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Top Fishing Charters in Malta

Fishing in Malta

Malta is often overlooked as a fishing destination, but that’s no reason to cross it off your list. In fact, less fishing pressure is exactly why you should cast a line here, since you won’t have to compete with other anglers! This island in the Mediterranean has access to some of Europe’s most prestigious game fish, along with an assortment of exotic and colorful reef fish you can’t catch in other places. Whether you experience the fishing in Malta aboard a common speed boat or a vibrantly painted traditional luzzu, you’re in for a treat!

Known For

Deep Sea Fishing

Malta doesn’t have access to the widest variety of big game fish in the Mediterranean, but it does play host to a few favorites. Summer months are spent trolling for Albacore, Skipjack, and Bluefin Tuna, along with Mahi Mahi (Lampuki in Maltese) in August. Offshore jigging for Amberjack (Pixxispad) is equally popular around here. These big game trophies are usually biting 10-20 miles offshore, but occasionally make their way closer to the coast. If you’re in the market for one of these bad boys, plan on booking a full day trip with a local charter operator who can put you on the hottest fishing spots. Most charter boats provide fishing licenses for their customers, but you’ll need to get a special permit if you plan on targeting Bluefin Tuna.

Reef Fishing

Anglers who have spent some time on the Mediterranean before will find reef fishing in Malta refreshing. Sure, you can hook into some Snapper and Grouper while you’re here, along with European staples like Dentex and John Dory. However, you’re more likely to be taken with scores of other fish biting near the local reefs, including colorful Sea Breams, Cleaver Wrasse (Ruzetta), Rainbow Wrasse (Gharusa), Painted Comber, Pandora (Pagella Hamra), and more. Even with only a few hours to spare, you can dabble in a little reef fishing several miles from shore. These trips are perfect for families traveling with children because the water tends to be calmer and the coast is never far from sight.

Shore Fishing

Shore fishing in Malta is a favorite local pastime. You can hook into a variety of Bream, Wrasse, Mullet, and Parrotfish while casting a line from the beach. Top catches include Saddled Bream (Kahlija), Striped Sea Bream (Mingus), Gilthead Sea Bream (Awrata), Pandora (Pagella), and Mullet.

The rocky coastline stretching from St. Paul’s Bay to St. Julian’s is prime shore fishing territory. Handline fishing is especially productive on the cliffs surrounding Miġra l-Ferħa. You can also try your luck around various seaside beaches, sheltered bays, and ports. Be sure to ask around ahead of time in case you need to buy a permit to fish in certain areas.

Need to Know

Regulations

A fishing license is required for recreational angling in Malta. Some charter boats have inclusive licenses which cover all passengers on board. If you book a charter, ask the captain about fishing licenses and permits ahead of time.

You may need a permit to fish from shore, depending on where you cast your line. Always talk to local tourist offices and tackle shops to learn more about regulations before fishing on your own.

You are normally welcome to enjoy any fish you catch for dinner, but it is illegal to sell any fish caught while sportfishing for profit. If you do not wish to keep all the fish you catch, it may be donated to a charitable cause.

Bluefin Tuna fishing is mainly limited to catch and release for recreational anglers.

Malta Fishing Techniques

Anglers in Malta typically troll for big game fish between May and December, when Tuna, Swordfish, and Mahi Mahi are in season. Light trolling produces Bonito, Mackerel, Barracuda, Blue Runner, and more. Combining live bait trolling with jigs is an effective way to catch Amberjack, Dentex, Grouper, Pandora, and Scorpionfish.

Handline fishing remains a popular sport fishing technique among locals, and can be used to catch a variety of fish on the reefs or from shore. When bottom fishing in waters around 250 feet deep, you can target Hake, Scabbard, Rockfish, Stone Bass Grouper, and Deep Sea Bream using electric reels.

If casting from shore, try using a light to medium action rod fitted with a medium spinning reel and 10 lb test monofilament line. Paste or live bait such as Rag Worms and Shrimp works well in local waters. Spinning, float fishing, and ledgering are just a few techniques you can use while shore fishing. Fishing on your own? Pay a visit to the Aquatica tackle shop in St. Paul’s Bay and stock up on anything you need, from rods and reels to live bait.

Budget

Private fishing charters in Malta range from about 300-1,000 euros, depending on the length of your trip and what type of fishing you plan to do. Reef fishing trips usually last 3-6 hours and cost between 300-500 euros. You can join a shared trip for less than 100 euros per person.

Deep sea fishing trips start at around 450 euros for a half day trip (4-5 hours). Charter operators sometimes categorize and price their trips based on the target species or technique you’ll be using. Generally, you can expect to pay between 500-900 euros for an offshore fishing trip that lasts 6-12 hours.

Getting There

You can book a direct flight to Malta from many European cities. Malta International Airport is located in the town of Luqa, just a 15-30 minute drive from some of the area’s best known charter boats. Most destinations on Malta and Gozo are easily accessible by car and public transportation.

Whether you’re setting sail for the day or casting a line from the beach, good fishing is never far away in Malta!

Malta Fishing Seasons

Early in the year, big game fish are few and far between. You can enjoy excellent fishing on the reefs or local beaches, however! Come catch Bream, Dentex, Grouper, and more.

Malta’s rainy season continues in February, but even in the wettest months you can’t expect more than 10 days of rain. This leaves plenty of time to set up on the beach and cast a line!

Things are slowly heating up on Malta, and so is big game fishing. Average temperatures are between 10-17°C, and your chances of catching a Swordfish are improving.

Albacore Tuna are appearing offshore, which means it’s time to start trolling! On the reefs, you could catch anything from Amberjack and Dentex to Bream.

Average temperatures are up to 15-24°C. Big game fishing off the coast of Malta keeps on getting hotter, with more Tuna arriving and excellent chances of hooking into Amberjack, Barracuda, and more.

June marks the beginning of Malta’s peak season for big game fishing. Tuna, Barracuda, and Amberjack are biting vigorously. Dropping a line into the deep may yield Swordfish, Grouper, Bream, and more.

It’s hard to go wrong at this time of year, no matter where you cast your line! Offshore you’ll hook into Tuna and Swordfish, while the reefs are bustling with Dentex, John Dory, and more.

It doesn’t get any hotter than this! Average highs are up to 31°C, Tuna are at their peak, and Mahi Mahi are finally appearing. When you’re not fishing, take some time to enjoy Malta’s iconic Summer Carnival.

Temperatures are beginning to cool, but the offshore fishing scene is still hot. Mahi Mahi are at their peak, along with Skipjack Tuna, Amberjack, Barracuda, Tuna and a variety of bottom fish.

Hit the streets after a day on the water and enjoy Malta’s beloved Notte Bianca festival. See the capital’s streets come alive for a night full of arts and culture!

Summer fishing and festivals both continue well into the month of November. Spend a little time on dry land and enjoy the Three Palaces Festival, featuring some of the world’s finest musicians.

You can still have success fishing for Mahi Mahi and Barracuda offshore, but most fishing in Malta at this time of year is on the reefs or on shore. Bream, Grouper, Dentex and more great eating fish are available! 

Malta Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Malta

"Fishing with Daryl"

Graham Bellefeuille fished with Aquatica Fishing Charters on August 9, 2018

It gets hot out there so bring sunscreen and light clothes. Drink lots of water.

Top Targeted Species in Malta

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Amberjack

Tuna (Bluefin)

Tuna (Albacore)

Top Malta Destinations