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maytrix 26-08-2010 13:10

Fishing in the BVI
Does anyone have any recommendations for fishing in the BVI?

I haven't fished in a long time and probably wouldn't on our trip, but one of my friends is interested. (I am aware of the license needed)

We'll be on a 46' catamaran and I'm just wondering when and where he'd be able to fish. Is it something he could do feasibly as we sailed between destinations? I would think on a mooring would not be a good place to do it?

Thanks in advance!

osirissail 26-08-2010 13:33

One major problem of fishing in the BVI's is that most all of the things you will catch have a mask, snorkel and fins on them. There are too many swimmers/divers/snorkelers around. You would have to go off the south side of the islands and troll the deep water to get the pelagic species.

capt_douglas 26-08-2010 13:53

You can head outside the Sound into 50-100' water and do fairly well. Follow the 50' contour and look for current trails, seaweed strings, and birds. If you're adventurous, head NE to the "drop" where the big stuff hang out. The water there drops off quickly but the chances for big hook-ups can be good.

I've also had guests have a great time fishing off the stern for yellow tail snapper later in the evening when on the hook. They aren't big but they are voracious and plentiful and are good to eat. They can be great fun for the kids.

gbanker 26-08-2010 13:58

We fish off the back of the boat at night, with chicken skin as bait, for snapper, jacks, etc.. Troll a yellow feather for tiny tuna. Throw topwater lures around mangroves and shallow reefs for barracuda. There are bonefish, permit and tarpon (look for docks with lights) for the flyrod folks. As you noted, license needed in BVI.

maytrix 27-08-2010 05:35

What about fishing between islands? I know we'll be sailing to Anegada and likely from Trellis Bay to Sandy Cay so we'll have a couple of longer sails ahead of us.

Would fishing off the back of the boat while under sail be feasible?

osirissail 27-08-2010 05:43


Originally Posted by maytrix (Post 510073)
. . . Would fishing off the back of the boat while under sail be feasible?

"Feasible" - yes, but advisable maybe no. In the Virgins there is very high density of "new" sailboat/powerboat renters which means you will have a high probability of somebody cutting across your stern and snagging that fishing line - unless you are using "down-riggers" which are a little much for including in your luggage for the airline flight down and back.
- - Fishing off the dinghy near sunrise or sunset seems like a better, safer endeavor. Trolling for pelagic fish off the north or south side of the island chain is do-able but again you are looking at dawn/dusk sails.
- - Be absolutely sure that you are in possession of a BVI fishing license for the type of fishing you want to do - The BVI's are renowned to be rather nasty about anybody fishing illegally especially from sail or power yachts.

gbanker 27-08-2010 05:43

that's what I meant by trolling a yellow feather.

maytrix 30-08-2010 07:24

Thanks for the responses. I guess we'll stick to fishing from the dinghy if that's what my friend wants to do.

jacob30 03-09-2010 13:27

You can troll no problem while transiting to your next stop of your trip. I troll the chesapeake and there are hundreds of boats around and in the BVI there was no problem at all as everyone stays fairly far apart while sailing. I would have put a spread out had I had more gear to troll. Just remember to bring in your lines before you start jockeying for position on a mooring. Best to bring some of your own lures as the gear available for rent is crap for the most part.

td1 03-09-2010 14:37

A couple years ago we trolled while sailing and caught a couple fish in the channel (little tunny and a mackerel), caught a bunch of smallish snappers at anchor, and hooked something huge in the middle of the night that broke us off (a friend and I were up late drinking beer and using the snappers as bait). If you're going to troll you'll want a decent sized rod as that catamaran will likely be moving at a pretty fast trolling speed. We didn't have any problem with other boats when we were trolling.

maytrix 03-09-2010 16:25

Thanks. I think my friend is still thinking about it. I'm not really interested myself - I'll be too busy sailing :)

But if he wants to and is cool cleaning it..etc.. It would be fun to cook up some fresh fish.

TEE 03-09-2010 17:29

Ciguatera Anyone? Predator species near the top of the food chain in tropical and subtropical waters, such as barracudas, snapper, moray eels, parrotfishes, groupers, triggerfishes and amberjacks, are most likely to cause ciguatera poisoning, although many other species cause occasional outbreaks of toxicity. Ciguatoxin is very heat-resistant, so ciguatoxin-laden fish cannot be detoxified by conventional cooking. If you fish in the BVI, you need to be careful.

GordMay 04-09-2010 06:30


Originally Posted by TEE (Post 515006)
Ciguatera Anyone? ...

See also:

Reality Check 04-09-2010 07:10

Fish for fun if you must (with a license) but buy the fish you eat from Sailors Ketch in East End adjacent to Penn's Landing. Warm water Reef Fish are not a good idea to catch and eat in these waters for many reasons.

Note; on some of the moorings in the Virgin Islands and at the National Park in USVI, you can not fish from the boat that is moored or anything attached to the boat. You may fish from the dink, but it must not be attached to da boat that is moored! I feel it is just too much of a hassle to fish off the boat and have not wet a line in past two years.... will probably trash the gear soon as it take too much space.

maytrix 04-09-2010 07:30

I think my friend was thinking of catching to eat, so I think we may reconsider fishing altogether.

Thanks for all the great advice!

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