Fiji is the heart of the South Pacific and has an archipelago of more than 300 tropical islands and 500 islets. The total land area of Fiji is about 18,300 square miles. Of all these islands, about 110 are inhabited permanently. Fiji is part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean. Most of the islands of Fiji were formed through volcanic activity.
Because of its fertile underwater ecosystem, Fiji is a fisherman’s paradise. The fish there range from small reef fish to the larger game fish. The fish here will challenge even the most experienced fisherman.
Things to Know Before Fishing in Fiji
In Fiji, Namotu Island is the most popular area to go for game fishing. The fishing experts there will be glad to tell you where the best fishing spots are and how you can maximize how many fish you catch. This is a great place to fish year-round. The best time to fish in Fiji depends on the type of fish you want to catch. Numerous species of fish can be found year-round due to the warm tropical waters but some species are more plentiful during certain times.
For example, you are in Fiji to catch Mahi Mahi, which you can do year-round. If you are planning a vacation to Fiji, when should you plan it to make sure you can have a better chance of catching one? The answer is they make an appearance that is big July through August and December through February. Other species you can catch all year but the best time to fish for them include:
- Giant Trevally — February and April
- Wahoo — April-October but more abundant in July and August
- Spanish Mackerel — August and November through December
- Blue Marlin — February-March
- Sailfish — June-July
- Yellowfin Tuna — March-April
- Marlin — Blue are February-April and Black or Striped from July-October
Fiji Fishing Regulations
Billfish are caught and released only to boost the conservation of these species. For recreational fishing, you are not required to have a license but there are keep limits and size restrictions.
Minimum size limit
- Barracuda — 300 mm
- Grey Mullet — 200 mm
- Trevally — 300 mm
- Glassperch — 150 mm
- Rock Cod, Salmon Cod, and Grouper — 250 mm
- Sturgeon fish — 200 mm
- Snapper — 300 mm
How to Fish in Fiji
- When you are fishing in Fiji, it helps to remember the best areas for big game fishing, which are northern Taveuni, Southern Mamanuca Islands, Kadavu, and southern Viti Levu.
- Know which fish are caught and released so you are not disappointed when you cannot keep what you caught. Most species of the Billfish are catch and release. You should also know the size restriction.
- You will have to learn different fishing techniques, especially if you are new to deep-sea fishing. In the deep waters, you will have a variety of techniques from bait-and-switch to downrigging.
- You will need to remember that in protected marine reserves, fishing is illegal so you need to find out which ones these are.
- No fishing off the reefs just outside any villages without asking them for permission first. That is the local custom.
- Using a fishing charter is the best way to fish if you do not know the fishing rules and regulations.
- The primary method of fishing is the trolling method as this will entice a bite from various species. You can use live or dead bait or lures.
Game Fish in Fiji
This is one of the most challenging fish you can try to catch and also the fastest in the waters of Fiji. It is nothing to be deep-sea fishing and see packs of Wahoo flying through the air as they try to attack your lure. They range in size from 50 to 1000 pounds. Most use the heavy tackle to hook them but some have more fun with light tackle.
These tuna migrate through the waters of Fiji two times a year but you can catch them year-round. The best thing about this game fish is that when you hook them, they will put up a fight. They make you work harder to catch them than most other big game fish. They can range from 15 to 50 pounds but there have been some caught that weighed 180 pounds.
This is one of the most rewarding fish you can try to catch. They are generally found only a few kilometers off the shores of the islands. You will have fun hooking this one with a light tackle but if you prefer, you can use a heavy tackle. They have an extraordinary color and can weigh from 11 to 55 pounds.
Make your fishing trip memorable with the explosive and dynamic demeanor of this game fish. They are often found trolling for other fish species like Wahoo, following the birds, or sticking to the barrier reefs and outer slopes. They are known for their long dorsal fin that mimics a sail and their long bill. This is a catch and release fish only.
This game fish will give you a fight when you hook them. It is known to be one of the toughest fighting fish in Fiji. They weigh from 11 to 110 pounds. They usually go for surface lures so try to cast a popper above the reefs and then wind it back in. You want to make sure that your popper skips along the surface. When they smash the popper down, the fish will try to take it back to the reef, and that is when the fight begins.
Some of the Best Places to Fish in Fiji
This island is part of the Mamanuca Islands. It is well known for its deep-sea fishing, which is first-rate. When fishing here, there are many different species of fish you can catch. Some of the types of fishing and fish you can catch are:
- Trolling — Mahi Mahi, Black and Blue Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, Spanish Mackerel, Sailfish
- Soft plastic/Jigging — Dogtooth Tuna, Spanish Mackerel, Trout, Red Bass
- Popping — Bluefin Trevally, Green Job Fish, Long Nose Emperor, Spanish Mackerel, Red Bass
- Light tackle — Trout, Long Nose Emperor, Red Bass, Spanish Mackerel
- Live baiting — Dogtooth Tuna, Spanish Mackerel, Sailfish
- Game — Yellowfin Tuna, Marlin
- Fly — Bluefin Trevally, Mack Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, Skip Jack Tuna
- Deep drop — Ruby Snapper, Flame Tail Snapper, Gold Band Snapper, Rusty Job Fish, Spotted Grouper, and many more bottom dwellers.
This is the capital of Fiji and is located off the southeast coast of Viti Levu. Here, it is teeming with underwater life. You can find an abundance of Giant Trevally, various Marlin, and Yellowfin Tuna. Northeast of Suva is a great spot to catch schooling species like Mackerel and Tuna with small groups of Marlin chasing the schools.
In the waters around this island, you will find Blue and Black Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, Spanish Mackerel, and Wahoo. The waters fish well year-round. Northeast of Suva is a great spot to catch schooling species like Mackerel and Tuna.
General Fishing Spots in Fiji
The channels around Namotu Island are home to a variety of fish such as Wahoo, Giant Trevally, Marlin, and Spanish Mackerel. The reason for all this great fishing in these areas is due in part to the warm temperatures of the ocean. In southern Viti Levu, you can find colorful Mah Mahi, also known as Dolphin Fish, Wahoo, Tuna. The deep channels of Bega are also filled with a variety of species of fish. For example, the Marlin, which can weigh between 400-800 pounds or the Spanish Mackerel, which can weigh between 50-100 pounds
On the northern coast of Taveuni, the reef along Laucala ad Matangi Island is an excellent area to fish for the larger game fish. The southern Mamanuca Islands is also a great area for game fishing.
To see more specifics about the best fishing spots in Fiji, head over to this blog.
In Fiji, there is no bad time to plan a vacation fishing trip but there are certain times of the year when certain species are more in abundance. The summer in Fiji is from November to May, also known as the wet season. In their summer, this is when you will have fewer fishing days because during this time is when you will experience high winds.
If you want to target a particular game fish or experience reef fishing, come during their winter, or dry season. This is between June and September.If you plan to do some deep-sea fishing, you should book your charter before you go to ensure that you will be able to go deep-sea fishing. If you decide after arriving you want to charter a boat, ask the locals for a reputable charter boat. The resort where you are staying may have a list of ones that are reputable and would be great to hire. Deep-sea fishing, reef fishing, it does not matter as you will enjoy doing either one.
Read more: Ultimate Guide to Fishing in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic