Vanuatu Game Fishing

Vanuatu is still regarded as one of the best blue marlin fisheries in the world. There have been several world records broken here on fly rods and numerous other fish caught weighing in over the magic 1000lb. If you were to fish these waters for a couple of days you would be unlucky not to at least see a blue marlin or two and most of the busy operators catch 80 to 100 per year. Tag and release is the most popular method of marlin fishing in the islands.

Where to fish in Vanuatu

Many of the islands offer some sort of fishing expeditions however you might be fishing from a banana boat or some other small vessel.  The better game fishing boats operating in Vanuatu are found in Port Vila (on the island of Efate) and in Luganville (on Santo). Most of the large fishing operators work out of Port Vila as it is a short run to start fishing, sail fish frequent Mele Bay as do yellow fin when they are in season and this is all 10 minutes from the jetty. . From Santo, the journey is considerably longer; however there is good fishing along the way.

Fish can be caught anywhere in the waters out from Port Vila however the most productive areas are the Marlin Highway, Blue Hat, 366,  Nguna Volcano, the Erromango Sea Mounts and Hat Island and there is usually 2 or more F.A.D’s in place to improve your chances and each area is known for particular types of fish.

Types of fish that frequent the waters of Vanuatu

The fish that both Port Vila and Santo are most famous for is the Blue Marlina magnificent fighting fish. Gun fishermen come from all around the world just for the Blue Marlin game fishing in Vanuatu, often resulting in Blue Marlin catches with average weights of 200-500lb, with the largest ever caught weighed in at 515kg or 1135lb. Santo fishing turn up great fish as well however there hasn’t been a grander caught there and that might be due to less boats operating there.

In addition to Blue Marlin, the Vanuatu fishery offers a huge range of other species being Black Marlin, Striped Marlin, Yellow fin Tuna, Mahi Mahi , Wahoo, Sailfish, Dog Tooth Tuna,Coral Trout, job fish and red bass as well. The dog tooth tuna have been known to reach 80kg+ while the yellow fin tuna grows even larger, sometimes up to 90kg.

The best time to fish in Vanuatu

Game fishing in Vanuatu is brilliant all year round, however the species vary during the different months of the year. A lot of fishing takes place from March to November to avoid the wet season which can bring rough weather however the seasons in Vanuatu seem to have changes as has the rest of the world. A lot of fishing is done by New Zealander’s and Australian’s during their winter or off season as the fishing is great here in Vanuatu during that time.

Fishing trips in Vanuatu

Game fishing in Vanuatu has been a large part of the tourism industry for many years now and there are some great operators running trip almost days of the year. Even if the general conditions are a little unfavorable there is almost always somewhere you can tuck in in the lee of and island and fish. The fishing boats are generally first class and most provide all the equipment you would need to successfully go game fishing.

A lot of the larger operators run day trips which would have you back in the comfort of your resort or hotel each night or you can opt for the live-aboard option and some operators prove a liveaway program where you get to stay on outer island in locally run guest houses. One operator in particular has on site accommodation on the waterfront in Port Vila so it is out of your room and onto the boat to make thing very easy.

Vanuatu fishing tournaments and club events

The Port Vila Game Fishing Club runs six competitions a year. Some of the larger ones such as the Marlin Classic attract lots of international anglers, as well as the locals. The tournaments are held in February through to November. There are competitions for everyone from a great day out in February with the ladies fishing comp, the Yellow Fin Shootout, through to the big money Marlin Classic or the Tusker Game Fishing Classic held in November.


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