Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Every day in Antigua and Barbuda is a fishing day...

A wise man once said that a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at the office and I think he was right.Despite years of mismanagement and a complete lack of enforced fishery policy, Antigua and Barbuda still somehow manages to some great sport fishing. There are several methods of fishing that do well in Antigua depending on what kind of gear you have and where you can get to. The most obvious and most popular type of fishing for visitors to Antigua and Barbuda is the deep sea variety. Larger pelagic fish like Blue Marlin, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, Tuna, Kingfish, sail fish can be found aboard this way aboard one of the many boats offering charters. The Antigua Sport Fishing Association puts on several tournaments during the year with its May tournament receiving the most international visitors. The local record in that tournament is a blue marlin that was almost 800 lbs. Fishermen on these boats use large rods and reels which pull artificial fish like lures behind the boats at speeds of around 8 knots in the hope that one of those big fish will come out of the deep and get hooked. Some of the freshest and most delicious fish in our restaurants come from this method.
Another type of fishing that is becoming more and more popular among visitors is light tackle inshore fishing which includes fly fishing. Fly fishing has been popular on lakes and in streams in Europe and North America for years and years and the salt water variety is fast becoming as popular. Little lures which can be as small as a bee are cast in shallow waters where some fish congregate to feed or lay eggs. How an angler retrieves the lure can excite the fish and lure it to bite the hook. This method of fishing is quite challenging and rewarding for those people who like areas off the beaten track. Barbuda has excellent inshore fishing and fly fishing as does areas on the North of Antigua. Both islands have several guides that can help you find good places to do this sort of fishing.
Another popular type of fishing is what we call bottom fishing. This is the most traditional method of fishing and can be done from either a boat or from the shore. You get a hook some bait and a sinker, throw your line over the side and wait. If you are in a good spot you may get a delicious snapper for dinner. All of these fishing methods require patience, dedication and a general love for the outdoors. Release what you are not going to eat and enjoy, but keep in mind the other thing some wise man once said: “Every day is a fishing day, but not every day is a catching day”.

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