What to Look for When Choosing a Fiji Fishing Charter
With waters teeming with exciting game fish in the deep tropical waters, fishing in Fiji is a must! But with fishing being one of the most expensive activities available in Fiji, you’ll want to get it right. When choosing the best fishing tour in Fiji for you, you need to consider the location, length of trip, what type of fishing is available, the boat and equipment used, the price and the inclusions. We’ll go through over all those aspects in detail in the guide below.
What Fish Can You Catch in Fiji and When?
- Blue Marlin: November to January
- Black Marlin: November and December
- Sailfish: June to September
- Yellowfin Tuna: November to March
- Dogtooth Tuna: October to March
- Skipjack: January to February and August to October
- Mahimahi: October to January
- Spanish Mackerel: October to December
- Wahoo: June to September
- Giant Trevally: June to September
Find out more about when to fish in Fiji in What is the Best Time of Year for Fishing in Fiji.
Picking a Location
The first thing you might think of when choosing a fishing tour in Fiji is: where are the best places to fish in Fiji? Well, the thing about Fiji is that there isn’t a lack of fishing destinations. Every island group and every single region has access to fishing, including big game fishing. It’s more of a question of: where are the fishing charter operators and the resorts?
The Best Places for Fishing in Fiji
Fishing for all the fish species mentioned in the list above is available in abundance in the following locations:
- Denarau – see 9 Best Fishing Trips from Denarau
- Coral Coast
- Pacific Harbour & Beqa
- Mamanuca Islands
- Yasawa Islands
- Lomaiviti Islands
- Vanua Levu
When picking a destination for fishing, we recommend picking a destination or a resort that has other things that you are interested in. Check out what each destination has to offer by following the links of each destination.
Nevertheless, if you are looking for a resort that simply offers excellent fishing, head to 10 Best Fishing Resorts in Fiji.
Does the Fishing Charter Offer Resort Transfers?
In relation to location, once you have picked a fishing destination and start browsing the available fishing charters, you need to check whether the fishing charter offers resorts transfers. While most charters make it easy by offering hotel pick-ups, there are a few that offer a meeting point at a local wharf, which might not be ideal if you don’t have your own transport.
Length of Trip and Time Spent Fishing
Choosing the right length of a trip is ideal for your enjoyment. While a full-day fishing trip might take a toll on families, a half-day trip will only feel like you’re scratching the surface for the avid angler.
In Fiji, there are three options when it comes to the length of fishing charters:
- Half-day: 4 hours
- Full-day: 6-8 hours
Be sure to choose the right tour length for optimum enjoyment.
The Commute on the Water
Depending on what type of fishing you are doing, the commute in the water can take a significant amount of time that you’d probably prefer to be spending fishing. For trolling, skippers and deckhands get rods at the ready as soon as they leave the harbour and it is safe to do so, so you’ll be trolling for fish very early into the tour. For other types of fishing, like handline fishing, spearfishing, popping and jigging, for example, you’ll need to take time to get to the fish first before you are able to, well, fish.
Typically, when choosing reef fishing, you will get to fishing spots quickly. For game fishing and particularly deep-sea fishing, you’ll need a little patience to get to the good spots.
Is there a certain type of fishing that tickles your fancy? Make sure that your fishing charter or resort you’re about to choose actually provides the type of fishing that you want. When you see “fishing charter”, you can always assume that the type of fishing is trolling. However, fishing charters and resorts that offer different types of fishing, like spearfishing, handline fishing, reef fishing, popping and jigging, for example, will explicitly advertise that they have these options.
Spearfishing in Fiji
Spearfishing is not only a technique that the locals favour to feed their families, but it’s an exciting and active way to catch fish. Spearfishing is not available everywhere in Fiji and can only be done with certain operators and resorts that have the equipment and permission from the local villages to fish in their reefs. Both reef spearfishing and game spearfishing are available in Fiji. Find out about which resorts offer spearfishing, as well as other useful information about spearfishing, in The Complete Guide to Spearfishing in Fiji.
Fishing for Experienced Anglers
Experienced anglers tend to know what they are looking for in fishing charters and just need the local know-how. If you’re an experienced angler, we recommend choosing a fishing charter or a resort that offers a variety of fishing techniques. Some fishing charters in Fiji also hold world records, which is also a good indication that they can offer something fun and exciting for the angler who knows what they are doing. See 10 Best Fishing Tours in Fiji for details on what Fiji’s top fishing charters can offer.
Equipment and Size of the Boat
Let’s get one thing straight, fishing charters and resorts take great pride in having high-quality fishing gear for their guests. It’s very rare that you’ll come across a fishing charter in Fiji with mediocre equipment. Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to ask or research what fishing equipment is used, as well as technology like fish finders and GPS, so you know you stand the best chances of making the catch.
Size of the Boat
Fishing charters are often proud to boast about their fishing boats, and their features, but what’s perhaps the most important is how large is your group and can the boat fit your group? It’s always safe to assume that fishing charters can fit at least six people. However, if your group is big, you will need to seek a larger vessel. Large vessel fishing charters for 18-24 people are available from Port Denarau.
The Price and Inclusions
To make sure you’re getting good value or if you’re on a budget, pricing is extremely important. Fishing charters are among some of the most expensive activities in Fiji. Here is the typical price range for fishing tours in Fiji:
- Half-day private charter: FJ$260-$480
- Half-day shared charter: FJ$260-$360
- Full-day private charter: FJ$570-$1,350
Note that the fewer people you have on a private fishing charter, the more the charter costs per person.
What Do Fishing Charters Include?
While all fishing charters will provide the safety equipment, fishing gear, bait and a skipper/guide, charters vary in the other inclusions offered. To see if you are getting good value, check if you’re charter also includes snacks and water. If you’re on a full-day tour, your tour should also include:
- Soft drinks/beers