Curacao fishing is excellent and very popular. This is a surprise to many who come here for scuba diving and to enjoy the beaches. But what might be even more surprising is that even the Willemstad deep sea fishing is excellent—right in the middle of the cosmopolitan capital city. The entire coastline of this little island is graced with numerous bays and inlets, and the Willemstad harbor and bay (port for ships on Caribbean cruises) is the largest. It is called the Schottegat, and is a very large, almost completely enclosed bay surrounded by the city. It has a rich population of pike, barracuda, and other game species. But what is most exciting about Willemstad deep sea fishing is the tarpon, which grow to record lengths and weights.
Two of the island’s most important Curacao fishing events are the November International Tarpon Tournament and the March International Blue Marlin Release Tournament. The former is when Willemstad deep sea fishing takes center stage. This is the only time that fishing is allowed in the Shottegat, and the records during this tournament reach 200 pounds and more. This brings dozens of teams from all over the United States, Venezuela, Aruba, Bonaire, and other Caribbean islands, and the 1985 record of 803 pounds still stands as of 2010. This is called a release tournament because anglers must release all marlin under 300 pounds. If you want to book Curacao fishing charters during these tournaments, it is advisable to do so as far in advance as possible since there are a limited number of suitable boats that are all in high demand.
Most Curacao fishing charters spend a great deal of time in the coastal bays, which also boast the best beaches and resorts on the island. Additionally, virtually all hotels and resorts will be able to help you book half- or full-day fishing excursions. All resorts partner with a PADI certified dive operator, and sometimes it is possible to combine the two activities, which is great if not all members of your group are anglers. What is attractive for couples on romantic honeymoon vacations is that it is possible for one person to go out on Curacao fishing charters and still be back at their hotels before noon, allowing for tours of the historic capital city, shopping, and elegant candlelit dining followed by some nightlife.
When to go for the best Curacao fishing if you are looking for the largest fish is during April, May, and June, although some prefer October when the bait fish are more plentiful. However, rewarding fishing is available throughout the year. In the bays, look for barracuda, jack, ladyfish, and marlin. Marlin are also found out at sea, as are sailfish, tarpon, shark, wahoo, bonito, and blue, black, and yellow fin tuna. Many of the fishing operators consist of an experienced professional captain, one or two or more boats. If you want some authentic history partnered with your fishing, there are a couple of beaches that local fishermen traditionally use to bring in their day’s catch. Westpunt Beach, on the north coast between Playa Kenepa Grandi and Playa Kalki Beach, is one of these. It’s possible to negotiate a trip directly with one of the fisherman.