Puerto Rico - Blue Marlin Capital of the World

Saltwater sport fishing in Puerto Rico is rather good, but is basically limited to the pelagic species that border and cruise the island. The very deep and close to shore drop-offs and the fishing pressure limit the amount of good fishing areas for bottom fishing and for non-migratory species. The North coast is famous as the Marlin Capital of the World as enormous Blue Marlin can be caught as close as several hundred yards from the mouth of San Juan harbor. The International Billfish Tournament, one of the world's most important and prestigious Big Game fishing tournaments is held every year at the Club Nautico de San Juan. There are also good catches of Dorado (Mahi-mahi) reported especially during the months of November to June.


Mahi mahi

Dolphin fish

The west coast has excellent fishing not only for Blue Marlin but also for White marlin. The area around Mona island in the Mona Passage teem with not only the marlin species but with Wahoo and Dorado.
The South coast has several good areas for fishing but the Blue Marlin and White Marlin catches don't compare with the North or West coast. However, there is a strong Wahoo run during the months of September through January with fish up to 80 lbs. The Dorado run is also quite good from January through June with fish averaging 25 to 30 lbs.
The East coast is basically shallow and the species caught there are usually kingfish and barracuda. The North and South coasts, however are so close (a 20 mile run each way) that the fisherman has a choice.

Fresh Water Fishing

The island record for largemouth bass is over 14 lbs and fresh water fishing on the island is comprised mainly to one of the 25 artificial reservoirs, 13 of which are over 100 hectares. The main species are the largemouth bass and the Peacock Bass (Cichla ocellaris). According to Dr. Craig Lilyestrom, of the Puerto Rico Dept. Of Natural Resources, there are two excellent sportfishing facilities currently, at Lucchetti reservoir and Guajataca reservoir, including boat ramps, picnic areas, fish cleaning stations, and resident biologists.

There is a fish hatchery in the town of Maricao which produces 50,000 largemouth bass fingerlings per year for stocking among the island reservoirs. The DNR recently started producing and stocking redear sunfish to increase diversity of forage species, and recently they began to work with threadfin shad as well. Besides largemouth bass, several of the reservoirs have peacock bass, originally from Colombia. These include, Carraizo, Guajataca, La Plata, Cidra, Dos Bocas, Patillas and Carite reservoirs.
There are plans to build sportfishing facilities on the Toa Vaca and La Plata reservoirs and the Cerrillos reservoirs would soon have a model facility, built by the Army Corps of Engineers.
There is an enthusiastic group of fresh water fisherman on the island with about 14 freshwater fishing clubs, which have fishing tournaments almost every weekend.
The largemouth bass in Puerto Rico is about the fastest growing bass in the world, reaching 12 inches in less than 1 year, because of the tropical conditions which allow year-round growth. Most of the lakes have a mixed bass population of the Florida and the northern strains. Dr. Lilyestrom advises that there is a down side to the rapid growth, that being the fact that they don't live as long as up north. He informs that there is research being done to find out the reasons for this so that bigger fish can be caught.

 So that our kids will be able to fish, remember to Catch & Release