In explaining the "mystique" of this sportfishing, pursued by such notables as Zane Grey and Ernest Hemmingway, one captain notes that the blue marlin can
In Fat Lady's Marlin, the discovery of Virgin Gorda's Sound Drop is chronicled:
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 flyflying is popular for permit and tarpon also. Inceasingly 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 Spainish mackerel, kingfish (also called king mackerel), tuna or even dolphin (not a purpoise). Return barracuda, which stink and may be poisonous.
Ciguatera. Taking the fish to table requires local knowledge to avoid tropical food poisioning (ciguatera), found in predatory fish around reefs such as barracuda, grouper, snapper and jacks as well as puffer fish and parrot fish (see CDC).
Favorite Table Fish. When anchored or from the shore, drop in a line for yellowtail snapper or triggerfish, favorites 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 they resemble.
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 for $375/full and $200/half day.