If you wanted to make the most of the art of angling, you’d best hit the waves. Sea fishing is a demanding and thrilling sport that anyone can tackle, given the right kit – and the right location. WideWorld spoke to Jamie Hibbert, voted the best Deep Sea Fishing Blogger 2010, about the most magnificent seven spots around the globe.
This volcanic island is located south of Portugal and has a sub-topical climate, meaning you can fish in comfort – important when you’re spending hours and hours in the same place. In parts, the sea is over 1,000 meters deep, and because of this, and its geographical location, the island is home to an abundance of fish.
Some of the species to target include bluefin tuna, white marlin, blue marlin, albacore, big eye tuna, wahoo, spearfish and skipjack tuna.
The big game fishing is carried out in 30-40 foot fast boats, fitted with fighting chairs and a flying bridge. Large reels and strong rods attached to lures are trolled at 5 – 17 knots: 400lb leaders are common, while May to October produces fish averaging 700lbs. All big game fishing works on a tag and release basis.
July 4th sees the Blue Marlin World Cup come to the island. Teams from around the world gather to out-fish each other, with a winner-takes-all prize, while wahoo fishing is best from September – December.
Stay: Quinta do Monte hotel
Norway boasts 21,000km of coastline, fjords and deep, cold seas. Finnmark is a region to the northeast of the country with midnight sun from May to July. It’s incredibly rich in fish and you should easily catch the coldwater species that anglers’ dreams are made of.
Depending on what type of fishing you are doing, you’ll need 12lb-50lb-class set-ups, with strong heavy duty multipliers. Braided lines (very tough) are essential due to the depths you will be fishing. Pirks and shads are popular styles of lure for this kind of fishing, and long flowing traces work well, baited with mackerel or herring to target halibut, wolf fish and large ling.
Going for coal fish up to 40lbs on 30-100g spinning rods, fixed spool reels and 30lb braid will provide you with world class sport. Cod weighing over 50lb can be caught from boats – and the shore. You’ll also take a chance at catching halibut of between 25lb to 30lb. The largest line-caught Norwegian Halibut was 30 stone (443lb)!
Stay: Nyvågar Rorbuhotell, Lofoten
In addition to being an absolutely delightful country with high sea cliffs, sandy beaches, lovely villages nestled in valleys, great food and great Guinness, there is a huge variety – and quantity – of sea fish. You can catch over 80 species including trigger fish, red mullet, red bream, sunfish, amberjack, flounder, cod, coalfish, wrasse, pollack dogfish, shark, tope, monkfish, common skate, ray, bass, albacore and bluefin tuna.
Stay: The Garrai Mòr, Connemara
Alderney is the most northerly of the Channel Islands, just three square miles in size and located off the French coast. The fishing is similar to Ireland, with lots of species to target over early spring to autumn. The main town is St. Anne, which expands towards Braye Harbour.
Alderney is renowned for its bass and mullet angling. Every year in early autumn there is an angling festival which attracts fishermen and women from around the world.
Sport anglers can try their luck with bass, bream, mullet, tope, huss and shark. However, the area is recognised as a mecca for flat fish, with good catches of turbot, brill, blond and undulate ray. Wreck fishing is some of the best quality around, with good catches of cod, conger, ling and Pollock.
Stay: Harbour Lights Hotel, Newtown Road
Sight-fishing for permit, tarpon and bone fish is true hunting: standing on a boat, moving through the flats, looking for signs of these predators. These fish weigh 5lb to 40lb, with migrating fish sometimes exceeding 60lbs.
Blue skies and 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter (80 in the summer) make this the perfect angling experience. Fly and lure casting are both popular methods in this area of calm, flat water. Mangroves, lagoons and swamps make up the habitat for these fish.
Targeting these species from a kayak is another way to catch these creatures. Watching these large, fast and strong fish taking your lure and running (meaning: to run line off your reel) will fill you full of excitement.
Stay: The Gardens Hotel, Key West
Some of the best deep-sea and surf fishing in the world is in Mexico. Los Cabos, Baja holds many records and produces large catches of marlin and sailfish. Mazatlan has been called ‘the bill fish capital of the world’, and produces tuna, dorado and grouper. Puerto Vallarta is known for sail fish, marlin, tuna, bonito and shark.
Wahoo is a prize fish caught in the deeper waters around Mexico. They are a very powerful fighting fish, growing up to 100lbs, and built for sheer speed. Methods used to catch these fish include trolling and bait fishing. They will make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end.
Roosterfish, snapper and jacks can all be caught with lures and fly-fishing gear from the shoreline. These fish are very powerful pound-for-pound and provide excellent sport for the modern angler. Look for bait fishing boiling on the surface, cast your lure and enjoy the battle.
Stay: Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas
Long, pale sand beaches, surf and searing heat: that’s what you need to catch bronze whalers from the shore. High season is from October 1st to March 31st along the coast of Namiba. The current record is 227kgs. Fights lasting for 10 minutes to 2 hours.
50lb-class rod and reel combos are used to tame these creatures, with 14/0 hooks on a trace of 600lb nylon baited with bonito and tuna carried out to the shark zone with balloon floats.
Catching a shark of this size and power is no easy feat from the shore and you’ll need to strap yourself down in a fighting chair to assist in the battle.
Stay: The Swakopmund Hotel
About the author
Jamie Hibbert is the editor of Sea Fishing, voted best deep sea fishing blog of 2010