Montego Bay

7 Fishing Charters

Montego Bay Fishing Charters

Search top fishing charters in Montego Bay

Top Fishing Charters in Montego Bay


The thing that makes Montego Bay fishing special is the simple fact that you can fish in 1,000 feet of water less than a mile from the shore. The town faces directly onto the Cayman Trench and has easy access to some of the deepest waters in the Caribbean. Originally named “Fairweather Gulf” by Christopher Colombus, the area is also protected from the strong southeasterly trade winds which sweep across much of the southern coast of the island.

Known For

Deep waters, calm seas, and a stunning view to enjoy while you fish? Sounds too good to be true! Unfortunately, the area has suffered from a long history of overfishing and no longer boasts the huge hauls of decades past. There still is a decent population of a variety of pelagic and reef species if you come at the right time. 

What can I catch?

With waters this deep, it should come as no surprise that the main focus of most Montego Bay fishing is Marlin. Blue and White Marlin can both be found offshore, tagging each other out over the course of the year. Monster Blue Marlin are rarely seen in Montego Bay, with most fish weighing in around the 100-150-pound mark - even the island record is “only” 590 lbs. But what they lack in size, they make up for in number, and in breeding season you can expect multiple hits even on a half day trip.
 
And it’s not just Marlin you will find offshore. The waters are home to plenty of other big game species, including Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, and Yellowfin Tuna. Down in the depths you will find several species of Grouper and Snapper, as well as big Amberjack and Barracuda patrolling the deep-water banks and rocks. 

When should I go?

All the species mentioned so far can theoretically be caught all year round. However, with declining populations of many of the areas key species, you will be hard-pressed to find a decent specimen when they are not at peak season. 
 
Blue Marlin are found in their biggest numbers in the fall and from August to October you can often get multiple hits even on a half day. The biggest fish are said to be caught in June. Older females as large as 300lb can be caught this time of year, although the odds of catching a fish are much lower. White Marlin are at their best in February and March and as soon as they drift on the Mahi Mahi move in to take their place. 
 
Essentially, you head out can any time from the beginning of Spring to the end of Fall and expect to catch something exciting, as long as you’re not bothered about what exactly it is. If you do visit Jamaica in the winter (and seeing as it’s peak tourist season, chances are you will) you can still get in some productive bottom fishing, dropping lines a thousand feet or more to target the weird and wonderful creatures which dwell in the deepest waters of the Cayman Trench.

How much will it cost?

Montego Bay Charters vary in price, and you really do get what you pay for. You can find a half day trip for $500 but it may end up being more of a booze cruise than a fishing trip. If you are serious about catching big fish you can find some great boats with professional crews starting at around $700-$800 for a four-hour trip.
 
Full day trips usually cost around double the half days and mostly target the same waters. If all you want is to catch some big fish on a budget then you might have more fun fighting Amberjack and Grouper on a half day than chasing elusive Marlin on a full day. The more high-end charters will head further offshore on a full day, though, fishing in as much as a thousand fathoms for the big Blue Marlin who reportedly shy away from the Jamaican coast.

 

Rules & Regulations

There is no specific sportfishing license in Jamaica, so will be covered by the boat’s fishing license aboard registered Montego Bay Fishing Charters. Sportfishing is not very well-regulated in Jamaica and what few strict restrictions there are normally apply to the harvesting of conchs and other commercial activities, rather than the protection of billfish. Marlin can be kept and sold and ecologically-aware anglers are advised to agree what will happen to any fish caught before your trip. All other catch is either kept by the boat or split between the crew and the clients.

Types of Fishing

Most charters in the area do not supply live bait. You can catch it on the trip, fish with lures, or bring along fly tackle (depending on the species). If you are planning on deep sea fishing Montego Bay then you will be almost exclusively trolling. Many of the cheaper boats are in need of an upgrade and the gear they use may have seen better days. The more established charters do have proper equipment, though, and their crews are much more versatile in the techniques they employ. This is here the more high-end options start looking better value.
 
Deep dropping is a big deal in Montego Bay, which should come as no surprise considering how quickly the ocean floor drops. Electric reels are a necessity when fishing for deep-water fish like big Groupers and Tilefish and are popular among charters in the area. You will usually be using cut bait to tempt in these greedy bottom species, kicking back with a Red Stripe and a cigar and bringing up your hooks every so often to check the bait. It may not sound like the most exciting way to fish, but it sure is a nice way to spend the day.
Montego Bay
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 4.18
Based on 23421 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

January

The big game bite may not be at its best in January but you can catch some great bottom fish like Grouper and Amberjack then head to the Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival for some awesome live music.

February

Montego Bay is home to some of the world's most beautiful sailboats in February, as the Pineapple Cup stops off on its way to Havana. As if that enough, this is also peak White Marlin season!

March

The Montego Bay Yacht Club's Easter Regatta brings pleasure cruisers from all over and the White Marlin are still biting hard, making March an awesome time to visit.

April

There's a lot going on in Montego Bay in April. Carnival fever hits the town in a whirlwind of color and music. It's easy to escape the crowds if you choose to, though, with plenty of big Mahi Mahi waiting offshore.

May

Offshore you have Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, and Yellowfin Tuna, as well as a variety of weird and wonderful bottom fish. The tourist high season is over, too, so you won't have to fight for fishing space.

June

Although the biggest numbers of Blue Marlin arrive later on, the largest fish are said to be caught in June. With a bit of luck, you could find yourself hooked on a 300-pounder. Are you up for the gamble?

July

July is the calm before the storm when it comes to big game fishing. The Reggae Sumfest provides plenty of action on land though, commonly heralded as "the greatest reggae show on earth" and certainly great fun.

August

August kick off the Blue Marlin season, with huge numbers of fish flocking to the area to breed. They may be no bigger than 150lbs but they still put up a serious fight, making this a great month offshore.

September

September is tournament season in Montego Bay, with the Montego Bay Yacht Club International Marlin Tournament and Jamaica International Blue Marlin Team Tournament drawing huge crowds to the area.

October

Although September is peak time for tournament fishing, October is often actually more productive for Blue Marlin. This is no secret, though, and you will want to book well in advance this time of year.

November

The Blue Marlin bite winds down in November but you can still get in some good catches offshore. Otherwise, you can drop some lines down into the deep for the chance of some tasty bottom fish.

December

Montego Bay is a great destination for the holiday season. Warm weather, a relaxed atmosphere, and plenty of tasty reef fish lurking in the deep. Even if you don't catch anything it will be a wat to spend the day.

Montego Bay Fishing Calendar

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Full day Trip With Capt. Ninja and Shawn
Crystal E. fished with Reel Magic Sports Fishing on March 16, 2019
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Enjoy and be ready for action right away!
Half Day Trip with Captain Craig
Paul G. fished with Reel Magic Sports Fishing on February 13, 2019
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
REEL MAGIC. They are a great group of guys.
Fishing with Craig
Stefan A. L. fished with Reel Magic Sports Fishing on March 27, 2018
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Don’t go with a low budget outfit under $600 for 1/2 day. Make sure you are clear on what you want: trolling vs deep dive. If you want to keep the fish, make sure that is allowed and that the crew will clean it. Avoid outfits that offer snorkeling and drinking if you really want to catch fish.
Half day trip AM
Michael V. fished with Reel Magic Sports Fishing on February 23, 2018
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Fish Reel Magic. Get your sea legs ready. And get ready to Rip Lips!!!
A great experience!
Thomas R. fished with Reel Magic Sports Fishing on February 6, 2018
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Go on Captain Criag's Magic Reel trip! We didn't catch much the day we went, it was rough and a bit rainy, but we had a fun and memorable trip.
Half day trip with Captain Craig
William S. fished with Reel Magic Sports Fishing on February 4, 2018
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Take care of the Capital we don’t tip the Captain in the states just the mate
Full day trip with Captain Craig & First Mate Shaun
Bruce Z. fished with Reel Magic Sports Fishing on January 30, 2018
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Go the full 8 hour charter if you can, it may take the first 4 hours to find & get on the fish!
Half day deep sea fishing trip with Captain Craig
Stephen S. G. fished with Reel Magic Sports Fishing on October 6, 2017
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Bring sunscreen a hat an prepare for a fun day.

FAQs about Fishing Charters in Montego Bay

To give you an idea of how much a fishing trip in Montego Bay costs, the average price for a 4 hour private trip is $820, while an 8 hour private trip will cost you $1,340. These prices are based on trips booked on our site recently.

Prices will vary depending on trip length, fishing technique, as well as the type and size of the boat you booked. However, to give you an indication, the average boat size in Montego Bay is 40 ft and the most common vessel type is a Center console.

According to customer reviews, Just Hook It Charters Ltd., Reel Magic Sports Fishing, and Fantasea - Dive Sea World Jamaica are some of the most popular fishing charters in Montego Bay. Full list of top fishing charters in Montego Bay.

Just Hook It Charters Ltd., Reel Magic Sports Fishing, and Fantasea - Dive Sea World Jamaica all received great reviews from families who booked fishing trips in Montego Bay.

The best way to experience fishing in Montego Bay is to book a private charter with a licensed fishing guide. See the full list of charters available for online booking here: List of fishing charters in Montego Bay.

The most popular fish species you can target are Dolphin (Mahi Mahi), King Mackerel (Kingfish), and Tuna (Yellowfin). Top fishing techniques include heavy tackle, trolling, and deep sea fishing. Offshore fishing, reef fishing, and nearshore fishing are commonly offered by local guides.

Although September is peak time for tournament fishing, October is often actually more productive for Blue Marlin. This is no secret, though, and you will want to book well in advance this time of year. Check availability for local fishing charters in Montego Bay.