Fishing in Barbados – An Angler’s Guide

Barbados is renowned as a great place for fishing and attracts anglers from across the world. Sitting in warm waters, with the Atlantic to the east and the Caribbean to the west, it is home to over 500 species of fish and gives fishing enthusiasts the opportunity to take part in a range of activities, including deep sea fishing, fly fishing and lure casting. And, as holiday makers don’t need a fishing licence, it’s easy for those with a passion for the rod and reel to take part.

When to go

The Barbados fishing season is from December until April and, generally, this is when you are likely to find the big game fish that most anglers come to catch.

Fish that inhabit the local waters

With its various underwater environments, including coral reefs, Barbados is teeming with fish of all kinds. Some of the big catches that you can find off the shores include barracuda, blue and white marlin, dolphin (mahi-mahi), sailfish, yellowfin tuna and wahoo, with barracuda being the most commonly caught.

Other species include the bonefish, tarpon and flying fish, which can be found around most of the island’s coastline.

Types of fishing in Barbados

Deep Sea Fishing

Perhaps the most sought-after fishing experience for visitors to the island is a deep sea fishing tour, usually undertaken by hiring a chartered fishing boat. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to catch the game fish that prefer deeper waters, which in Barbados, can be found quite quickly as, in places, the sea reaches depths of 120m less than a mile off the south and west coasts. It is here where most of the main species can be found. However, if you want to catch marlin, you’ll need to travel quite a bit further offshore.

Chartering a professional fishing tour operator is easy to do in Barbados and many of these can be found in Bridgetown at Fisherman’s Row. Prices vary, but on average, the cost is around £75 per person, per hour and tours are generally four, six or eight hours in length and cater for up to half a dozen people. Tours usually include equipment, bait, food and refreshments and the operators can even arrange to pick you up and drop you back at your accommodation.

The captains of these fishing vessels are very experienced and have excellent knowledge of the local waters so they have a good idea where the fish you are looking for are hanging out. They are also able to show you the best techniques to catch them and can work with anglers of all abilities, including newcomers.

Nearshore fishing

You don’t need to head out to deeper waters if you want a great day’s fishing in Barbados. There are plenty of good catches to be had nearer the shoreline. Hiring a boat for the day is a great opportunity to explore some of the fantastic shoreline and catch some terrific fish, though it is recommended that you stay on the west coast where the seas are much calmer.

Close to the island, you’ll find the coral reefs and here, in waters of up to seventy feet in depth, live many species, such as mackerel, bonito, yellow-tailed snapper, tuna and even barracudas. It’s the ideal way to try out a bit of lure casting and trolling.

Shore fishing

Of course, you don’t have to leave the shore at all to have a great fishing experience. With 49 miles of coastline available to you, most of which, except the cliffs, is safe, there’s plenty of relaxing fun to be had sitting by the water’s edge watching the world go by and waiting for the next bite. Even from the shore, it is possible to hook bonefish, tarpon and barracuda, all of which can be done with a spot of fly fishing. Alternatively, you can bottom fish for species like groupers, snappers and even sharks.

The ideal time catching a fish is as the tide is coming in and some of the best places include Speightstown and Holetown on the west coast.

Summing up

Whether you want the thrill of catching a trophy fish out in the deep sea, want to explore the coastline to catch the fish that inhabit the reefs or prefer to take your rod to the beach and cast your line leisurely into the nearby waters, Barbados has some outstanding fishing experiences for all. And we also have some of the finest fish dishes to enjoy afterwards.

If you are looking for first-class accommodation within easy reach of the island’s best fishing spots and tour operators, take a look at the luxury apartments and villas here at Royal Westmoreland.