Whether you are an avid angler who has mastered the art of freshwater trout fishing or a new-recruit to the thrill of chasing a blue marlin, Turks and Caicos fishing will provide the perfect setting from which to cast your line into the unknown.  The beauty of the islands where nature and man can commune with ease, provide a haven of gorgeous resorts and exclusive Turks and Caicos villas where you can set up base camp and enjoy a vacation that centres on fishing in Turks and Caicos.

Fishing in Turks and Caicos is one of the many hings to do during your stay in this Caribbean paradise.

Introduction to Fishing in Turks and Caicos

Let’s start off with a little bit of information about Turks and Caicos.  This group of about 40 low lying coral islands, 5 of which are inhabited, are located in the Atlantic.  In all regards though, the islands have a Caribbean flourish.  With up to 360 days of sunshine each year, the dry climate ensures the perfect conditions for enjoying a vacation both on and off the water.

The main island, Providenciales or Provo, is the largest of the islands and Grand Turk, further south, is the administrative capital of this island group.  It’s only a short hop by plane between Provo and Grand Turk and there are boat links that can ferry vacationers between some of the smaller islands.

Book out a private charter to experience the very best of Turks and Caicos fishing

The turquoise waters are clear and temperate with an extensive reef system (the 2nd largest in the world).  This underwater architecture is the perfect haven for marine life and it attracts many species and subsequently their larger fishy predators – see our guide including Turks and Caicos Marinas for more information.  And like all food chain structures, the fisherman is the ultimate predator … unless you get onto the wrong side of a shark, of course!

So, what exactly can you angle for when fishing Turks and Caicos?


Fish – What you can expect to find.

If, like me, your knowledge of fish is almost solely (pun!) menu based, you might benefit from this brief introduction to some of our piscatory pals that are born, live and reproduce in and around the sublime shores of Turks and Caicos.

Blue Marlin – is the gold standard catch for any big game fishing enthusiast.  These kingly creatures move with fluency through the waters around the islands.  A mature fish can weight up to 1,600lbs.  They have a cobalt blue back and the distinctive long spear-shaped upper jaw.  Not always easy to hook one of these intelligent creatures but ask any angler who has brought one ashore – it’s the ultimate rush.

Discover a wide variety of species as you go fishing Turks and Caicos

Sailfish – Another spectacular looking fish.  They can reach weights of up to 200lbs.  They have a distinctive fin that runs the entire length of their backs.  The sail fin is not unfurled when they swim though.  It is generally used as a camouflage when hunting.

Yellowfin Tuna – muscular, fast and strong reaching weights of up to 400lbs.  The second dorsal fin is bright yellow.  Hence its name.

Blackfin Tuna – reaching weight of just 46lbs – these are the minnows of the Tuna Family.  With distinctive black backs, the are a more manageable catch.

Wahoo – with a long, narrow body, this fish can reach weights of up to 160lbs.  With the ability to accelerate to speeds of 60mph, this is one of the fastest fish in the ocean.  Interestingly, its attractive blue, black markings fade rapidly after death.

Grouper – these are not the prettiest of fish. They are slow moving and barrel shaped.  Sometimes weighing up to 200lbs, they use their large gaping mouths to vacuum up their prey.  They have large plates in their pharynx that they use to crush smaller fish and crustaceans.

Tarpon – with a lovely blueish or greenish back, this fish can grow up to weights of about 250lbs.  They move between freshwater and saltwater habitats.  They have a distinctive jutting lower jaw.  Sleek with silver scales.

Bone Fish – Bone fishing can be enjoyed from the shore or a shallow-draft boat.  These fish, reaching a mature weight of 19lbs, favour the inshore tropical waters around the islands.  The fish are silvery, sometimes with a dark green hue along their backs.  It’s not unusual for people to enjoy bone fishing simply to catch and release.

Book from a variety of professional Turks and Caicos fishing charters and catch your next meal

In addition to the main eventers above, an angler could also hook Snook, Needlefish, Bonitos or the commonplace mackerel.  For a bit of drama, you might land a barracuda – please do mind your fingers and toes.  These are savage brutes.


What’s your style of Fishing?

If you are a family group or a huntin’/fishin’ group on vacation, then the half-day boat charter (or for multiple days) might be the ideal trip for you.  Leaving either Provo or Grand Turk, a 30ft boat, built comfortably to allow the trip to be a relaxing as well as efficient day of fishing is the way to go. A fishing trip is only one of the best things to do in Turks and Caicos.  A Captain and crew with local knowledge will understand where best to direct your efforts.  The fishing grounds vary due to what you are hoping to land or the time of year.

For example, the Columbus Passage a 22 mile-wide stretch of water is a super-highway that runs between the Turks and the Caicos islands.  This is the route of choice for some of the bigger game fish.  Marlins, Tuna, Wahoos and Sailfish enjoy feasting in the plentiful supply of fish, squid and shellfish in these waters.  Any experienced fishing guide can put you in the right place at the right time to get the most from your charter.

Turks and Caicos fly fishing is one of the many activities you must try during your next TCI vacation

I have yet to hear of a trip out that didn’t return with some pretty impressive catches.  The key is always to hire local crews who not only have years of experience leading fishing tours but who also have the prerequisite licenses needed before you can cast a line anywhere in Turks and Caicos.

The Turks and Caicos fishing charters not only understand how to translate a day at sea into a thrilling angling experience but they can help introduce amateurs to the sport.  If any within your group are not keen on the sport side of the trip, the Captain and crew usually have some interesting historical tales to tell and can ensure the voyage out will take the group past some picturesque coves and islands.

The well-established charters will also know how to fillet and pack your catch in ice so that when you get back to your gorgeous Exceptional Villa, you can embrace your ‘early man’ vibe and cook what you’ve killed.  The freshness of this fish, the pleasure of cooking it on your own BBQ, pairing it with the perfect wine or beer – this is what an incredible vacation looks and tastes like! If you don’t manage to catch anything, don’t worry, you can always dine out in some of the best Turks and Caicos restaurants for some delicious fresh fish.


Bottom Fishing

If you are a newby to the world of angling, this heading might have your head swimming with lots of interesting ideas …. What goes on tour, stays on tour etc.  Well, I am glad to report that Bottom Fishing or Reef Fishing is a very respectable activity for any holiday to Turks and Caicos.

With an extensive reef system that weaves around the islands, there are many excellent areas for a boat to weigh anchor and for you to enjoy some deep sea or fly fishing Turks and Caicos style.  The benefits of reef fishing rather than the big game fishing, is that the boat trips take place closer to home and the pilots can navigate into less choppy waters.  If you have fellow-travellers who feel rather queasy at sea, the sea movement around the reefs can be a bit less turbulent.  It also allows for a break in fishing and guests can pull on their snorkel gear and dive into the waters.

Delve into the crystallized, turquoise waters or indulge in some fishing in Turks and Caicos

I always believe that when we get a chance to see our scaly friends in their natural habitats, it is a little harder to get back on the boat and try to deprive them of their happy existence.  As you snorkel you will see vast clouds of silver fish that move in magical unison.  Like a flock of starlings that sweep across a sky, their colourful marine counterparts move through the oceans with similar grace.  Individually they may seem rather mundane but when grouped within their large schools they become quite a majestic sight.

If you have a particular interest in Bone fishing Turks and Caicos provides ample opportunity.  With endless miles of shallow coastal waters, these silvery specimens enjoy pottering around mudflats and reef areas where they have a plentiful supply of snacks.


Shore Fishing

This is the final format available to a would-be angler who is holidaying in Turks and Caicos.  I am told by my fisher friends that it is the stillness, peace and at-one-with-nature that is the lure (another pun!) for this heavenly pass-time.  It is a silent meditation and time to contemplate one’s existence.  Rule one:  Never take a chatty person on a fishing trip.  It just doesn’t work!  Rule two:  take a picnic or at least a yummy snack.  Food tastes better in the outdoors – period!  A thermos of good coffee, a quiet rocky outcrop and a book can turn a sporting expedition into a full mind/body rejuvenation event!

As well, if you are lucky enough to be staying on South Caicos, it is perhaps one of those amazing father/son bonding experiences when you head off in all your manly splendour with some rods and lines to experience man vs the elements along a quiet and pristine beach.  Of course, it’s not a pursuit for the male of the species.  Whatever I know about freshwater fishing I learnt alongside my father in the rivers of the West of Ireland.  Funnily, the same important rules taught to me, way back when, by my late father, still apply today.  Never fish out of season.  (Note – If you are in search of particular game, have a look at the Turks and Caicos fishing calendar)

Always throw back the small fish and give them an opportunity to grow and reproduce.  Never net anything that is on any protected species list and, lastly, respect your environment – always.  I cannot say that I am a mad keen sportswoman.  In the same way that I prefer never to pick wildflowers, I like to see most of the natural world flourishing in its own environment.  Yet, for all of that, I respect man’s (and woman’s) desire to hunt but always with respect for the natural laws while observing the time old rites and rituals.

With sustainability such a hot topic, it’s worth doing your homework before you embark on any Turks and Caicos fly fishing outings.  It’s always important to get local knowledge as some areas are designated as wildlife and marine reserves and it is not permitted to fish in these waters


Conclusion

This is the merest flavour of the wild world of fishing among the Turks and Caicos islands.  At Exceptional Villas our experienced concierge teams have curated some of the finest fishing vacations for visitors across the Caribbean. We have relationships with some of the very best charters and guides who can ensure you and your group enjoy a five-star service on your fishing expeditions.

With a profusion of Turks and Caicos fishing charters, there are many fun opportunities to go fishing around the island

Of course, when your hang up your rods and reels after a long day chasing some elusive fin, you will want to glide into the luxurious comfort of beautiful accommodations.  Do have a look at some of the gorgeous villas that we can offer you across the whole of the Turks and Caicos region or take a look at our Turks and Caicos travel guide on some of the key destinations to discover.  A spacious villa, overlooking the ocean with all of the perks of being part of a fully-serviced resort, might really suit your needs.

Sometimes, a self-contained property a little away from the hub-bub of the busier islands might be more conducive to your vacationing needs. Allow us an opportunity to match you to the perfect space that will allow you to unwind to perfection.

We specialise in creating memorable vacations for all of our guests.  So whether you are all anglers or not, we can create adventures for the whole group to enjoy separately or together.

And finally, most of our properties have fully-functioning kitchens and terrace BBQs that will give you an opportunity to create a divine dinner from your freshly caught fish.  Sitting under a star-filled sky, enjoying a leisurely dinner, telling the tall tales of the blue marlin that got away … what could be lovelier.  It’s easy to see why an Exceptional Villa vacation is the perfect catch!

About Mairead Moriarty

Born and raised in Co Kerry, lived in London, New York, San Francisco, Dublin. Owner of one very battered suitcase, a well-worn passport and a million memories. It seems very fitting for a travel writer that my surname translates as ‘Skilled Navigator’. Apart from an occasion when, aged 3, I got lost in a Supermarket in Tralee, I have managed to live up to my name! Curiosity is probably the driver that has sent me on magical mystery tours around the world. I want to ‘feel’ a place. I want all my senses to be engaged: from the history and geography that has influenced a country or city, the arts and achievements of its natives, anything and everything really. Regardless of whether I am on a local train travelling through Morocco, or poking around in Marconi’s study in Bologna or on a canal boat weaving through the heart of the English countryside, the same rules apply - ask questions, talk to locals, eat what they eat, sit quietly with nature and simply be. Assimilate as much as is possible so as to understand the soul of a place. That is my passion. That is the compass by which I navigate.

Have Your Say!