The US Virgin Islands Best Guide

St. Thomas: Fishing

Amazing experiences await anglers in St. Thomas! Go offshore fishing in pursuit of Marlin, Sailfish, Dolphin Fish (Mahi-Mahi), Wahoo and Tuna. Or try your luck getting a bite and reeling in some Kingfish, Barracuda, Bonito, Jacks or Yellowtail Snapper while inshore fishing.

Wondering when the best time of the year is to come to St. Thomas and haul in that big catch you can go home and talk about for years! The short answer is that some species are around all year and others have peak seasons. Fishing charter operators and captains are knowledgeable about the islands’ waters and seasons. They can provide information on what you might find on the end of your line when you go fishing with them during your St. Thomas vacation.

Fishing charters in St. Thomas include inshore, offshore, and marlin trips. A few charters offer trips starting at 2 hours; however, the most common are ½ day trips (4 hours, typically between 8 a.m. and noon or 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.); ¾ of a day (6 hours); a full day (8 hours); and Marlin trips (10 hours, usually 7:30 a.m. to dusk). Short trips are generally for inshore fishing only. Boat capacity of 4 to 6 passengers is common. Rates for fishing charters vary depending on length of trip, size of boat, inclusion of fuel in the rate versus fuel being a surcharge, and differences in services and equipment provided. Fishing charters generally have the details of their trips listed on their websites or can provide the information by email or telephone upon request. Explore your options, book a fishing trip, and have a great time!

Want to eat what you catch? Guests can generally request some of their catch, for example, up to 20 lbs; the remainder stays with the boat. If you are interested in keeping some of your catch to take back to your vacation rental to cook, be sure to ask about it. If you are staying in a hotel, you can ask the captain for suggestions of restaurants close to the marina that will cook your catch for you!

If you are an avid fisher, you might consider planning your vacation to St. Thomas around a fishing tournament. You can be a spectator or participate; some fishing charters are available for tournaments! Here is a sample: Memorial Day Tournament (May), Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament (July), and Wahoo Windup Tournament (November). The biggest of the fishing tournaments in St. Thomas is the USVI Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin Tournament (August).

For more information on fish species caught around the Virgin Islands, including location, season, and bait, visit the Virgin Islands Fishing Guide and for regulations, visit VI Fishing Regulations.

Virgin Islands Books & Maps