Cayman Islands Fishing: The Complete Guide

Aug 2, 2022 | 8 minute read
Reading Time: 8 minutes

When you think about the Cayman Islands, located in the heart of the Caribbean, a picture of a true paradise immediately comes to mind. There are beautiful inshore reefs that give way to infinite blue waters, with a great nursery of marine life. Because of this, fishing in the Cayman Islands is nothing short of world-class. 

Aerial view of Stingray City at Rum Point in Grand Cayman.

With the 20,000-foot Cayman Trench, water havens, flats, and mangroves, you get the best of both worlds all at your mercy. And that’s just part of the story. 

In this guide, we’ll cover as much as possible about fishing in the Cayman Islands to get you prepared for an unforgettable adventure. You’ll learn about some of the prized catches, the best spots to explore, types of fishing to try, and more. So, without further ado, let’s dive in…

Top Fish Species in the Caymans

Perhaps the best part about fishing in the Caymans is that you can hunt for a variety of different fish species during a single day. You can start your morning by heading out for some Marlin trolling action and then try to catch Tarpon on the fly once you’re done with the bluewaters. Before you take your pick, let’s go through our list of top catches in the Caymans. 

Blue & White Marlin

Three anglers on a boat with a Marlin they just caught fishing in the Cayman Islands with Get Bent Charters in George Town.

Whenever you decide to book a fishing trip, there’s always a possibility to hook a Marlin. Both Blue and White Marlin can be caught throughout the year, although they usually bite best in the spring and summer months. 

Grand Cayman is a good place to start your hunt for Marlin. It’s especially true if you hit the waters anytime from May to July. Locals prefer looking for these bluewater creatures between the Northwest point and the Cayman Bank.

The north of the island is also great for spreading your lines for Marlin, especially the area near the drop. Some anglers head out to the weed lines to fish for Mahi Mahi and will most likely also target Blues. 

Yellowfin & Blackfin Tuna

A smiling angler holding a freshly caught Tuna with Happy Day Charters, the Cayman Islands.

All anglers, especially light tackle enthusiasts, won’t want to miss an opportunity to chase Tuna on their fishing trip. In the Caymans, there’s no closed season for Tuna fishing, so you can hunt for these monsters whenever you please. The best time to do it is from April until the end of summer, especially from March to June. 

Apart from light tackle fishing, anglers can troll feathers and live/strip bait for Yellowfin. Chunking is also a popular method among Cayman anglers. 

So, where to look for Tuna? Fishermen usually target these creatures off the East End of Grand Cayman and 12 miles west on the Cayman Bank. Alternatively, you can look for Tuna on the West End of Cayman Brac, an island located northeast of Grand Cayman. 

Mahi Mahi & Wahoo

An angler on a fighting chair with a freshly caught Wahoo on a boat with Outcast Charters Cayman, the Cayman Islands

If you’re a fan of trolling for bluewater fish close to shore, you might especially enjoy fishing for Mahi Mahi and Wahoo in the Cayman Islands. They hang in weed lines pretty close to the islands, sometimes even within less than a mile off the shore. 

Mahi Mahi and Wahoo can also be found further out, so if you decide to troll the 12-Mile Bank, you might find one of these colorful fish at the end of your fishing line. Some anglers fish for them in the shallower waters and move to the depths of up to 700 feet around the islands later in the day. 

Just like the species we mentioned above, Wahoo can be caught throughout the year, with peak season from October through March. 

Bonefish & Tarpon

A man holding a Bonefish with shallow water behind him

What’s better than targeting Bonefish on the flats? Adding Tarpon to the mix, of course! The Sister Islands and the Bonefish Muds in the North Sound are the places to be for those looking to hook a nice Bonefish. If size doesn’t matter to you, head to the mangroves, bays, docks, canals, and beaches for baby Tarpon.

Anglers can enjoy battling with Bonefish any time of the year, although the high season runs from May to July. The Tarpon season is a bit longer, starting in April and ending sometime in August. Of course, both Bonefish and Tarpon can bite throughout the year. 

And more!

A smiling angler holding a Snapper on a boat with Infinity Private Charters in the Cayman Islands.

It goes without saying that shallows, reefs, and bluewater are home to year-round populations of other interesting species. You have Permit, Barracuda, and Pompano waiting for you in the summer months, along with various Snapper, Triggerfish, and Jack Crevalle available any time of the year. 

You can add Groupers that swim near the shallow edges of the reef to the list of the potential catches, as well as Swordfish from the depths of 1,000+ feet off the Seven Mile Beach. Oh, and have we mentioned that almost all of these species are available year-round?

Types of Fishing in the Caymans

The majority of anglers don’t come to the Cayman Islands for huge trophies. What they may expect instead is a great adventure where they can practice their skills, grow as an angler, and enjoy the breathtaking views. 

Depending on where you go, you can try your hand at trolling offshore waters, jigging and bottom fishing around the reefs, and spinning and fly fishing close to shore. In this section, we’ll outline some of the most popular types of fishing in the Cayman Islands. Read on!

Deep Sea Fishing

Three anglers standing on a boat with freshly caught Tuna and the sea on the background. Captain Jerry's Watersports, the Cayman Islands,

Deep sea fishing in the Cayman Islands is exactly what you need if you’re after the most sought-after species, such as Blue and White Marlin, Blackfin and Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo, and Mahi Mahi. Big game battles can happen quite close to shore – the drop off is only a quarter of a mile from shore. Not far from that is the 20,000-foot Cayman Trench.

Since there’s always something biting, deep sea fishing is a year-round pleasure. You can get out on the water whenever you want, although summer is undoubtedly the best time to hunt for your tropical catch. 

Shore Fishing

Blue Caribbean waters with stingrays and boats.

Some anglers pack their favorite fishing rod when they head for their vacation in Cayman, hoping to check what’s biting from the shore. Both locals and visitors are allowed to fish from numerous flats, docks, and beaches across the islands, with many gas stations and grocery stores stocking frozen bait for shore fishermen. 

What can you catch while shore fishing in the Cayman Islands? While Marlin and Tuna are perhaps a bit too ambitious, you can surely target Snapper and even Barracuda from one of the docks and boat ramps. As well as that, you can search for baby Tarpon – just look for a less crowded spot to wet your line. 

Flats & Reef Fishing

An angler with a rod fishing the flats in the Cayman Islands.

Flats fishing trips are all about Bonefish and Tarpon, while reefs teem with Groupers, Snapper, and Jack Crevalle. The North Sound and Grand Cayman are arguably the best spots to enjoy coral reefs and their diverse ecosystem, although other spots across the islands can also test your fishing talents. 

It’s important to remember that catch and release is always encouraged during flats and reef fishing trips. You should consider using safe fishing methods to avoid damaging the reefs and dragging them on the ocean floor. 

Charter Fishing

An aerial view of a boat that is operated by Infinity Private Charters in the Cayman Islands.

It’s always a good idea to book a trip with a local captain. They know the waters better than anyone else and can share their knowledge with their anglers. Cayman captains offer various packages suitable for any type of fishing trips, from half-day excursions to full-day extravaganzas. 

How you spend your trip will depend on where you decide to fish. Grand Cayman is the biggest island that is home to the majority of charter boats. You can book a charter with a professional crew and hit the waters from there or hire a guide from Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. Plus, you can check a lot of the islands’ productive spots all in one trip!

Top Fishing Spots in the Caymans

Aerial view of a beach in the Caymond Island in George Town.

Fishing is great throughout the Cayman Islands, with each island offering something different. Some of the spots offer a larger selection of deep sea fishing charters, while others offer incredible flats and reefs fishing opportunities. Below, we listed some of the most popular places to fish in the Cayman Islands. 

  • Little Cayman. This Sister Island is all about world-class deep sea fishing action. It’s where you go if you want to hunt for Wahoo, Tuna, Mahi Mahi, and the occasional Marlin. Little Cayman gives you easy access to the drop off, but you can also explore the flats of South Hole Sound, South Hole Lagoon, and Owen Island. Plus, there’s Tarpon Lake for the Silver King lovers. 
  • Cayman Brac. The second Sister Island is also a popular deep sea fishing destination. Here, fishing is a tradition that the locals pass from one generation to the next, enjoying the rich waters that are full of incredible game species. Brac is also home to popular fishing tournaments, including the Cayman Islands’ International Fishing Tournament and the Brac Jackpot.
  • Grand Cayman. As the largest of the Cayman islands, Grand Cayman is a notable deep sea fishing destination, although you can also fish the flats and coral reefs. Apart from the usual Bonefish, Tarpon, Wahoo, Marlin, Tuna, and Mahi Mahi, you may even get a chance to land Sailfish below the waves!
  • The Banks. The Cayman Islands’ banks offer a real treasure for anyone who’s willing to travel a bit further off the coast. The Cayman Banks are coral pinnacles that linger beyond the shore and rise from 10,000 feet of water. You can choose between various spots, including the Pickle Bank, Lawfords Banks, 110 Mile Bank, 60 Mile Bank, and more. 
  • George Town. If you’re all up for some shallow water fun, George Town is a great place for you. You can enjoy its diverse ecosystem here, from stingrays and sea turtles to dolphins and reef fish. Anglers can never miss the opportunity to climb aboard a charter boat and hit the open seas for some Marlin action or stay inshore for the Grand Slam. 

Anything else I should know?

Two anglers in the Cayman Islands, one standing in the water holding a Ray, and the other standing on a boat on a clear sunny day.

It’s important to know local fishing rules and regulations before you hit the waters in the Cayman Islands, no matter if you fish with a charter or by yourself. There are various restrictions you should know in advance. For example, it’s illegal to remove Sharks, Rays, and Goliath Grouper from the water and to fish within a mile of any designated Nassau Grouper Spawning Area during certain periods of the year. 

You most likely won’t need to worry about getting a fishing license if you fish with a registered Cayman fishing charter. Non-Caymanians aren’t allowed to spearfish, and shore fishermen should release all the fish they caught. Feel free to learn more about the local rules and regulations on the Cayman Islands’ Department of Environment website here

Fishing in the Cayman Islands – A Tropical Dream

Aerial view of Starfish Point, Grand Cayman.

You might have already heard that fishing in the Cayman Islands is considered an unofficial national sport. We can hardly disagree with it – with year-round fishing grounds and prized catches, Cayman is indeed an angler’s paradise.

You have everything you can dream of when fishing in the Caribbean, from Blue Marlin and Tuna to Bonefish and Tarpon, reefs and flats to deep seas and offshore banks. You can fish with a local captain or take part in one of the fishing tournaments. All you have to do is try it at least once. The fun is almost guaranteed!

Have you ever been fishing in the Cayman Islands? What spots do you recommend? Any fish stories you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!

Leave a reply
NameRequired *
Your comment Required *