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Best Fishing Charters in West Bay


Top Fishing Charters in West Bay

Fishing in West Bay

What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the Cayman Islands? White sandy beaches, crystal clear Caribbean waters, colorful reefs, and offshore banking? Even though these tropical islands are not so well known among anglers, more and more of them are starting to realize the untapped potential of these deep waters. 
 
Located on the northwest corner of Grand Cayman, West Bay is a popular tourist destination. It’s famous for the Cayman Turtle Farm, Dolphin Discovery, and the massive black, jagged limestone formation aptly named Hell. West Bay fishing is no less famous among passionate anglers visiting the island – whether they’re aiming to hit the blue waters or explore the bountiful shallows. 
 

Known For

 
Forget everything you know about drop-offs – the Cayman Islands are actual submerged mountains that are part of the Cayman Ridge. Once you leave the dock, the seafloor drops to shocking depths in a matter of minutes. The unique underwater topography of the Caymans is described as the "layer cake of life zones" – the waters keep dropping from shallows and inshore reefs to depths of 800, 3,000, and then over 20,000 feet almost mile after mile. This means that West Bay fishing charters will have you catching anything from Tarpon, Bonefish, and Snapper to Billfish and Tuna on the same four-hour trip!
 

Inshore Fishing

 
For many avid anglers, the sea fishing West Bay has to offer starts and ends in the inshore shallows. These waters are a true light tackle paradise that gives you a chance at landing the legendary Grand Slam – catching Tarpon, Bonefish, and Permit during the same day. You can also catch Pompano, Barracuda, and Snook in the flats and mangroves. Even though they're not the biggest of specimens, they're incredibly abundant and can be caught 365 days a year.
 
Grand Cayman Bonefish are larger than those found around the  other two islands (typically 3–6 pounds), though less plentiful. They are the most popular inshore species to catch, especially on the fly. There are various West Bay fishing spots where you can target Bones, but the most productive ones are the flats, followed by the deeper waters near the North Sound. 
 
Juvenile Tarpon (5–15 pounds) can be caught anywhere from the flats to inland brackish waters and mangroves, but catching big specimens (50–100 pounds) in those areas is not that common. You can see bigger Silver King swimming near deepwater reefs or getting treats from tourists at George Town, but those aren’t usually targeted by fishermen. 
 

Reef Fishing

 
West Bay fishing trips can also take you exploring the numerous reefs dotting the inshore waters and deeper nearshore areas. Although reef fishing is slightly less popular than flats and deep sea angling, exploring these colorful wonders can be both productive and fun. Here you can reel in Mutton, Mangrove, and Yellowtail Snapper, Nassau Grouper, Jack Crevalle, Almaco Jack, Triggerfish, Porgy, and more. Goliath Grouper can also be caught in the shallow waters near reefs. Many local charters combine reef fishing and snorkeling with inshore or deep sea excursions. Or you can have everything during the same day – the sky's the limit in these exciting waters.  
 

Offshore Fishing

 
Get ready for some serious deep sea action, closer to shore than ever, all thanks to the serious drop-offs one after another. The first you'll encounter just a few yards from shore is called "The Wall" – where the inshore reefs drop to 800 feet. After just 3 miles, the seabed drops to 3,000 feet, and minutes after, to a whopping 20,000 where the Cayman Trench lies. This is as deep as the Caribbean gets. The legendary Twelve Mile Bank is a sure bet and the local captains will usually take you exploring their favorite secret spots up to 10–15 miles offshore or even farther if you book a full day trip. 
 
The Caymans are surrounded by the Windward Passage, which is why local waters stay warm year round. As a result, Blue Marlin can be encountered relatively close to shore every day of the year. They average 150 pounds and are usually male and juvenile specimens. White Marlin and Sailfish can also be caught with some luck, year round. When you reach depths way of over 2,000 feet within a quarter of a mile from  land, expect to come across Yellowfin, Bluefin, and Skipjack Tuna, Mahi Mahi, and Wahoo, as well. Yellowfin, averaging 30–40 pounds, are the most common throughout the year, while Skipjack and Bluefin can also be caught when the stars align. Wahoo are not pursued here as much as in the other parts of the world, despite being abundant and swimming close to coast. 
 

West Bay Fishing Tips

 
  • Light tackle is the name of the game in the inshore waters, whether casting, spinning, wading, or fly fishing. You can also try your hand at traditional handlining. Offshore fishing is all about trolling, and the reefs will provide you with some exciting deep dropping and jigging action. West Bay fishing guides use both artificials and natural bait, such as squid, conch, and fry.
 
  • Barker’s National Park on the northernmost part of the West Bay is a favorite spot among fly anglers chasing Bonefish. Make sure to bring your own fly gear – you won't find any fly shops in the area, and the local charters usually don't provide gear. 
 
  • Northern parts of Seven Mile Beach or any deeper areas of the flats are great for spinning. In deeper waters, you can go for heavier artificials and bait without risk of scaring the fish. 
 
  • West Bay beach fishing can be a good sport for beginners, though it's not as productive as fishing from a boat. Guided wading trips are a better option. 
 

Need to Know

Regulations

 
If you're fishing with a licensed West Bay charter, you won't need a license. The same thing goes for fishing from shore, though you'll need a special permit if you want to keep your catch. 
 
Some species are strictly catch and release, including Goliath Grouper, Sharks, and Rays. Nassau Grouper spawning grounds are protected, and fishing for them anywhere within a mile of the Designated Grouper Spawning Area is not allowed. Lobster and Conch fishing is also strictly regulated with closed seasons and bag limits. Fishing in any of the Wildlife Interaction Zone areas is illegal. Spearfishing is prohibited for foreign citizens.
 

Budget 

 
Most of the charter boats can accommodate larger groups of six to 15 anglers and full day trips for such parties usually cost $1,200–$1,800 per boat. Three-quarter day trips will cost you $1,100–$1,500. Half day offshore trips are usually $650–$1,000, while inshore half days are generally cheaper.
 

Getting There

 
Owen Roberts International Airport in George Town is located around 8 miles from West Bay and you can easily get to your fishing location by bus or taxi. It's only a one-hour flight from Miami, so you'll be wetting your lines before you know it!
 
Thanks to the immense drop-offs, West Bay fishing trips can have you inshore, reef, and deep sea fishing during the same day. You'll also have plenty of time to go snorkeling at vibrant coral reefs and explore legendary locations such as Stingray City, Starfish Beach, Coral Garden Reef, Rum Point, and more. There's nothing these versatile waters can't provide!
 
West Bay
4.19
Based on 14246 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

West Bay Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About West Bay

"Fishing with Daniel"

Harry G. fished with Outcast Charters Cayman on July 2, 2019

Put a variety of bait and lures, see what they are hitting and work those.

"Most knowledgeable captain!"

Stacy W. fished with Captain Asley’s Watersports on May 26, 2019

Put sunscreen on before you get in the boat and dont forget your legs. Water can get rough farther out so take the less drowsy dramamine.

"Half day inshore fishing"

Terry M. fished with Captain Asley’s Watersports on January 25, 2018

The more you go the better chance you have

"May fishing trip"

John K. fished with Captain Asley’s Watersports on May 22, 2017

Great fishing in this area of the world.

Top Targeted Species in West Bay

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Marlin (Blue)

Marlin (Blue)

Wahoo

Wahoo

Barracuda (Great)

Barracuda (Great)

Snapper (Mutton)

Snapper (Mutton)

Tuna (Yellowfin)

Tuna (Yellowfin)

Snapper (Yellowtail)

Snapper (Yellowtail)

Jack Crevalle

Jack Crevalle

Nearby Fishing Destinations