Fishing Near Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico's prime marine life attracts travelers eager to experience great fishing charters

Photo credit: © Lunamarina |

The ocean floor off most of Puerto Rico's coastlines comes to a sudden drop, leading to depths of more than 1,000 feet. The deep blue waters of the sea are perfect for deep-sea fishing, and if you're angling to reel in game fish of all kinds, a number of fishing charters around the island can take you on an exciting fishing excursion.

The waters off the shores of Puerto Rico are renowned for their large game fish including marlin that can exceed 200 pounds; five kinds of tuna; dolphin fish; barracuda; and dorado. This selection of trophy fish makes the island a popular destination among big-game fishermen. Charter companies in Puerto Rico take fishermen out to prime fishing spots, where game fish are abundant. With so many fish in the sea, you're almost sure to reel in an impressive catch.

Game Fish

About 30 world records have been set in Puerto Rico by fishermen casting off into the waters off the shores of the island. With so many species of game fish thriving in Puerto Rico's waters, sports fishermen vacationing on the beautiful island will be in heaven fishing these azure waters. Different kinds of fish dwell in various locations in the ocean. For example, you'll usually find blue ocean fish in the waters near the shoreline.

The marlin is easily one of the most popular game fish among saltwater game fishers. This large blue ocean fish puts up an outstanding fight and has exceptional strength, speed, and jumping ability. The blue marlin can be distinguished by its cobalt color and very elongated spear-shaped upper jaw. The blue marlin is also recognizable by its dorsal fin, which is pointed at the front, as well as its pointed pectoral fin.

There are also white marlin in the waters of Puerto Rico. These fish are similar to their cousin, the blue marlin, but the two fish differ not only in color, but also in shape and coloring of their fins. The white marlin has a rounded pectoral fin and spots on its dorsal fins. Both the blue and the white marlin can be found in the waters immediately off the coast of Puerto Rico.

Tuna is another game fish that many anglers long to hook. The yellowfin tuna is the most popular species of tuna found in Puerto Rico's underwater habitats. These fish usually keep to the open seas, but sometimes they're spotted in warmer waters closer to the coast. The yellowfin tuna gets its name from the color of its finlets, which are yellow, as well as the gold stripe on its side. What makes the yellowfin such a prized game fish is its style of fight when hooked. This tuna is one strong fish, and it likes to swim deep.

Wahoo, dorado, and bonefish are other popular species of game fish that are heavily sought by fishermen. Bonefishing is especially popular among fly fishermen, but fishing for this particular small fish requires some patience because bonefish tend to be hard to catch. You can stalk these fish in waist high waters or go out on flat-bottom boats.

Freshwater Fishing

Puerto Rico has no natural lakes; the lakes that are on the island were created by damming rivers. There are quite a few reservoirs on Puerto Rico, and only one major river on the island that hasn't been dammed. The man-made lakes provide excellent freshwater fishing spots for fish such as catfish, largemouth bass, and bluegill just to name a few.

There are a few things that fishermen should remember when casting into Puerto Rico's synthetic lakes. First, authorities at some lakes require that you carry a permit to fish. So find out if you need to obtain a license before dropping your line into the lakes. Second, it is recommended that vacationers not swim in the man-made lakes and the island's rivers because of the presence of bilharzia, a human disease caused by parasitic worms which harbor bilharzia transmitting snails. This doesn't affect the freshwater fish, however.

Fishing Season

Certain fish can be found in greater numbers during specific times of the year. High seasons vary fish by fish, so you should find out which time of year your ideal prize fish can be found in the highest numbers. The marlin, for example, can be found in Puerto Rico's waters more frequently during May and June, while dolphin fish are commonly sighted from January to May.


The little island of Culebra, which is approximately 17 miles off the East Coast of Puerto Rico, is a fisherman's hidden treasure. Culebra is home to some of the region's most beautiful beaches, and here you'll find friendly faces, world-class fishing, and extremely comfortable accommodations. Bonefishing is especially popular on this little island, and fly fishermen can wade into the crystalline waters just off the shores of Culebra's white sand beaches.

Fishing Charters

Peacock Bass and Tarpon Tours

If you are thinking about reeling in a big catch during your vacation, there are 20 different charter fishing operators that can help you find the best fishing spots.

If you want to organize a fishing trip, you should consider Puerto Rico Magic Tarpon. Magic Tarpon offers both four hour and six hour trips. They are located within eastern Puerto Rico.

A second option is Makaira Fishing Charters. Captain Pepi Alfonso honed his craft in the Florida Keys, where he was raised nearby in Miami, Florida. These days, he can be found in the waters off the coast of Rincon, where he is known for having one several tournament grand slams. Check out Makaira Fishing Charters to sail with him and his crew. You can reach them at (787) 299-7374.

Still another option is 787 Fishing. 787 specializes in deep sea, light tackle, and fly fishing. They offer Tarpon fishing half day, which last 4 hours, and full day trips lasting 8 hours. They're found in Fajardo, in eastern Puerto Rico.

The chart right below provides quick access to some details concerning charters operating in this area.

Fishing Charters On Puerto Rico
Name Phone Location
787 Fishing (787) 347-4464 Fajardo, Eastern part of Puerto Rico
Blue Rush PR Fishing Charters (787) 364-6034 0.6 mi. East of Central Old San Juan
Caribbean Fishing Academy & Fishing Charters (787) 405-4100 0.9 mi. West-Northwest of Central San Juan
Double Hook Charters (787) 347-0212 5.1 mi. North-Northwest of Central Carolina
Go Tarpon (787) 376-1697 2.2 mi. West-Northwest of Central Pinones
Kon K'lma Fishing Charter (787) 413-9528 Fajardo, Eastern part of Puerto Rico
Maguro Fishing Charters (787) 384-5188 1.3 mi. Northeast of Central Fajardo
Maguro Fishing Charters (787) 384-5188 San Juan
Makaira Fishing Charters (787) 299-7374 Rincón, Western part of Puerto Rico
Parguera Fishing Charters (787) 382-4698 Lajas, Western part of Puerto Rico
Peacock Bass and Tarpon Tours (787) 364-6000 2.0 mi. East of Central Guaynabo
Ponce Fishing Charters (787) 601-2679 Ponce
Puerto Rico Fishing (787) 209-6926 1.7 mi. Northwest of Central San Juan
Puerto Rico Magic Tarpon (787) 644-1444 5.1 mi. North-Northwest of Central Carolina
Quicksilver Fishing Charter (787) 448-6665 Isla Verde
Rincon Fishing Charters (631) 903-4631 0.3 mi. Northwest of Central Rincón
Sea Born Fishing Charters (787) 722-0177 Miramar, Eastern part of Puerto Rico
Spearfishing Puerto Rico (217) 494-7724 2.7 mi. North-Northeast of Central Fajardo
The Legend Fishing Charter (787) 791-6195 San Juan
Tight Loop Fishing Charters (787) 383-1562 2.2 mi. North of Central Monacillo

Puerto Rico is well known for its big-game fishing and beautiful azure waters. So if you're ready to head out on the open seas for some exciting fishing adventures, Puerto Rico is the perfect spot to hook your ideal Caribbean vacation.


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