Trinidad is an island and
therefore surrounded by water, so fishing is a popular pastime. It can be a relatively
inexpensive hobby as no fishing license is required for either the resident or visitor.
Being located at the southern end of the eastern Caribbean island chain on the continental
shelf off Northeast South America, some 8 miles east of Venezuela, both Trinidad and
Tobago lie downstream of the outflow of 17 South American rivers, including the Amazon and
Orinoco, and at the confluence of major ocean currents such as the North Equatorial
current. This outflow has led to highly diverse marine environment.
Trinidad recreational fishermen generally fish from boats or from the shore. These
recreational fishermen use predominantly hook and line fishing methods such as a-la-vive,
trolling and banking.
With a-la-vive fishing, live fish is used as bait, which is attached to a single hook,
which in turn is attached to a nylon line. The bait is allowed to swim freely attracting
pelagic fish such as carite, kingfish and cavalli.
Trolling is similar to a-la-vive, except that dead bait or artificial lures in many
different shapes are used to attract the same types of pelagic fish. In this case, several
lines are towed behind the moving boat.
Banking targets demersal fish, which live on or near the sea bottom. These include red
fish, salmon and croakers. The boat is stationary and the nylon lines used are usually
baited with several hooks.
The preferred bait for many fishermen vary between herring, mullet, sardines, bonito,
shrimp, crab, squid.
Pelagic species such as marlin, sailfish, tarpon, kingfish, wahoo, and
dolphin (Mahi Mahi) abound in the waters off
Trinidad. These however are not the only species that can be found by sport fishermen as
blackfin tuna, spanish mackerel, african pompano, grouper and snapper are also found.
There are several charter boats, based in Chaguaramas on the northwestern penninsula of
Trinidad, offering half day, whole day and night time fishing trips customized to each
game fisherman's satisfaction.
Fishing tournaments are held periodically throughout the year. These
tournaments target the large pelagic species of game fish such as kingfish, wahoo, tuna,
billfishes and dolphin fish. In Tobago, there is the annual Game Fishing Tournament, which
is open to international anglers.
Dolphin, Wahoo and Tuna are found throughout the
year except June to September. Tarpon is found all year but is especially plentiful
from June to September. Kingfish are also
plentiful from June to September.
To learn about the various
fishing tournaments visit our Events Calendar
Estuaries (river mouth) are particularly popular
with on-shore fishermen. The river mouth of the Godineau
River, the Nariva River and the Ortoire River are prized locations. Many
species of fish enter the rivers from the sea on the high tide and exit on the low tide.
The particular species that will usually be found in estuaries are Tarpon, Mullet, Salmon,
Grouper, Striped Sea Bass and Yellow Jack.
Surf fishing is also popular and can be seen
from almost every beach in Trinidad. Indeed it is a common practice to take the family to
the beach for a swim and while there try your luck with the rod. Our Popular Fishing Areas Page shows many of the beaches that
are used for surf fishing.
Spearfishing in conjunction with snorkeling or
SCUBA diving has grown in popularity. Spearfishing is usually done in rocky or coralline
areas and the targeted fish include angelfish, grunts, groupers, red fish and the
especially prized lobsters. Macqueripe Bay
is one of the areas that is often used for spear fishing. Another location
that is popular for spear fishing is the beaches around Blanchisseuse. The water between
Damien Bay and opposite the Police Station have numerous small islands immediately
offshore and many rock outcroppings. Spear fishermen dive in these waters looking
especially for lobster and Lippe.
Although saltwater fishing is the most popular, freshwater
fishing in ponds, rivers and irrigation canals is also popular. It is with the freshwater
fishermen that one can still see the traditional bamboo pole and nylon or string line. The
favored fish for freshwater fishermen is cascadoo or cascadura.
The Popular Fishing Areas
Page provides information about some of the areas frequented by fishing enthusiasts
For advice on Fishing rods, Baits and other fishing topics visit our Articles section.