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Top Fishing Charters in Aruba

Fishing in Aruba

Aruba is quietly climbing its way to the top of many anglers’ wish list. This small island off the coast of Venezuela has more than a few tricks up its sleeve, including fair weather, numerous tourist attractions, and some of the best Billfishing in the Caribbean—if not the entire world. On top of it all, travelers will be glad to know that Aruba fishing charters won’t put a dent in your budget.

Known For

Aruba is a popular stop on Caribbean cruises, where families and honeymooners bask in the sun and gentle tides. Among fishermen, it’s best known for marvelous deep sea fishing just a few miles from shore. It’s possible to hook into big game fish within minutes of leaving the dock in Oranjestad, meaning you can make the most of this fishery in as little as four hours. Many local charters feature half-day trips catered to cruise-ship passengers, with starting prices lower than $400.

Deep Sea Fishing

The deep sea fishing Aruba has on its doorstep features some of the world’s most iconic big game species, including Marlin, Sailfish, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, Barracuda, and several kinds of Tuna. Trophy sized Billfish and Great White Sharks pay these waters a visit from time to time, as well.

You can catch many of these fish year-round. If you’re in the market for a Billfish, however, it’s worth waiting until fall for a chance to catch Sailfish, Blue Marlin, and White Marlin all in one day—known around here as a “Grand Slam.”

Reef Fishing

If big game fishing sounds a bit too intense for your vacation plans, try fishing the nearshore reefs instead. Aruba’s shallow waters host Snapper, Grouper, Queenfish, Parrotfish, Triggerfish, Blue Runner, and more. You can even catch some of these fish from shore, using live bait like squid or conch to entice the most intriguing varieties.

Flats Fishing

Light tackle and fly anglers will delight in year-round opportunities on the flats of Aruba. These skinny, tropical waters and mangrove islands are the ideal habitat for Snook, Tarpon, Bonefish, Barracuda, Jacks, and various local species. When it comes to sport fishing, Aruba’s flats are the next best thing to deep sea fishing. The best time for fly fishing lasts from March through October. You can find private half-day trips for less than $300, including everything you need except fly gear.

Getting There

The decision to treat yourself to this little paradise is easy, and it may surprise you to know that getting there is almost as simple.

Queen Beatrix Airport is just a short drive from the capital city Oranjestad, with international service to other countries in the Caribbean, Europe, the U.S., and direct flights to the Netherlands. U.S.-bound passengers should plan to arrive early to clear customs before boarding.

If you’re heading in on a cruise ship, you’re likely to find charter boats just a short walk or drive away from the dock.

Aruba Fishing Techniques

One of the most popular local methods in Aruba is handline fishing. Using this technique to pull fish up from hundreds of feet below is a workout, so come prepared for some blood-pumping action!

Balloon fishing is another method of choice, used to target fish near local reefs. This method involves tying a long handline to a balloon and allowing it to float on the water above the reef. When the hook reaches deep enough water, release it from the balloon and begin pulling it in.

While targeting pelagic fish like Marlin and Sailfish, you’re likely to troll using bait, lures, and a variety of different spreads.

When fishing inshore, you can’t go wrong with spinning or fly fishing gear.

Need to Know

Aruba fishing charters provide licenses for their customers. You do not need a fishing license to fish from shore. Spearfishing in Aruba is illegal. Most charters have a strict catch-and-release policy for Billfish and other large fish.

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Aruba Fishing Seasons

With average temperatures between 76-86°F, January is a great time to get out on the water. Marlin, Wahoo, and Blackfin Tuna are at their peak. Meanwhile, the reefs offer Snapper, Grouper, and more.

The height of Marlin season continues, with Whites and Blues biting vigorously off the north shore of the island. You’re chances of landing a Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, or Tuna are also excellent.

Come March, the peak season for Marlin will be winding down, but Tuna and Wahoo are still offering plenty of action offshore. As always, the flats and reefs promise treasures of their own.

Marlin fishing enters its low season in April, as Tuna, Mahi Mahi, and Wahoo take the lead. Inshore, fly fishing is at its height, with big Tarpon showing up soon. Average temperatures are creeping toward 90°F.

You can enjoy great fishing no matter where you cast your line in Aruba at this time of year. Tarpon are biting inshore, while the reefs provide a steady supply of bottom fish.

Summer fishing continues, with a chance to catch Mahi Mahi, Tuna, and plenty more on a deep sea charter. You can expect temperatures to range from 80-90°F.

After months of low activity, King Mackerel appear on the scene in full force during July. Fishing for Snapper and Grouper continues to be good, and the flats are a non-stop source of light tackle action.

With local temperatures at their highest, it’s a bit harder to find the fish swimming around Aruba. With a little luck and a savvy guide, however, you can still hook into almost anything here!

Wahoo and Sailfish are re-entering their peak seasons. Marlin will starting biting more, too, increasing your chances of a Grand Slam. 

With many big game species finally at their peak and consistently fair weather, you couldn’t pick a better time for deep sea fishing in Aruba than October. Meanwhile, you’ll find big Bonefish on the flats.

You’re more likely to catch a Marlin than ever at this time of year, and there are plenty of Barracuda, Kingfish, and Wahoo. The reefs are teeming with Snapper and Grouper.

Even in December, local temperatures rarely dip below the low 70’s. Big game fishing on the north shore of the island will produce Blue and White Marlin, Wahoo, and more.

Aruba Fishing Calendar

What People Are Saying About Aruba

"6 Hour trip on July 18, 2018"

Robert Martinez fished with Dorothy Fishing Charters on July 18, 2018

Be ready for a good fight if you should catch one of those Wahoo.

"High dollar boat ride"

Rob Owen fished with Lady Sarah - 40’ Hatteras on June 28, 2018

Do your homework before you choose a boat !

"One of the best Aruba fishing options! "

Todd Clark fished with Adventure Diver:Catalina Party Boat on June 19, 2018

Just relax and have a good time. You're supposed to be on vacation.

"3/4 Day Trip was Awesome!"

Jordan Bradfish fished with Teaser Charters - 35’ Bertram on June 15, 2018

The main fish we caught were Mahi, Wahoo and Bonito. Very tasty fish, and we caught a good volume.

Top Fishing Techniques in Aruba

  1. Deep Sea Fishing

Top Targeted Species in Aruba

Barracuda (Great)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Wahoo

Marlin (Blue)

Top Aruba Destinations