Surrounded by the vast waters of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is a world class fishing destination. Each year, the island hosts several professionals fishing tournaments.
Sport fishing is an activity that you can also enjoy during your stay on the island. Several operators offer big game fishing activities that can be practiced all year long thanks to the very favorable weather conditions.
So why not try to catch your own fish and cook up a delicious meal when you return to your rental villa? Whether it’s coastal fishing or deep-sea fishing, we’ll be happy to advise you on equipment rental or on how to book a fishing boat for your area.
Big game fishing in Mauritius
Over the years, Mauritius has earned a reputation for deep-sea fishing and the island once held the world record for the biggest marlin caught. This activity has been practiced by Mauritians for years, acquiring the experience required to fight these sea monsters of several hundred kilos.
The hot waters around the island is made for a rich marine life, which is the reason why we find the greatest diversity of pelagic species in the Indian Ocean.
Deep sea fishing can be practiced all year long, but the best season for marlin and big catches is in summer, October to April. Several species of marlins such as the blue and the black marlin, sailfish, swordfish, various species of tuna, dolphinfish, wahoo and a variety of shark among many others are in the game.
Deep-sea fishing activities are offered as half-day and full-day trips in boats of different sizes, which can be booked with several people. Most operators allow up to 8 people onboard, allowing you to split the cost by sharing the boat. The price for big game fishing varies according to the operators and the type of boat, but on average it costs about 400€ for a full-day.
The boats are fully equipped and run by experienced skippers. The GPS, radio and fish detector sonar are standard equipment such as those for safety at sea, a first aid kit, fire extinguishers and toilets. Drinks are usually included in the price and some exceptions for meals which comes at an extra price.
It is also necessary to protect oneself from the scorching sun which is more intense at sea because of the water reflections. If you are prone to sea sickness, don’t forget your medications and do not forget your camera to share your catch. Also, for those who do not wish to fish, it is a wonderful experience to spend a few hours on the high seas.
Coastal fishing in Mauritius
If you brought along your favorite fishing rod, then you are good to go for inshore fishing. Otherwise, these are really cheap in fishing stores. Mauritians love inshore fishing. It’s a real job and a great passion for some people. For the crystal clear lagoon, all you need is a light line and some hooks.
In addition, local fishermen will gladly take you for cheap on their canoe for a fishing trip inside the lagoon.
However, a boat is really not necessary to enjoy coastal fishing in Mauritius. During low tide you can walk several hundred meters into the shallow water of some beaches.
Regulations for coastal fishing
You would probably be surprised by the few rules for coastal fishing in Mauritius. This activity is allowed almost on every beaches of the island. However, net fishing is regulated. As far as the coastal fishing is concerned, you only have to avoid bathing areas and marine reserves.
Apart from these particular areas, you are allowed to fish along the shores of Mauritius. If fishing is prohibited on a beach, it will be indicated at the entrance. Do not hesitate to seek advice from local fishermen if you have any doubt. Anyone can fish with a fishing rod on the beaches, no need for a saltwater fishing license.
The regulations in force relate more to harpoon fishing and the sale of your catch. In short, you can fish and release your catch, without fear of a fine.
Things you need to know and the precautions to take when fishing in Mauritius
If you want to have the best fishing experience during your trip to Mauritius, take some time to do a little analysis of the different species you may come across. As in any wild environment, there are dangerous and poisonous species to be wary of. If you are thinking about sharks, think again as sharks do not penetrate the Mauritian lagoons and there has never been any recorded sharks attacks on the island. (Read more about shark attacks in Mauritius)
The red lion fish is a species you need to be particularly wary of. It is a magnificent specimen which swims majestically with its pectoral fins just like a big bird. It inhabits the shallow and unexposed waters around the reefs. Nocturnal hunter, its venomous dorsal fins are always pointed towards everything it deems aggressive.
You should also be wary of the stonefish inhabiting the colorful corals. If you plan to venture into the water to fish, look where you put your feet, because there are a lot of sea urchins especially in the west and south of the island. Jellyfish are quite rare in Mauritius, but you must be careful if you see one, they tend to surface after cyclones or heavy rainfall, especially during summer.
If you are fishing from the beach, you don’t have to worry, but if you want to fish near the reef or renting a canoe, be sure to check the weather before you venture out to sea. You have to pay particular attention to the current. Fishing at the bottom, far from the beach is not recommended and not even necessary. The lagoons on the island are mostly placid, but if you spot a warning sign “dangerous swimming”, do not venture into the water even for fishing.