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Top Deep Sea Fishing Charters in San Juan

Deep Sea Fishing in San Juan

When it comes to deep sea fishing, San Juan, Puerto Rico has a reputation that doesn't stop impressing. Thanks to its rich waters and year-round fishery, Puerto Rico is a must-see destination for many passionate anglers, especially those interested in exploring the deepest of waters the Atlantic has to offer. If fishing for A-list pelagics just a couple of miles from the shore doesn't sound attractive enough, just wait until you learn what else is on the menu.

What to Catch

The combination of currents, upwellings, Fish Aggregating Devices, and deep waters just off the coast of San Juan creates unprecedented conditions for various game species, especially Marlin. This saltwater heaven is one of the best locations for Atlantic Blue Marlin, both in terms of size and quantity. Giant Marlin are not a rare sight (two monsters over 2,000 lb range made their way into boats), and the Club Nautico de San Juan Billfish Tournament is a record-breaker with 190 Blues caught in a single tournament. 
White Marlin are usually in the 45–65 lb range, while Yellowfin Tuna average 60–150 pounds. Mahi Mahi are usually 10–15 pounds, though 30–50 lb specimens are often caught, as well. When it comes to Wahoo fishing, San Juan waters close to the shore are the best on the whole island. And don't forget the Sailfish!

Where to Go

The best part? You can get your hands on all these heavyweights just minutes from the shore. Only a couple of miles from the coast, you will be fishing in waters 600 feet deep. Even Blue Marlin can be found 2–5 miles from the dock. The famous "Billfish Pass," also known as "Blue Marlin Alley," where the waters are 5,000 feet deep, is located just 30 minutes from the coast (about a mile and a half). And if this isn't enough for you, venture 75 miles offshore to the Puerto Rico Trench and fish in the deepest waters in the Atlantic – over 28,000 feet deep. 

How to Fish

  • All Billfish are strictly catch and release – Puerto Rico takes great pride in being one of the world leaders when it comes to conservation and sustainability. 
  • Trolling is the name of the game in these deep waters, be it trolling large lures at high speed or slow trolling using live and dead bait. Even though Puerto Rico is more oriented toward bait fishing in general, lures and teasers might be a bit more popular in San Juan. 
  • When it comes to live bait fishing, it's all about ballyhoo – locals use it for various game fish. It's great for tempting all the Billfish, as are mullets, small Tarpon, Tuna, Mahi, Barracuda, and Bonito. Blue Marlin can't get enough of Tuna, Needlefish, Mahi Mahi, and Mackerel, while White Marlin are big fans of squid, surgeonfish, blue runners, and small Tuna. Sailfish are into the same things as White Marlin, in addition to flying fish, Mahi's favorite. 
  • Sportfishing weapons of choice usually include 80 lb IGFA-class gear, but some Billfish and Mahi enthusiasts go even lighter than 30 pounds. Light tackle is normally paired with smaller lures. 

When to Go

Deep sea fishing in San Juan is amazing year-round, but there are times of the year that are better than others for some species. July–October is the best period for targeting Blue Marlin since they tend to be bigger than in September and October. If this is what you want to focus on, go to San Juan during the summer season when you won't be as tempted by other species. 
White Marlin are great throughout the year, but their prime time is from April until June. Sailfish usually start appearing in October, and the best time for them is November and mid-December. Large schools of Yellowfin Tuna are beginning to show up in early summer, and the best season for them is May–July. Mahi are also great during summer, but best from the beginning of December until early March. The end of December is perfect for Wahoo, even though other months can be good as well. 
With such diversity and year-round opportunities, the hardest part will be to choose when to go and what to target. You can't go wrong whatever you decide. Head to San Juan and experience the best that the deep Atlantic has to offer. 

San Juan

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Top Targeted Deep Sea Fishing Species in San Juan

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Marlin (Blue)

Tuna (Yellowfin)


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