Catamaran Charter

HOW TO FISH IN THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

Courtesy of The Catamaran Company in BVI.

When you come to the British Virgin Islands at the beginning of your chartering experience, you are in for a week of relaxation, beautiful views, and amazing local cuisine. You may think that this incredible getaway could not get any better, but what if I told you that you can also fish these beautiful and bountiful waters! In this article, you will find out how to acquire your Pleasure (Temporary) Fishing License, where you can get any equipment you might need, and also some other suggestions to make your BVI fishing experience as good as it can get.

 

Fishing Permits

The removal of any marine organism from BVI waters is illegal for non-BVI islanders without a recreational fishing permit. To acquire your Pleasure Fishing License here in the British Virgin Islands, you must submit an application to the Department of Conservation and Fisheries. The fee for the permit is $45.00 and it will be valid for 30 days from the day that it is received. Alongside the application, you must also submit a valid form of picture identification (passport or driver’s license). You can expect to receive the permit 1-5 business days after submitting the application, but we still recommend that you apply two weeks in advance just in case there is an error in your application and you are asked to resubmit it. There is also a credit card authorization form that you will need to fill out if you are completing the application and payment via email. Both forms can be found on the BVI Government website at http://www.bvi.gov.vg/services/acquiring-temporary-pleasure-fishing-licence

Children under the age of 18 are not required to have a fishing license, but the boat you are fishing from must hold a Fishery License. Fortunately, all boats at The Catamaran Company in BVI  have this license and you can receive the vessels registration number through your charter broker.

How to catch fish legally in BVI

 

Fishing Equipment
https://www.bviwatertoys.com/fishing-tortola-bvi/

https://www.laststopsports.com/Fishing_Tortola_BVI.htm

Fishing Equipment can be rented by either Island Surf & Sail or Last Stop Sports, linked above. They both offer prearranged kits for light casting or trolling, depending on your preferred method of fishing. At The Catamaran Company, we recommend that you rent your gear from Island Surf & Sail as they are very familiar with the location of the base, and for a small service fee they even will leave the equipment you have rented on your boat prior to your arrival. You are also welcome to bring your own equipment into the BVI, but no spearfishing equipment is permitted. In the BVI it is illegal to use or carry onboard a fishing vessel any spear gun, explosive, poison, or other noxious substances for fishing. If you are caught using any of this equipment, you risk being prosecuted or fined up to fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000.00).

Fishing in BVI

Fishing Locations

In the British Virgin Islands, there are both Fisheries Protected Areas and Fisheries Priority Areas. Fisheries Protected Areas are reserves which serve to protect and preserve the breeding grounds and habitats of aquatic life. In these areas, it is prohibited to anchor, dive, build, or fish. Fisheries Priority Areas are designated locations set aside for registered and licensed vessels and persons to engage in fishing.

Fisheries Protected Areas:

  • Horse Shoe Reef, Anegada
  • Beef Island Channel
  • Hans Creek, Beef Island
  • The Sound, Ginger Island
  • Big Reef, Peter Island
  • Green Cay
  • Frenchman’s Cay
  • Taylor Bay, Virgin Gorda
  • South Sound, Virgin Gorda
  • The Sound, Salt Island
  • Money Bay, Norman Island
  • Santa Monica Rock
  • North Bay, Guana Island

Fisheries Priority Areas:

  • Great Harbour, Peter Island
  • The Bight, Norman Island
  • Frenchman’s Cay
  • Benures Bay, Norman Island
  • West Guana Island
  • Great Camanoe

What Will You Catch?

Within these beautiful and bountiful waters, there are close to 300 different marine fish species, making it an absolute blast for recreational fishers. While trolling around the channel in your island hops, you have a great chance of catching surface feeding fish like mahi-mahi, kingfish, tuna, and mackerel. Go out a bit deeper to the North or South drop, and you might find yourself catching something much bigger! At these locations, you will find blackfin tuna, blue marlin, wahoo, sailfish, white marlin, or yellowtail tuna. We do ask that you release any marlin or sailfish that are caught as they are gamefish and greatly important to local fishing tour companies.

Inshore you will find yourself catching barracudas, hardnose, Atlantic bonito, jacks, permit, snappers, tarpon, triggerfish, and parrotfish. If you want to catch and eat fish, we do recommend avoiding barracuda, snapper, jacks, triggerfish, parrotfish, and tarpon as they are predatory reef fish and are therefore more likely to have ciguatera poisoning. This type of fish poisoning can give you a very nasty, and sometimes fatal, food poisoning. If you are still unsure of what you have caught, on most boats you will be able to find a fish identification chart. If you are still unable to identify the fish, it is best to stay safe and release it back into the sea.

USEFUL LINKS

https://www.laststopsports.com/LSS_Files/A_BVI_Guide_to_Recreational_Fishing.pdf

http://www.bvi.gov.vg/services/acquiring-temporary-pleasure-fishing-licence

http://www.bvi.gov.vg/media-centre/stop-unauthorised-harvesting-spiny-lobsters

The Catamaran Company, British Virgin Islands
Browse our charter fleet in BVI
1800-262-0308
https://www.catamarans.com/the-catamaran-company/bvi/

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