Fishing in Puerto Rico takes many forms, the most dramatic of which is deep-sea fishing for billfish. The north side of the island is known as “Blue Marlin Alley” because of the large number of migrating fish that pass near its shores, especially in the summer. Puerto Rico is home to the International Billfish Tournament and specimens in excess of 1,000 pounds have been recorded.
The fishing is good year round, however Winter, which runs roughly from October to early March, is the best overall season for dolphin, dorado, mahi-mahi, wahoo, white marlin, yellowfin tuna and an occasional sailfish. Blue marlin are easy to catch in the summer, but are always returned to the sea.
Charters are available from harbors in San Juan, Fajardo, Humacao and Mayaguez, and since deep water is so close to Puerto Rico’s shores, fishing usually commences within a half hour of leaving port. Boats range in size from 32’ to 50’ with an average capacity of six passengers, with four fishing. Deep-sea charters are for either a half-day or full day, including the services of a captain and a mate, all fishing equipment, and ice and refreshments. It’s a good idea to reserve your deep sea fishing adventure directly with the charter operator as far in advance of your trip as possible.
If you would rather not brave the deep waters, light tackle fishing for tarpon and snook in the island’s bays and lagoons is an exciting alternative, since tarpon weighing more than 100 pounds have been snared. Several operators run half and full day excursions in 16’ to 18’ Hewes and Maverick boats.
Lake fishing and casting from shore along Puerto Rico’s 272 miles of coast are less intimidating options. Check with your hotel concierge or with one of the many sports and adventure tours companies for information, as conditions and operators vary seasonally.
The Puerto Rico Sports Fishing Association, the official record keeper for the island, is a good source of current information. Please visit their website at www.asociaciondepescadeportiva.com.