Fishing Near the Cayman Islands

Take part in the Cayman Islands unofficial national sport

Photo credit: © Danilo Mongiello |

The waters surrounding the Cayman Islands are teeming with spectacular marine life, and opportunities to get out on the sea for a day of fishing exist in abundance.


Shore Fishing

Shore fishing is a great way to get your fix if you don't want to spend the money on chartering a boat for the day. Just grab a fishing pole, some bait, and head to the nearest beach (while making sure to avoid protected marine areas). Permits for shore fishing are not required if you plan to catch and release, however, if you'd like to keep some to cook for your next meal, you will need to procure a fishing license. Popular catches near the shore include bonefish, tarpon, permit, pompano, and barracuda.

Light Tackle and Fly Fishing

The shallow flats of the Cayman Islands offer anglers numerous locations to choose from for their light tackle and fly fishing exploits. North Sound, South Sound, and Frank Sound are just a few places to visit to pursue this sport. In these locations you can charter boats made especially for sailing the flats, or you can pull on same waders and avoid the extra cost. Bonefish, tarpon, and permit swim through these waters.

Coming across the proper fly fishing equipment in the Cayman Islands if you aren't utilizing a charter company's services can be difficult. If you plan to do some fly fishing on your own, bringing your own gear is advisable.

Bottom Reef Fishing

Reefs in the Cayman Island are managed under marine conservation laws, limited to low-volume recreational and sustenance fishing. It is important that the fish caught in the reefs be released unless they will be eaten, because over-fishing has caused near depletion of conch and lobster. Still, the Cayman Islands are surrounded by hundreds of miles of reef that can be fished. Yellowtail, porgy, almaco jack, snapper, grouper, blue runner, bar jack, and jack crevalle are commonly caught on reef fishing trips.

Deep Sea Fishing

The Cayman Islands are great for deep sea fishing because the waters grow very deep very quickly. In fact, just a few hundred yards off the coast of Grand Cayman, the reefs go as deep as 800 feet, and the Cayman Trench reaches a dramatic depth of 20,000 feet. Sports fishermen on the hunt for big game fish should come prepared to pull in blue marlin, wahoo, mahi-mahi, tuna, and barracuda.

Conservation Efforts

Anglers are encouraged to release all catches that are not to be eaten, unless they are record setting, or caught during a tournament.

The Cayman Islands Department of Environment lists catch limits for various types of fish on their official Web page. The following chart lists a few that you should be aware of, but these limits may change at any given time. Always check with the Department of Environment before you head out on your fishing trip.

Cayman Island Fishing Limits
FishLimitSizeClosed SeasonOther Limitations
Conch 3 per person or 6 per boat N/A May 1 through November 30 No one may purchase more than 5 conch per day
Echinoderms May not be taken from Cayman waters at any time N/A Always N/A
Lobster 3 per person or 6 per boat Tail no longer than 6 inches May 1 through November 30 No spiny lobster
Nassau Groupers N/A 12 inch minimum N/A The removal of Nassau Grouper from Designated Span Areas is not permitted
Other Fish N/A 8 inch minimum except goggle eyes, anchovies, herrings, and silversides
N/A Removal of jewfish, tiefish, filefish, angelfish, grey French, queen angels is not permitted at any time
Turtles May not be taken from Cayman waters at any time without a license N/A April 1 through November 30 Turtle eggs may not be disturbed
Whelks 2 1/2 gallons in the shell or 2 1/2 pounds processed N/A May 1 through October 1 The removal of chitons, periwinkles, and bleeding teeth from Cayman waters is not premited
Heidi K Fishing Charters

If you are thinking about spending some time on the open water with a rod in your hand, there are 10 different charter fishing operators that can help you find the best fishing spots.

If you'd like to organize a fishing trip, you might want to check with Captain Marvin's. Experienced captains can help you catch a big fish. They also offer shared fishing charters if you would like to meet some new friends; the maximum amount of people that they take out on a fishing charter is four, five or six people. They are located within Seven Mile Beach, in western the Cayman Islands.

A second option is ReelEsea Charters and Tours. ReeEsea specializes in half and full day deep sea fishing charters that take you about five to 12 miles out from the Morgan's Harbour Dock in West Bay or Kaibo Dock near Rum Point in North Side. The tours focus on catching marlin, wahoo, tuna, and mahi-mahi. You can reach them at (345) 916-8655.

Still another option is Oh Boy Charters. Oh Boy offers deep sea, reef, and night fishing. They're situated on Grand Cayman.

Be sure to look through the following table if you want more information.

Fishing Charters In the Cayman Islands
Name Phone Location
Blue Water Excursions (345) 925-8738 Grand Cayman
Captain Asley's Watersports (345) 949-3054 Grand Cayman
Captain Marvin's (345) 945-6975 3.5 mi. North of Central Georgetown
Captain Marvin's (345) 945-6975 Downtown Georgetown
Captain Ronald Ebanks Flyfisher (345) 916-5753 Grand Cayman
Frank's Fishing Watersports (345) 945-5491 Grand Cayman, Western part of the Cayman Islands
Heidi K Fishing Charters (345) 925-6131 West Bay
Just Fish'n (345) 916-0113 Grand Cayman
Oh Boy Charters (345) 949-6341 Grand Cayman
ReelEsea Charters and Tours (345) 916-8655 Grand Cayman

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