Puerto Rico Fishing

Puerto Rico is nicknamed “The Island of Enchantment or La Isla del Encanto.” The island is divided into seven sections; the capital district of SanJuan, the North, the South, the East, the West, the Central Mountains and the islands off the eastern coast of Vieques and Culebra. It has so much on such a small island to see, do and experience. There is a lush tropical rainforest, mountains with impressive views and coffee plantations, breathtaking beaches and colorful reefs teeming with marine life. There is a rich history and culture with many historical sites and festivals held all over the island. Puerto Rico has delicious food like mofongo, a mashed plantain dish usually with fresh seafood or chicken or beef. And the hospitality can not be beat. The locals are warm and friendly and help you enjoy the island and maybe dance the Salsa. The word in Spanish “buena gente,” which means good people, is used to describe the Puerto Ricans, but they are so much more than just good people.

With more than 500 years of history, there is much to see. El Morro is a grand fort in Old San Juan, and it is a favorite for all visitors to the island. They roam the esplanade where locals fly kites, picnic, and the grounds to see how life was back when the cannons still roared. Also in Old San Juan are Castillo San Cristobal, the Catedral de San Juan, Casa Blanca and La Fortaleza. Each building has its own history. But Old San Juan is not just rich in history; it has excellent shopping, restaurants and bars. The pina colada was first concocted at Barrachina, and there are new delicious cocktails made nightly in all of the bars. Also, the national dance, Salsa, is being performed everywhere at night.

Puerto Rico has many white and golden beaches with Instagram-worthy pictures. Flamenco Beach in Culebra is voted one of the top beaches in the world year after year for its beauty. Other postcard beaches are La Playuela in Cabo Rojos, Sun Bay in Vieques and on the island of Caja del Muerto is Pelicano Beach. There are also beaches easier to access and offer visitors fun in the sun. Crash Boat in Aguadilla is a very fun and busy beach with every watersport you can think of. Also popular are Jobos, a locals favorite located in Isabella, Combate Beach in Cabo Ray where the younger crowd gathers and “surfers paradise”can be the words to describe Domes in Rincon.

The Yunque National Forest is the only rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service and has many hiking trails that take you to relaxing pools under waterfalls. There are hundreds of unique plants, animals and birds in the forest, including the Coqui Frog. There are many other areas to hike throughout the island, leading to magnificent vistas of the island or ocean/sea. There are also a lot of cave systems, including Cueva Ventana, a cave with a large hole in the wall with amazing views of the green mountains and Rio Grande de Arecibo, the Cueva del Indios, a cave with hundreds of cave drawings and engravings by the Tainos and Camuy Cave Park, the largest underground cave in the world. There are also many other exciting and fun things to see, like the Arecibo Observatory, the many islands that dot the coastline and not one but three of the only five bioluminescent bays in the world.

Puerto Rico also has some hot action going on in and on the water. Some of the best surfing in the Caribbean on the NW coast in Rincon, Isabella and Aguadilla. The water on and near Bahia Beach always has steady side winds and an endless supply of waves making for the perfect spots for windsurfers and kitesurfers. With flourishing coral reefs right inshore, Puerto Rico is a popular destination for both snorkelers and scuba divers. There is a healthy coral reef system and tons of fish.

This diversity in fish makes Puerto Rico a fishing destination. There is action everywhere, including in the lakes inland. The main fishing areas are San Juan, Fajardo to the East and Rincon to the West. These areas have lots of marinas and charters ready to take you out to sea, but you can find experienced captains all over the island. No matter where you are, with the exception of the Central Mountains, there is excellent fishing. There have been many world records taken from the waters here.

“Marlin Alley” is one of the reasons that fishing offshore on the Eastern coast is so good. The alley stretches from San Juan all the way to Fajardo. “Marlin Alley” is where two main currents, the Caribbean and North Equatorial, merge. This brings lots of the big fish that anglers worldwide want to catch; Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Sailfish and Spearfish. The best thing about this is that it is located just a short boat ride away. Closer to shore are the Mahi and Wahoo and a little farther out are the giant monsters. These rich waters make this area a must for fishing expeditions to Puerto Rico. In San Juan, you can find many of the charters ready to take you to the deep blue water at the San Juan Bay Marina. In Fajardo, there is the largest marina in the Caribbean, the Puerto del Rey Marina, where many of the best charters in the area call home. Another place you may want to go to is the west coast. The water is not as deep, but it still attracts the fish you want to hook up with. Along with top-notch offshore action, there is excellent inshore action in the reefs and the lakes, bays, and flats in and around Rincon.

Puerto Rico is one of the only places you can go where you can catch a Marlin or one of the other monsters offshore, then go inshore to target Snapper, Grouper and other fish, then go to the flats to fish for Bonefish, Snook and Tarpon and still be able to drive inland to one of the many lakes and go Peacock Bass fishing. And do all of this in one day!! The proximity of all of the fishing grounds combined with the incredible fish you can hook in the waters of this island makes Puerto Rico a must-visit for every angler.

Bonefish, Tarpon, Snook, and Permit call the shallow flats, backcountry waters and lagoons home. These are all fast-hitting thrilling fish to reel in, whether on a fly or with light tackle. San Juan’s backcountry is one of the best areas to catch a 50-100 pound Tarpon, but 150 pounders are not out of the question. While fishing for Tarpon in these waters, you may also run into Snook, Bonefish, Permit, Jacks, Barracuda and Mangrove Snapper. You can also find the “silver king” in the waters off of Culebra and Vieques. Bonefish are prized fish in the Caribbean and around the world. There are many found on the islands of Culebra and Vieques as well as in the flats and lagoons of San Juan’s backcountry. Snook is another flats fish that is fun to hook. They jump at everything, and when trying to land a Tarpon, you may find yourself with a Snook on the line instead. Just like the Tarpon, the best place for Snook is the San Juan marshes and backwater. Permits are not as popular as the other three, which is a shame because they are hard-hitting and fun to reel in. While San Juan’s backcountry is one of the best places to find all of these fish, they can also be found throughout the island. Rincon on the western tip has many flats and bays with the “Silver King” and Snook and Ladyfish. Because of the fish in Puerto Rico’s backcountry and islands, getting a grand slam, a Tarpon, Bonefish and Snook in one day of fishing is possible.

Reef fishing is excellent because the reef system surrounding the island and the smaller islands offshore is thriving with many varieties of fish, big and small. The reefs and surrounding areas are full of small trenches, drops, flats and breakers. Because of this, many different techniques can be used. Fish targetted are giant Grouper, Mutton and Yellowtail Snapper, Ladyfish, Barracuda, Jack Crevalle, African Pompano, Amberjacks, Kingfish, Blue Runners, and you can also see Blackfin Tuna and Mahi-Mahi. Reef fishing is fun for the whole family. It is also a great alternative for those that are seasick-prone. It is fun, and with such an abundance of fish, you can catch tons of fish.

The offshore grounds are not far from land, so that you will have more time with your lines in the water. Puerto Rico has been named in the 10 ten places for Marlin fishing in the world. In Fajardo is “Marlin Aley,” where two large currents converge, bringing massive fish to the waters offshore. However, Marlin is found in all of the waters around the island. This is because of the proximity of the Puerto Rico Trench, the Continental Shelf and the Sea Mounts. 150-250 lb. Marlin are waiting in all of these waters, and it is not uncommon to pull in a 300-400 beast. Along with these monsters, the Puerto Rico waters have giant Wahoo, huge Mahi Mahi and large yellowfin and blackfin tuna. These waters are some of the most fun and fruitful waters in the Caribbean. Puerto Rico has some of the most popular fishing tournaments hosted in San Juan, Fajardo and Rincon. Anglers come from all over the world to compete in these tournaments. FAD’s (fish aggregating devices) are used to attract the larger fish, making hooking up that much easier.

Puerto Rico is also one of the only places to find the Peacock Bass. They only survive in tropical waters optimally between 75-80 degrees. Originally from the Amazon in Brazil, these fish were introduced to the man-made lakes here in the 1970s, and their numbers have grown and grown. The best place to fish for these voracious fish is Lake Carraizo. Located just south of San Juan, it is not uncommon to pull 50 or more bass out of the lake. However, the limit is eight, and they must be 12 inches or more, but they are fun to catch and delicious to eat. While Peacock Bass fishing, you might also encounter Large-mouth Bass, Red Devils, Catfish, Guapote and more. Lake Carraizo may be the best place to hook into a Peacock, but it is by no means the only place on the island where they are. If you are fishing near Rincon, there are a few lakes where you can drop a line and reel in these beauties.

Puerto Rico has more than 500 years of history and much to see. El Morro is a grand fort in Old San Juan, and it is a favorite for all visitors to the island. They roam the esplanade where locals fly kites, picnic, and the grounds to see how life was back when the cannons still roared. Also in Old San Juan are Castillo San Cristobal, the Catedral de San Juan, Casa Blanca and La Fortaleza. Each building has its own history. But Old San Juan is not just rich in history; it has excellent shopping, restaurants and bars. The pina colada was first concocted at Barrachina, and there are new delicious cocktails made nightly in all of the bars. Also, the national dance, Salsa, is being performed everywhere at night.

Puerto Rico has many white and golden beaches with Instagram-worthy pictures. Flamenco Beach in Culebra is voted one of the top beaches in the world year after year for its beauty. Other postcard beaches are La Playuela in Cabo Rojos, Sun Bay in Vieques and on the island of Caja del Muerto is Pelicano Beach. There are also beaches easier to access and offer visitors fun in the sun. Crash Boat in Aguadilla is a very fun and busy beach with every watersport you can think of. Also popular are Jobos, a locals favorite located in Isabella, Combate Beach in Cabo Ray where the younger crowd gathers and “surfers paradise”can be the words to describe Domes in Rincon.

The Yunque National Forest is the only rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service and has many hiking trails that take you to relaxing pools under waterfalls. There are hundreds of unique plants, animals and birds in the forest, including the Coqui Frog. There are many other areas to hike throughout the island, leading to magnificent vistas of the island or ocean/sea. There are also a lot of cave systems, including Cueva Ventana, a cave with a large hole in the wall with amazing views of the green mountains and Rio Grande de Arecibo, the Cueva del Indios, a cave with hundreds of cave drawings and engravings by the Tainos and Camuy Cave Park, the largest underground cave in the world. There are also many other exciting and fun things to see, like the Arecibo Observatory, the many islands that dot the coastline and not one but three of the only five bioluminescent bays in the world.

Puerto Rico also has some hot action going on in and on the water. Some of the best surfing in the Caribbean on the NW coast in Rincon, Isabella and Aguadilla. The water on and near Bahia Beach always has steady side winds and an endless supply of waves making for the perfect spots for windsurfers and kitesurfers. With flourishing coral reefs right inshore, Puerto Rico is a popular destination for both snorkelers and scuba divers

Fishing in Puerto Rico is hard to beat. It should be on every angler’s bucket list no matter if they want monster Marlin, giant Tarpon, the incredibly popular and beautiful Peacock Bass or any of the other fish in the waters inland or offshore. The island has a lot of history behind it, but coming to Puerto Rico can ensure a fun time, bragging rights and an entry into your history books and maybe a world record fish.

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