The tantalizing, turquoise waters of the Turks and Caicos are teeming with marine life and have become a major attraction for professional and amateur anglers. Even if you’re not into fishing, spending at least one day on the deep blue waters surrounding our famous Grace Bay Beach is a must do. This is why we’re bringing you this quick guide to fishing in the Turks and Caicos Islands - just in time for Father’s Day too!
With one of the largest contiguous coral reefs in the world, the waters of the Turks and Caicos Islands offer spectacular snorkeling, diving and fishing experiences. Whether it’s deep-sea fishing, sports fishing or the more exotic bone fishing that gets you baiting a hook - there is something here for everyone.
Deep-sea fishing is probably the first thing that comes to mind when “fishing” and “Caribbean” are used in the same sentence. Sometimes called the “sport of kings,” deep-sea fishing takes place several miles offshore and the clear waters of the Turks and Caicos are considered to be one of the finest places for this in the Caribbean. The premier trophy fish of the Atlantic is the blue marlin and it is plentiful all year round but caught in record numbers during the summer season. Deep-sea fishing is typically an all-day event and is usually reserved for experienced anglers - however there is a wide range of options from excursion companies here.
If deep-sea fishing is too much, sports fishing may be for you. Sports fishing excursions go to the edge of the reef where the deep water starts and you can troll the coral heads using live bait to lure your prey. Unlike deep-sea fishing where there can be a lot of down time, sports fishing is full of action, which makes it a fun and exciting activity for the whole family - even those new to fishing.
Another great way to enjoy a day at sea for the whole family is reef fishing - also called bottom fishing. Reef fishing happens on the inner reef where our coral heads teem with all types and sizes of stunning tropical fish. A typical outing can net any where from 10 to 50 fish such as snapper and grouper.
If eating your catch isn’t important to you, you may want to try bonefishing. Bonefishing is the ultimate in sports fishing as it relies on the skill and competence of the person holding the reel, while the boat and captain have little to do with the outcome. The elusive, silvery bonefish can be feisty and are said to put up a good fight for a fish its size. They tend to like the flats and fortunately there are hundreds of miles of shallow feeding grounds for them on the south side of Providenciales. Because of all their bones, this is a catch and release activity. And, be careful - it is known to be addictive!
If you enjoy fishing and being on the sea, you should definitely consider a fishing excursion on your next visit. Please note that fishing licenses are required and are usually included in your excursion fee, but be sure to check when you book. If you want to go out on your own, fishing licenses are also available at the Department of Environment. Their office is located in a round building with a turquoise roof, on the Lower Bight Road, just down the street from the Gansevoort Hotel and across from the Bight Park, where the fish fry is hosted every Thursday night. However, even with a fishing license, fishing in National Parks is strictly forbidden, so make sure you are in an approved area before you make your first cast!
The best way to enjoy fishing the Turks and Caicos Islands is with an experienced crew. The concierge desk at The Alexandra can help arrange trips with any and all of them! Here are some of the operators offering fishing excursions and what they have to say about the experience:
Grand Slam Charters http://www.gsfishing.com/
“We guarantee a memorable experience for the whole family. Deep sea fishing in Turks and Caicos is an experience not to be missed. The scream of the reel, the bend of the rod and the flash of silver deep below will be a lifetime memory!”
Catch the Wave http://www.catchthewavecharter.com/
“Catch the Wave Charters has more than 40 miles of shallow flats and offers the ultimate bone fishing experience with guaranteed catches on your first day. We offer sports fishing with a fly rod or light tackle. All the necessary bait and equipment is provided.”
Silver Deep http://www.silverdeep.com/fishing/fishing.htm
“Arthur Dean is internationally renowned as one of the best fly-fishing guides in the Caribbean and has been featured on International TV Channels: ESPN2 in the show "FISH- ON"
There are more than 90 miles of flats around Providenciales - plenty of opportunity to fish a new flat everyday.”
“Whether you are a seasoned angler or casting a line for the first time, our Captain and First Mate will be there to offer as much or as little help as you need. Our Captain’s skillful handling of Panoply and our Crew’s knowledge and expertise of the game will provide you with invaluable guidance for landing that big fish!”
Photo Courtesy of Grand Slam Charters