In explaining the "mystique" of this sportfishing, pursued by
such notables as Zane Grey and Ernest Hemmingway, one captain notes that the blue
"tailwalk across the water at seventy miles a hour screaming
drag off an 80W Shamino Tiagra or Penn International with a thirty pound strike drag and
fill the air with sights and sounds that only a marlin hook-up could; the smell of black
diesel smoke from roaring engines setting the hook, the hot pungent smell of the reels
drags beginning to melt, as hundreds of yards of line is dumped into a cobalt blue sea
highlighted in white foam in only a few seconds, followed by excited screams from shocked
anglers bearing witness to the most powerful game fish in the sea, the man in the blue
suit. (Atlantic Blue Marlin.)" See article
as well as another account.
In Fat Lady's Marlin, the
discovery of Virgin Gorda's Sound Drop is chronicled:
Without exception, all nine vessels fishing the South Drop of Virgin Gorda in
the British Virgin Islands caught more blue marlin than ever, anywhere.
The boats would approach the marina with multiple marlin flags strung up
on their antennas. . . .
. . . The nine sportfishermen waved a total of 87 blue marlin during the Biras
Creek International Team Fishing Tournament held in September, 1988. . . . The
winning boat, the "Escape", caught and released seven blues on day one alone and
looked like a Christmas tree with its flag display as it approached the Biras Creek marina that afternoon.
Other deepsea gamefish include wahoo, white marlin, sailfish, yellowfin
and blackfin tuna, dolphin (dorado) and kingfish. See Island Sun 8-Year Old Boy
Catches 365 Pound Marlin.
Inshore and Reef Fishing
Bonefishing. Weighing up to ten pounds, the slender,
silvery and surprisingly elusive bonefish makes an incredible fighting
fish. Excellent bonefishing can be had in the BVI, especially on
the reef-ringed island of Anegada:
"The fishing community on this isolated island is reminiscent of Hemingways
Bimini in the 1930s." See BVI
on the Fly.
Other BVI locations are not so vast as Anegada's miles of reef. The North
Sound has locations such as Colquhoun Reef
and Eustatia Reef near Oil Nut Bay (see map). A small but accessible spot is
west of the Beef Island bridge in its channel.
Flyfishing. As well as bonefishing, saltwater flyfishing
is popular for permit and tarpon also. Increasingly popular is flyfishing from sea kayaks.
Fishing While Sailing. Simply drag a line from the rear
when sailing to catch surface feeding fish such as Spanish mackerel, kingfish (also
called king mackerel) tuna or even dolphin (not a porpoise). Return barracuda, which
stink and may be poisonous.
catches a Kingfish in the BVI
Ciguatera. Taking the fish to table requires local
knowledge to avoid tropical food poisoning (ciguatera), found in predatory fish around
reefs such as barracuda, grouper, snapper and jacks as well as puffer fish and parrot fish,
especially in sizes greater than 6 pounds
Favorite Table Fish. When anchored or from the shore,
drop in a line for yellowtail snapper or triggerfish, favorite table fish along with kingfish (king
mackerel). These delicious fish are commonly caught by local fishermen using fishing
traps. Be sure to get advice on distinguishing the yellowtail snapper from grunts, which
Also the triggerfish has three types: the black one is poisonous, the dark
one is used commercially and the yellow one is the rare and exotic queen triggerfish (old
wife) which should be released. While quite distinct to knowledgeable eyes, the
triggerfish has a lot of "cousins" from filefish, trunkfish, boxfish--all with
odd shapes that characterize these fascinating
fish, some of whom are very poisonous.
Traditional Island Fishermen. Prior to the tourist
economy, BVIslanders traditionally made a living from the sea. See Traditional Life in the BVI as well as a
painting of an old wooden fishing boat.
The Bitter End (284-494-2746) has deep
sea fishing in a 26' speedboat.
Pelican Charters (496-7386) with Captain Tim Fish and First Mate Sue
offer deep sea charters on the Whopper (pick ups generally and off charter boats).
Princess (495-7248), a 31' Bertram, offers sportfishing
trips with Captain Dale out of Biras Creek.
Ting, a Bentram 42, offers world-class sport fishing with
Captain Donnell (photo: Big
Caribbean Fly Fishing (499-1590 email)
does fly fishing and bonefishing.
Sea It All (email
495-7558), a 30 ft. Mappy Bertram, can be chartered for deep sea fishing (pick ups
Cadie's Fishing Trips (496-5403 beeper, 499-3853 cellular, email) has
17' Boston Whaler and 20' Mako for all kinds of fishing trips.
Certain Crewed Charters
Fishing equipment is available from Little Denmark and
Richardson's Rigging (494-2739, rental also) both in Road Town.
Fishing permits are required. Information is available from the Fisheries
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