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Fishing in Seychelles is like a angler’s dream come true.
Some of the best fishing spots in the world are also some of the most remote. Such is the case with fishing in Seychelles.
Never heard of it? It’s a small island nation off the coast of Kenya and north of Madagascar.
Situated in the Indian Ocean, it is also a sportsman and woman’s paradise.
Here are the species you can catch there and how to make a fishing trip to this saltwater dream destination a reality.
What species are in the Seychelles Islands?
This island nation is made up of hundreds of individual islands, many of them coral islands. Because it is so remote, nearly 1,000 miles off the coast of Africa, it doesn’t get nearly as much fishing pressure.
Many of the reefs and islands are protected nature reserves, making it a prime place for fish to grow to gigantic sizes on the flats and just offshore.
The main species associated with the Seychelles is the giant trevally, or GT for short. This fish is pure muscle, can grow to weights over 150 pounds and is incredibly aggressive. This fish has a real mean streak and most anglers who have tangled with one say it’s the hardest-fighting fish they’ve ever encountered.
Fishing for GTs usually involves giant lures. Huge topwater poppers are standard when fishing from a boat, but anglers in the Seychelles also target bluefin trevally through wading and sight fishing the shallow reef areas and sand flats around the inner islands. Landing any kind of trevally on this kind of equipment is the ultimate test of any saltwater fly fisherman’s skills.
Many anglers make the islands one of their bucket list fly fishing destinations because of the world-class bonefishing in the Seychelles. What could be a better winter getaway than walking the white sands and wading the crystal-clear blue water in search of huge, hard-fighting bonefish on the fly?
Of course, these incredible fishing grounds hold more than just these two species. You’ll also find incredible saltwater fly fishing opportunities for parrotfish, snapper, triggerfish, milkfish, Indo-Pacific permit and more in the shallow flats around the islands. It’s like a literal saltwater fishing playground.
The variety of fish continues offshore. From a boat you can target grouper, marlin, sailfish, barracuda, wahoo, mahe (aka: dorado or mahi-mahi), yellowfin tuna, bonito, dogtooth tuna and more.
See what we mean about this place being the ultimate fishing experience of a lifetime?
How to get to the Seychelles Islands
Getting to the Seychelles Islands is going to be the hardest part of your whole trip. You’re looking at a minimum of 24 to 35 hours of flight time to reach there from the United States. And you’re likely to have three or more stops along the way.
There is only one international airport on the islands and that is near the Seychelles capital, Victoria, which is located on the island of Mahe, one of the largest in the chain.
Most of the flights to be found seem to fly out of New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami or Houston. From there, they will probably route you through London, England, or Dublin, Ireland and then you could end up in any number of places including India, Kenya, Ethiopia or Abu Dhabi.
These flights are expensive. As of the time of this writing, flights to Seychelles International Airport in August ranged from $1,800 to nearly $5,000. Remember, you are on a game fishing trip to one of the most remote locations in the world; it’s going to be expensive to get there!
Also be aware that many of these flights include at least one overnight layover, so make sure you’re comfortable with wherever that layover may be. And make sure to schedule enough time off from work to accommodate this extra day on the way there and the way home.
Once you arrive on Mahe, you can either fish there or catch a smaller flight to one of the more remote outer islands to try you luck there.
On a quick related note about getting to the islands, the Seychelles do have their own currency (called rupees), but it seems that most visitors are able to use European euros for purchases. Most fishing charters have their prices quoted in euros, so you may want to exchange before you get there.
Again, remember that this is one of the most remote island nations on earth. You could get hit with some serious bank fees while using a credit card there.
Seychelles Fishing Charters and Guides
You’ll most likely be hiring a guide or chartering a boat on the Seychelles Islands. You can organize a DIY trip, but keep in mind some parks and refuge areas are totally off-limits to all fishing activity. A good guide or charter will be able to help you avoid the closed areas.
Fishing guides will also help put you on the fish quickly, as opposed to you having to figure things out on your own. There are charters situated on many of the major islands, some of which operate out of resorts and offer full service Seychelles fishing packages. Those sorts of arrangements can make your planning even easier.
Most of the atoll islands like Alphonse Island, Astove Atoll, Cosmoledo Atoll, Poivre Island or La Digue Island have at least one charter located on them (or a guide service that will take you there). Services are like saltwater fishing charters you’ll find all over the world. You can often choose between half and full day trips. Expect to pay around $500 U.S. for a half day trip and up to $1,000 U.S. for a full day excursion.
While these trips aren’t cheap, some of them will work snorkeling or sight-seeing into the package too, giving you more bang for your buck. Plenty of others will cook your catch for you once you get back to shore in the evening.
When to go and what to bring
Because the Seychelles are in a warm climate, you can go fishing just about any time of the year, but the most popular seasons are often subject to the trade winds.
From December through March you’ll likely encounter more stormy weather than other times of the year. Note that most guides and charters fill up their schedules with booked trips fast. You may want to schedule your trip a year or more in advance.
As for what to bring, temperatures remain warm throughout the entire year, so you can get away with standard beach or tropical fishing clothing. You might want to pack some rain gear to be safe. As for fishing gear, it depends on what species you hope to target.
If you’re going to be targeting GTs and other hard-fighting species, bring the heaviest gear you own. Specialty poppers for GTs are sold online. They aren’t cheap, around $25-50 each, but those are the kind of lures you need for fish that large and aggressive.
Most charters, especially the Seychelles deep sea fishing charters, will have all the gear you need.
Oh, and most importantly, don’t forget to bring a good camera. A Seychelles big game fishing trip is the experience of a lifetime and you’re going to want to have something to preserve the memories!
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