Fish Species in Fiji
Fiji is an angler’s paradise! Thanks to its fertile underwater ecosystem, Fiji offers a wealth of fish species from the small reef fish that’s a fun catch for the whole family to monster game fish that will challenge even the most experienced anglers. If you’re planning a trip to Fiji and want to hit the water, then you’re probably going to want to know what type of fish you could be seeing at the end of the line. This guide to the types of fish you can fish for in Fiji will go through the main game fish species found in Fiji. Of course, not all fish are listed here, but these are the main players you will be gaming with.
Step up to some big game fishing, with the likes of black marlin, blue marlin, striped marlin and Pacific sailfish. Get one of these bad boys on the line and you’re likely to have the biggest stand-up fight in your game fishing career. If you want to increase your chances of catching a whopper, take a look at the 10 Best Fishing Tours in Fiji. Plus, you might be interested in How to Choose the Best Fishing Tour in Fiji.
Minimum Size Limits for Fish
To protect fish stocks and ensure sustainable fishing, the Fijian government has implemented minimum catch size limits for certain fish species. These are the current catch size limits:
- Barracuda – 300mm
- Trevally – 300mm
- Grey Mullet – 200mm
- Glassperch- 150mm
- Spinefoot Rabbitfish – 200mm
- Long-jawed Mackerel – 200mm
- Longtom – 300mm
- Milk Fish – 300mm
- Mojarra – 100mm
- Parrotfish – 250mm
- Pouter – 100mm
- Rock Cod, Grouper, Salmon Cod – 250mm
- Sea Bream, Pig-Faced Bream – 250mm
- Small Sea Bream – 150mm
- Surgeon Fish – 200mm
- Surmullet, Goatfish, Whiskercod – 150mm
- Snapper – 300mm
- Leather Jacket – 300mm
For more information, see our Complete Guide to Fishing in Fiji.
Black Marlin, Striped Marlin & Blue Marlin
Billfish anglers will not be disappointed in Fiji, with the prize of striped marlin, black marlin and blue marlin waiting to be caught. Although all three of these marlin species are caught in Fiji waters, the blue marlin is the most common. Blue marlin can be caught all year round, but the best months to try your luck are February through to April, which sees the largest fish during the yellowfin tuna run. Blue marlin can range in size from 65kg/150lbs to 450kg/1000lbs.
If you want to catch yourself a black or striped marlin though, you’ll have to wait until July – October.
Note that billfish are for “catch and release” only in order to boost conservation efforts of these important fish species. Fishing charters will usually operate with a “Tag and Release” policy working with The Billfish Foundation.
For a real challenge catching one of the fastest fish in Fiji’s waters, try fishing for Wahoo!
Nothing matches the excitement of seeing packs of wahoo literally flying through the air to attack your lure. Packs will have wahoo in a range of sizes, usually around 23kg/50lbs but can reach as heavy as 45kg/100lbs!
While many fishing charter operators will use heavy tackle gear for these fellows, some would same you will have the most fun with light tackle gear.
If you have heard anything about fishing in Fiji, then no doubt you will have heard of the yellowfin tuna run!
Yellowfin tuna migrate through Fiji’s waters twice a year, but the best time for fishing them is between February and August (however, it is possible to catch them year-round).
The great thing about fishing yellowfins is that they’ll always put up a fight, making you work harder than with most other fish.
Expect sized to be between 15lbs/7kg and 23kg/50lbs (however, you always have the chance to catch a whopper of up to 82kg/180lbs).
Fishing for mahi mahi can be one of the most rewarding fish to fish for in Fiji.
Often found just a couple of kilometres off island shores, you’ll often get stellar island views as you relax with your fishing rod. Once the action begins, you’ll have fun using a light tackle, but heavy tackle will do too. Be wowed by the mahi mahi’s extraordinary colours as it comes to the surface and wowed further as you take one back to shore to eat.
Mahi mahi, also known as dorado or dolphinfish, can weigh anything between 5kg/11lbs to 25kg/55lbs.
The dynamic and explosive demeanour of the Pacific sailfish makes fishing them a trip to remember.
Often found by reading the waters, following the birds, trolling for other fish species like wahoo and sticking to islands’ outer slopes and barrier reefs.
Although it’s possible to catch sailfish year-round in Fiji, your best bet is to try between May and September.
Pacific sailfish are known for their long dorsal fin that mimics a sail, as well as their long bill. Like other billfish in Fiji, resort and fishing charter operators will only catch these fish on a “catch and release” or “tag and release” policy.
Looking for a tough fight? Then head out for giant trevally, known for being some of the toughest fighting fish.
Fiji’s reef systems are full of giant trevally, ranging in size from 5kgs/11lbs to 50kgs/110lbs!
Giant trevally will go for surface lures, so the best method is to cast a popper above the reefs and wind back in. It’s best if your popper skips along the surface. The giant trevally will smash down the popper and try to take it back to the reef, then the fight is on. If you survive the first minute, then you might be able to make it work!
The best time to catch giant trevally is between October and March. Learn more about the seasons in What is the Best Time of Year for Fishing in Fiji.
You’ll be lucky to catch one of these guys, but when you do, it will feel like the ultimate reward.
Dogfish tuna, which are not a tuna but a member of the bonito family, is often the surprise at the end of the line when fishing for other species, like popping for great trevally, trolling or live baiting for marlin.
Dogtooth tuna are named after their large widely-spaced teeth which are great to see. There are some monsters out there so try your luck.
Best of the Rest
Fishing in Fiji isn’t just about catching the whoppers in game fishing. A great day can be had on the boat out on the reef catching smaller fish species, which is also a great activity for kids. These fish species are also good for spearfishing, which you can find out more about in our Guide to Spearfishing in Fiji.
The smaller fish species you can catch include (but are definitely not limited to):
- sweet lip
- coral trout
- leather jacket
Remember that there is a minimum catch size limit to some of these fish species so always check with your skipper or see the minimum catch sizes listed at the beginning of this article.