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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Fish||Limit||Size||Closed Season||Other 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
If you like the idea of reeling in a big one while on vacation, you may be pleased to learn there are 10 different charter fishing operators that can help make it happen.
If you'd like to organize a fishing trip, you might want to contact Captain Marvin's. Famed as the company that started the Stingray City snorkel excursions, Captain Marvin is a jack of all trades, offering a number of different excursions out on the water. This includes fishing, which is a favorite, as well as snorkeling, dolphin tours and private charters. They are located in Seven Mile Beach, in western the Cayman Islands.
Another option is Captain Marvin's. Deep Sea and Reef fishing trips last from 8:00 a.m. to noon or 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. You can call them at (345) 945-6975.
A third 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. They're located on Grand Cayman.
The chart right below summarizes some key facts regarding fishing charters operating in this area.
|Blue Water Excursions||(345) 925-8738||Grand Cayman|
|Captain Asley's Watersports||(345) 949-3054||Grand Cayman|
|Captain Marvin's||(345) 945-6975||3.4 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|
Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.