St. John Fishing
INSHORE & OFFSHORE FISHING -- OCEAN SURFARI

World class fishing at its finest and Saint John offers professional seasoned Captains ready to show you the best fishing day of your vacation!  Whether you enjoy fly fishing or inshore/offshore fishing, Saint John offers the best fishing charters year round. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions and Fishing Regulations below to make sure you are following strict U.S. Virgin Islands Fishing Guidelines.  Get ready to have some fishing fun while you catch & keep the best fish of the Caribbean!

There are three fishing categories:  shoreline fly fishing, inshore fishing, and offshore bluewater fishing.

Shoreline fly fishing includes fishing from beaches, docks, and rocky outcroppings, as well as lagoons and shallow water flats. You can fish in the traditional native manner using hand lines or with a rod and reel.  Bonefish, tarpon, jacks, snappers, small sharks, and barracudas can be caught in shallow flats and lagoons. You can fish for snapper and other reef fish from the rocks or cast out from the beach for jacks, blue runners, Spanish mackerel, and permit.

Inshore fishing includes bottom fishing and trolling.  Using rod and reel or hand line, bottom fishing off of the coral reefs can bring in snapper, parrotfish, rock hind, grunts, and blue tang.  Spanish mackerel, kingfish, barracuda, and amberjacks can be caught trolling around reefs, rocky cays, and jutting headlands.

IMPORTANT:  Be aware that some fish in Virgin Islands waters may harbor Ciguatera, a type of fish poisoning that though rarely fatal, can make you really sick.  Certain species, such as barracudas and amberjacks, are more likely to harbor the poison than other species, and larger ones will be more likely than smaller ones.  Check with your Captain to help identify suspect species.

Bluewater offshore fishing generally takes place along the North or South Drops where water depth descends sharply from about 80 – 120 feet to 600 – 1800 feet.  This is where the serious sport fisherman can try their hand against the famed blue marlin, sailfish, tuna, wahoo, bonito, and dolphin (mahi-mahi).

CONCH

Minimum size 9″ shell length from the spire to the distal end, or 3/8″ lip thickness.  Must land whole in shell.  Territorial Waters – 6 per day per fisher, not to exceed 24 per boat per day.  Federal Waters – 3 per day per fisher, not to exceed 12 per boat.  No use of hookah gear.  National Park Waters – 2 per fisher per day.  Closed season July 1 – Sept 30.

SPINY LOBSTER

Carapace must be greater than 3.5 inches in length.  Must land whole.  No harvest of females with eggs.  No spear fishing, hooks, or gigs.  National Park Waters – 2 per fisher per day.

YELLOWTAIL SNAPPER

12″ total length

BLUE MARLIN

99″ Lower Jaw Fork Length.  Rod and reel only.  Territorial Waters – No Commercial Harvest; no sale.

WHITE MARLIN

66″ Lower Jaw Fork Length.  Rod and reel only.  Territorial Waters – No Commercial Harvest; no sale.

SAILFISH

63″ Lower Jaw Fork Length.  Rod and reel only.

Territorial Waters extend from shore to 3 miles offshore.  Federal Waters extend from 3-200 nautical miles offshore.

Note: Information for this section was gathered from the U.S. Virgin Islands Commercial & Recreational Fishers’ Information Booklet published by the Division of Fish and Wildlife DPNR and the Division of Environmental Enforcement, dated July 2003.

National Park Service – Fishing with a hand-held rod and line or hand line is permitted, with the exception of boat exclusion zones. Possession or use of spearfishing equipment is prohibited.

FREQUENTLY ASKED “FISHING” QUESTIONS

Is it possible to go Offshore Fishing on a half day Fishing Charter?  

Yes!  The famous “South Drop” fishing area is approximately eight miles south of Saint John and can be reached by boat in 30 minutes.

What type of fish can I expect to reel in?

OFFSHORE FISH that are most often targeted include:

  • Blue Marlin (Catch and Release Only)
  • White Marlin (Catch and Release Only)
  • Mahi Mahi
  • Yellowfin Tuna
  • Blackfin Tuna
  • Wahoo
  • Sailfish
  • Shark

 

INSHORE FISH that are most often targeted include:

  • Kingfish
  • Bonita
  • Barracuda
  • Snapper
  • Permit
  • Tarpon
  • Jacks
  • Grouper
  • Mackerel
  • Shark

Can I fish for a specific species?

Yes, your Fishing Charter Captain and Crew will make every effort to target your fish of choice, but your Catch will depend on the time of year, fishing location, and sea conditions.

If I catch a fish can I take it back to my resort?

Yes, you can keep what you Catch!  Guests are welcome to take as much fish as they can utilize during their stay on the island.  Several resorts and restaurants on island are happy to cook your Catch, such as Woody’s Seafood Saloon (Hook & Cook).

Will the Fishing Charter clean the fish I catch?

Yes. Complimentary filleting of your Catch will be provided, keep all the fish you wish!

Can I mount my Catch?

Yes, your Catch can be mounted.  We would be happy to put you in touch with a fish mounting specialist.

Do I need a fishing license?

Fishing licenses are not required on Fishing Charters, as well as Individual licenses are not required for fishing in the waters of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

FISHING REGULATIONS

It’s illegal to take, kill, molest, harass or remove turtles or turtle eggs.  All species are protected by the Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973.  It is illegal to remove, injure, break or destroy any living coral.  It is illegal to spearfish for lobsters in all Territorial waters.  It is illegal to possess or harvest Goliath Grouper, also called Jewfish.  It is illegal to possess or harvest Nassau Grouper.  It is illegal to possess or harvest Foureye, Banded, and Longsnout Butterflyfishes in Federal waters.  It is illegal to possess or harvest seahorses in Federal waters.

In National Park waters, fishing is allowed outside of swim areas, but not in Trunk Bay and Jumbie Bay on St. John.

It is illegal to use or possess spearfishing equipment anywhere within National Park boundaries.

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