A Beginner’s Guide to Fishing Charters

Grand Cayman fishing charters

Grand Cayman is a well-liked stop for cruise ships, offering many activities for their passengers. Many activities exist, from visiting a tropical Caribbean cave to trying deep-sea fishing.

One of the most popular activities is to swim and feed wild stingrays at Stingray City. Other fun activities include snorkelling the Barrier Reef or exploring a mangrove forest.

Fishing in the Cayman Islands

A trip to the Cayman Islands is an excellent opportunity for anglers to pursue bonefish and tarpon. Bonefish averaging 4-5 lbs are found in land-locked brackish canals and mangrove flats island-wide and can be enticed by a fly or spinner with light tackle. Tarpons are aplenty here, as well. These apex predators can be found in shallow flats and nearshore reefs yearly. They’re typically caught on trolling and live bait techniques and can be targeted year-round except for December through March.

Reef fishing is popular on Grand Cayman, with the vast barrier reef system teeming with fish. Species can be pulled from the reefs, including barracuda, grouper, mackerel, and snapper. Wahoo, yellowfin tuna, and mahi mahi (also known as dolphin) are abundant on the reefs.

A seasoned guide can help novice anglers improve their skills and ensure a safe, fun day of fishing on the water. A guide will select the right gear for each trip, determine the best time and location to fish, and handle all post-catch tasks like cleaning and weighing your catch.

Planning a Fishing Trip

Once you’ve booked Grand Cayman fishing charters, ensure you have all the supplies you need for your trip. This includes sunscreen, food, and drinks (you may find that your guide has specific “onboard policies”). It’s also good to ask about extra charges like tipping, fish cleaning, alcohol, and fishing licenses.

You’ll want to think about how hands-on you want your trip to be. Do you want to be catching bait, setting the hook, and reeling in your catch, or would you prefer to relax and cruise the waters? Knowing this beforehand can help you determine what time of day you should book your trip.

Consider whether you want to visit one of Cayman’s top-rated fishing spots. Many companies offer excursion combinations, including a trip to the reef and other fun activities, such as snorkelling, diving for lobster, or cruising around the mangroves. 

Deep Sea Fishing

The ocean depths in Grand Cayman plummet more than 2,000 feet, providing an ideal habitat for big game fish. While seasoned anglers can enjoy this thrill, the experience has challenges for beginners.

When deep-sea fishing, keeping lines as close together as possible is essential. This helps to avoid tangles that can be difficult to untangle, especially while the boat turns. It’s also a good idea to change bait regularly to help encourage a bite.

Before a trip, it’s also recommended to bring plenty of food and water and over-the-counter nausea medication for those prone to seasickness. It’s a good idea to wear light clothing and bring sunscreen and sunglasses as needed. Be sure to check the weather conditions for the day of your charter, as windy weather can make the trip rough. Also, try to choose a day when the sea looks calm. Following these steps will guarantee a seamless journey and a pleasurable experience.

Reef Fishing

If you enjoy fishing for various fish species while snorkelling and diving, consider booking a reef fishing charter. You can catch these fish using various techniques, including bottom fishing and chumming. Trolling is also effective, but you generally want to keep the lures at or near the surface since anchoring can cause damage to the coral reefs.

It’s a good idea to book a reef fishing trip with a guide, especially if you’re a first-time angler or are fishing in unfamiliar waters. A guide will be responsible for the success of your charter, from planning the trip and selecting gear to identifying fish when they’re most prone to bite and handling all post-catch tasks. You’ll also get a chance to learn tips from the guide, which will make your next outing even more successful.

Flats Fishing

Gin-clear water sits inches thick on soft, white sands, and exotic game fish dart through the open expanse around you. That’s the image that comes to mind when many people think of flats fishing, one that makes this style of angling so appealing.

However, many beginners need help to catch trophy fish on the flats because they need to learn the nuances of this style of angling. Some experts have tips and tricks to help even novice anglers master this specialized style.

The first tip is to train your eyes. Focus on looking “through the water” rather than at it. Look for mud-ups, feed marks, small channels, and other signs of life on the flats. Look for contrast, too. Look for areas where clear water meets muddy or deeper water meets shallower water.

Also, pay attention to the barometric pressure. High barometric pressure holds water levels low, while low pressure pushes water levels up. This is especially important on the flats, which can trigger feeding or deter it. You can learn more about these factors by visiting local, on-the-water fish reports and weather websites.