Bermuda is located in the western North Atlantic Ocean. It is an archipelago of seven main islands with about 170 rocks and islets. The archipelago is about 24 miles long and less than a mile in width. The main islands are clustered together in the shape of a fishhook. They are all connected by bridges. Bermuda has no rivers or lakes but is fringed by the coral reef.
Things to Know Before Fishing in Bermuda
The typical catch that you get in Bermuda is the Bonefish, which are caught in the shallow waters. You can also catch snapper, Pompano, and barracuda. The best time to plan a fishing vacation in Bermuda is between May and November. In the wintertime, you can even catch Bonefish and will weigh 6 to 10 pounds and be medium-sized. They like to hide in the sheltered shallow water and are strong pulling fish.
If you go from May to June, you will get more Wahoo and Yellowfin Tuna than any other fish. From June onwards there are different species of sharks, amberjacks, and mahi-mahi. In the Atlantic Ocean, surrounding Bermuda, you may be able to catch black-fin tuna, groupers, snappers, rainbow runners, and rockfish. There are more than 27 species of game fish you might be able to catch. Many skilled and experienced veteran fishermen will offer their guidance and boats to take you to the best fishing areas.
Bermuda Fishing Regulations
You do not have to have any type of license or permit if you are fishing in Bermuda. If you wanted to go lobster diving or spear fishing, these would require a license but at the time they are only issued to residents of Bermuda. There are certain sizes and limits for certain species. Some of these include:
- Black rockfish/grouper — 1 per day, 37 inches
- Yellowmouth grouper — 1 per day, 20 inches
- Yellowtail snapper — 12 inches
- Lane snapper — 30 per day, 10 inches
Some of the Best Places to Fish in Bermuda
Shore Fishing in Bermuda
When you shore fish, you want to look for a large expanse of shallow water along the shore. Great Sound, West Whale Bay, Little Sound, and Spring Benny’s Bay in the western part of the island are all great places for shore fishing. Daniel’s Head and Ely’s Harbor near the Somerset Bridge on the western end are also popular areas to shore fish. Shore fishing is also good on the southern side. On the eastern side, you have Hamilton Parrish, Harrington Sound, and St. George’s Harbor.
Reef Fishing in Bermuda
The coral reefs that surround Bermuda are often great spots for fishing. You may catch barracuda, little tunny, and various species of snapper like yellowtail, lane, and Grey along with Bermuda chub. Reef fishing will give you a very unique fishing experience. Depending on the reef you choose, each one will give you a different experience. The reefs around Bermuda have formed three bands. The nearest reef band is about five miles from shore. This is where most of the reef fishing is done. If you want to go to one of the other reefs, you will be spending a lot of time there and back but not a lot of time fishing.
This is a more affordable option if you are charting a boat as it is quicker to get there and the boat uses less fuel, which is expensive in Bermuda.
Deep-sea Fishing in Bermuda
You have to experience deep-sea fishing if you want to catch the big one. To do this, you have to charter a fishing boat to go offshore. In Bermuda, when deep-sea fishing, you could catch blue and white marlin, rainbow runner, black or yellowfin tuna, or Wahoo. What you might catch will depend on the month you will be there.
If you are lucky enough to hook a Wahoo, they are among the fastest fish and can weigh up to 100 pounds. They will give you a run for your money trying to reel them in. One thing to remember is that you need to handle it carefully because they have razor-sharp teeth and could bite you. The yellowfin tuna can weigh up to 200 pounds and are big fighters. With this fish, you will need to be patient and have some strength to haul them aboard.
The Blue Marlins is the most coveted catch for those that go deep-sea fishing. They can grow to where they weigh over 1,000 pounds but the average weight is between 400 and 600 pounds. You will generally see more white marlins than blue ones. The white marlins are smaller but they still put up a fight In June you will see both of these types of marlin but from July when the water starts to heat up, there will be more blue marlin. Starting in September, when the waters start to cool down, the white marlins will start to return.
Two of the best areas for deep-sea fishing are in the areas around Challenger Banks and Argus. They are both located several miles off the southwestern end of Bermuda; Argus is about 30 miles and Challenger Bay is about 12 miles away. They have about a depth of 30 fathoms with a plateau of water that is flat. In the middle of these waters, you will find plenty of small fish. The larger game fish normally follow the edge of the water banks. Where you will fish in the banks will depend on the weather conditions
If there are strong tides, it can spoil the bottom fishing so during this time trolling is what is normally used. When trolling is used, you would use fish finders and depth sounders as you follow the edges of the water bank. Sometimes the tide will drift the fish right at the edge so you can anchor up and use chumming. This is when anchovies and bait are cut up into small pieces and thrown into the water continually, allowing them to drift toward the edge along with the tide to draw in the fish so you have a better chance of hooking them.
Renting a Charter Boat in Bermuda
In Bermuda, when you rent a charter, most offer a half or full day of fishing that is run by captains that are experienced. Since it takes a while to get to many of the top fishing spots by boat, to ensure you get enough fishing time, book for a full day. When you charter a boat, the time to get to and back from a spot is taken from the time you have to fish. Most half-day charters are four hours so if it takes an hour to get to the spot and an hour back, you will only have a couple of hours to fish. That is not much time to fish.
Chartering a boat is the best way to reef or deep-sea fish in Bermuda. Some even charter them for inshore fishing. When you charter a boat, make sure that it is a reputable company. The personnel at the resort or hotel can usually tell you who to hire. You will have a boat that is equipped for fishing, including the right bait, tackle, and rods. The experienced captain will know the best places to fish and maybe even show you some different techniques to help you catch the big one. Most of the charter boats are 30 to 40 feet long. Once you are at the fishing spot, the charters will generally set up the rods with a 20-130 pound test line, depending on what you want to catch.
The charter boats generally have different kinds of devices and sonar fish finders to help you locate the fish. You will also be fitted with safety devices to help prevent you from being dragged into the water if you catch a strong fighting fish like marlin or tuna. Boat chartering can be expensive but it depends on the chartering company and the length of the charter. For deep-sea fishing, it can range from $1600 to $3000. They will usually provide all the fishing equipment and bottled water but not your meals or other beverages. Many times, unless it is a catch and release fish, the captain of the charter will keep the fish caught to help offset the costs to run the boat but will usually give you some of the fish if you request it.
Bermuda Attractions also has a helpful fishing guide for additional reference.
When in Bermuda, if you know how to operate a boat, some will hire out a small boat that is simple to operate if you want to go reef fishing but there are restrictions on where you can take the boat. Make sure that you know the restricted areas. Bermuda is a great place to go fishing for game fish or even some of the smaller fish. Generally, the waters are warm and the weather is nice and tropical. One thing to remember is that if you go shore fishing, you will need your tackle. There are a few shops that will sell you the tackle that you need.
You may also like to read the Ultimate Guide to Fishing in Fiji