small fish who’ll readily attack a fly. We’re yet to find a Saint Lucia charter that specializes in fly fishing, but talk to operators – they may be happy for you to take your gear on board for big game action.
Saint Lucia Fishing Spots
The beauty of an island is that almost everywhere you look, there’s somewhere to dip your line. Both Saint Lucia’s developed western coast and unexplored east border fertile fish-filled waterways. Here are some of the best places to explore:
- Rodney Bay. Rodney Bay and the town that’s named after it are two of the most popular places in Saint Lucia. People come here for the famous Friday night Jump Up street party in Gros Inlet, as well as restaurants, nightclubs, the gallery, and zoo. It’s also home to the country’s largest marina. Several charter boats leave from here, and you can also moor your own boat.
- Pigeon Island. Shore fishers can catch a variety of fish from Pigeon Island. Small Jacks, Snapper, and Needlefish are common, while fishing around the lights at night can result in Tarpon and larger Snapper.
- Castries. Saint Lucia’s capital is home to Vigie Marina, one of the country’s main sportfishing hubs. It makes sense, then, that some of the most established fishing charters depart from here. It’s just a short ride from the harbor to the bluewater fishing grounds, with lots of action happening within 3 miles of the coastline.
- Soufriere. As a general rule, the further south you go in Saint Lucia, the better the shore fishing. Soufriere is the proof. This picturesque fishing town embraces a bay of the same name, where wooden fishing boats bob around below the shadow of the pitons. Blackfin Tuna and Mahi Mahi come very close to shore here, and you even hear of occasional Tuna hookups from the town’s pier! Take a sportfishing boat, look for the birds, and you can be on fish in a matter of minutes.
- Vieux Fort. The bulk of local fishing in Saint Lucia happens out of Vieux Fort, the country’s largest port. Located on the southern tip of the island, the former capital attracts all sorts of fish as they travel between the Caribbean and the Atlantic. Although it’s a relatively undeveloped tourist spot, this is right by Hewanorra Airpor. In fact, you often see locals fishing from the seawall at the end of the runway!
- Offshore FADs. For the best big game experience, you’ve got to explore the Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) located around the island. The ones in the south – offshore from Soufriere – are particularly productive.
Saint Lucia Fishing Regulations
You don’t need a license to fish from shore in Saint Lucia. Residents need a license to fish recreationally from their own boat, but legitimate charter operations will have everything sorted for you. That means that you can simply focus on the fishing whenever you visit!
Feel the Energy of Saint Lucia’s Seas
The buzzing island of Saint Lucia is one of the best places in the world to let your hair down. From the annual Carnival to weekly fish fries and street parties, it’s hard to find a place with more welcoming energy. Troll the deep seas offshore, and you might experience a different sort of buzz – a screaming reel and the unbridled energy of a several hundred-pound sport fish. So grab a rod and enjoy the ride!
Are you going to Saint Lucia soon? Are you planning to fish? Or have you caught a trophy here before? Let us know in the comments below – we love hearing from you!
Title: Saint Lucia Fishing: The Complete Guide
Sourced From: fishingbooker.com/blog/saint-lucia-fishing/
Published Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2023 10:16:32 +0000