Montego Bay Fishing Charters
Offshore fishing in Montego Bay, Jamaica is excellent year-round, but inshore fishing has been decimated due to too many charters and overfishing. But luckily, most anglers do not come here for reef fishing. They are here for the Blue Marlin that cruise the waters just offshore of the city. And we do mean right off the shore. In most cases, you will be dropping your lines in around five minutes. There is a massive 2000 ft. drop near the shoreline because the Cayman Trench is located just north of the island.
The up currents and geography of the trench bring krill to the surface, which brings small baitfish. They feed on the krill, and the baitfish bring big predators feeding on the baitfish. Some of these large pelagic fish are the Blue Marlin and their cousin White Marlin, Sailfish, Dorado (also called Mahi-Mahi), Wahoo and two or three species of Tuna; Yellowfin, Blackfin and Albacore. Other fish that may be in these waters too are Barracuda, Bonito, Kingfish or King Mackerel, and some species of sharks. Many of these fish can also be found in the large weedlines that are off on the surface of these deep waters. Going further out, you can target Swordfish as well.
Off of Montego Bay is the Buckner Bank which is home to many varieties of snapper; Yellowtail, Redtail, Mutton. You can also deep drop for bottom fish like Giant Grouper, Tilefish, Amberjack and more. There is some flats fishing here too. You might hook onto a Yellowtail Snapper, Barracuda, pr some Jacks. But again, the Blue Marlin is what everyone comes to catch.
Everyone is in search of “The Big One.” The summer is the best time to reel one in, and it is not unheard of to have multiple catches, even on a half-day charter. It is because of this that Montego Bay is host to the Montego Bay International Blue Marlin Tournament. This event brings anglers from all over to compete for cash prizes and the hope for automatic qualification to compete in the World Championship of Marlin Fishing in Costa Rica for the winner. The tournament is held at the Montego Bay Yacht Club, and this is where you will find the majority of the fishing charters as well. There are many for you to choose from, and all of them are waiting to take you on a trip you will not soon forget.
I want to mention the town of Falmouth. It is not in Montego Bay, but it is only 18-20 miles to the East. It is an amazing place to visit, and many do because of the large cruise ship port. If you are docking in Falmouth, you could go to the beach or see many of the other attractions and sites, but as an angler, you cannot pick a better place to grab a charter and head out to the deep.
Just like Montego Bay, the deep is not far offshore. Many of the Falmouth charters will fish the waters off the coast but also venture west towards Montego Bay, and Montego Bay charters venture east as well. Of course, Blue Marlin are the main course, but Wahoo, Dorado, Sailfish, White Marlin and Tuna can all be served up too. Falmouth has its own fishing tournament, The Falmouth Fishing Tournament. This is a newer tournament than the ones in Montego Bay and Port Antonio but becomes more popular each year. The Glittering Waters Marina is where the tournament and the charters are.
Now back to Montego Bay. There is so much to do when you are not fishing, but why would you stop fishing. But if you do, there is plenty to do day and night. This city is another cruise ship port, the second largest on the island. It offers visitors many activities from championship golf courses, world-class beaches, many nature adventures, old plantations to explore, and lots of shopping and great food.
There are four championship golf courses here, The Tyrall Club, The Half Moon, The White Witch and Cinnamon Hill. All of these courses have breathtaking views of the ocean. The Half Moon course has been ranked as one of the top courses globally and has hosted tournaments like The Jamaica Open and Dunhill Cup. Tyrall Club has also hosted several tournaments, including The Mazda Championship and The Johnny Walker World Championship. And the White Witch and Cinnamon Hill courses are located on the beautiful Rose Hall Estate.
If you prefer a relaxing day, there are many beaches in or right outside of town. Doctors Cave Beach is a popular beach that can become very crowded, especially when the cruise ships are here. It is located right in the middle of the ‘Hip Strip.’ Aqua Sol Theme Park is also located on the ‘Hip Strip’ and is a top-rated park for the kids or the kids inside all of us.
It has a white sand beach and waterslides, a raft track, volleyball courts, tennis courts, and go-karts on land, and it has watersports like snorkeling, banana boat rides, jet-skiing, and glass-bottom boat rides over the coral reefs. Unfortunately, for those looking for a little more peace and quiet, there are not that many options as most of the beaches have become properties of large resorts and hotels. A day pass for Cornwall Beach at the Royal Decameron is one way to lay in the sun and swim in the aqua water while not being pestered or bothered by other patrons. You can use all of the amenities, including the buffet, unlimited is alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, use of all of the watersport equipment and more, however this pass is $70 US for each person. There are a few beaches outside of the town. And if you want to venture a little ways away, Negril and its beautiful Seven Mile Beach are only 30 minutes away.
There are plenty of other activities. Rose Hall Estate is the former home of “The White Witch” Annie Potts. She was a cruel slave owner and practitioner of black magic who gruesomely killed all three of her husband and many of her slaves before being killed herself by one of her slaves. You can walk the property and soak in the history, or for the more adventurous, you can go on the After Dark Tour, and you might even see “the White Witch” roaming the house. Want an authentic Jamaican experience?
Then take a tour to the Rastafari Indigenous Village to experience the Rastafarian way of life. You will learn their history, culture, beliefs and food.There are The Animal Farm and Nature Reserve, The Ahhh Ras Nantango Gallery and Garden, and the Rocklands Bird Sanctuary for the bird lovers. You will be able to see all kinds of birds that call this island home, including the “Rasta Fowl” and Jamaica’s national bird, the swallow-tailed hummingbird.
If you are looking for fun, food and shopping, then The Hip Strip is where you want to go. Along with the white sand beaches are restaurants like Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville with its 120 ft. waterslide into the sea, giant water trampolines, great food and drinks, a sunset patio and a seaside nightclub at night. The Pelican Grill has been offering its patrons authentic Jamaican fare for over 50 years, and The Pork Pit is where you can get some of the island’s best Jerk Chicken, Pork and Seafood.
The only place that is said to be better is Scotchies, a rural and rustic restaurant outside of town. The Hip Strip also has shopping. This street has it all, from souvenir t-shirts to locally crafted items to fine jewelry to duty-free shopping. There is also a happening nightlife. There are many bars, nightclubs and beach hangouts that become very lively at night. There is also the Coral Cliff, a world-class gaming establishment with slots and more.
Not in town but not too far away are many other attractions for all visitors here in Montego Bay. You can go for a relaxing river rafting on Martha Brae River, or visit one of the many river falls in the area, including the famous Dunn’s Waterfall. There are many more sites that will entertain and educate you.
Montego Bay is a happening spot on “The Rock.” Something is going on day and night. And luckily for the visiting angler, there is as much action in the water as there is on land. Come to Jamaica and make some memories.