| Sea and river fishing is good all year round
(see seasons chart), particularly
line-fishing from the beaches. Several sport-fishing boats
are available for sea-angling trips from a number of local
fishing tour operators. Many
boats are located and available for hire at Denton
Bridge and in the estuary of the River
Gambia. Many are well equipped for deep-water sports-fishing
Since the early 1990s, the growing popularity for recreational
fishing has now made The Gambia one of the most sought after
fishing holiday destinations in the world.
The Gambian beaches play host to the Masterline International
Beach Fishing Festival every year and for good reason, the
surf casting is excellent during the period from October through
to May and beach fishermen can expect to take Large Guitarfish,
Stingrays, Captain fish, Jack Crevalle, Cassava, Groupers
and many more.
coastal region of The Gambia is made up of numerous angling spots
such as inshore reefs
and sandbars, deep channels and rocky outcrops, as well as the mighty
Gambia River itself. A couple of great fishing areas can be found
further down the coast at Tanji
creeks and Kartung's Allahein River. Primarily an estuary region, the average depth ranges from 10ft to 100ft with tidal sub-tropical waters flowing into
the Atlantic Ocean. These features provide an excellent marine
environment for a number of noted worldwide Sport Fish as well as a
multitude of tropical local and colourful species.
The fresh water regions of The Gambia River on
the West African Coast
is the new destination for the travelling Sport Fisherman. In the
heart of Gambia, this truly African setting is home to a number of
noted fighting fresh water fish and a host of localised species which
include: Tiger fish, Vundu Catfish, Sharptooth Catfish, Zambizi Pike ,
Characins , Threadfin Salmon and many more. The lure of Gambia's fresh
water is the totally unspoilt nature of this huge stretch of river, untouched by commercialism , this area offers a taste of the real
Africa. Here fish species can live out their natural life cycle
without interference from the modern world.
Normal baits for bottom fishing include live Mullet and Sardines,
as well as dead baits of shrimp or bonga.
||Typical Fish Catches
in the coastal waters of Gambia are:
||• Tarpon 20-300lbs
Guitar fish 10-90lbs
Thread fin salmon 5-70lbs
Jacks 5-50lbs Cat fish 2-60lbs
The 3 day shoreline competition
attracts fishing enthusiasts from all over the EU. Due to
the high standard of beach fishing and and top cash prizes,
the festival's popularity is on the increase as anglers return
each year. Other activities during the week-long festival
include practice days, social evenings, evening matches and
international charity fishing. Entries are open to all sexes,
abilities and ages.
||West African Shore &
Boat Fishing Festival Competition:
is possible to hire a safari land rover to take
you from the main hotel resorts
over bush and beach along Gambia's southern seaboard.
Here, you can find plenty of sandy bays lined with
shallow reefs and rocky outcrops which provide the
ideal environment for the dedicated shore angler.
day trip can last around 7 hours. Anglers can choose
from a variety of methods including both lure and
Shore angling in The Gambia is available at any
time of the year and any state of the tide. It is
also so diverse that almost any arrangement of tackle
can be deployed. For beach
angling in the open sandy bays, a standard beach
casting outfit is frequently used to throw out the
bait beyond the surf's edge. Otherwise, lighter
spinning outfits are also a common choice and are
used effectively when angling from the scar reef
and rocks. You are advised to bring your own tackle,
otherwise you can hire a set from your local operator.
Typical catches include species such as Barracuda,
Shovel-nosed Rays, Jacks, Stingrays, Cobb and a
range of localised species.
Blue Water Fishing:
sea fishing up to 20 miles offshore on a 28 foot
Glacier Bay Catamaran using methods such as trolling,
drift fishing, live baits and sight casting to target
Sailfish, Dorado, Marlin, Tuna and many more pelagic
species. The 'blue water' season in Gambia runs
from the middle of May to October. During the summer
June to Dec, large groups of migratory Marlin and
Sailfish run down the Senegalese and Gambian coasts,
along with Dorado, Tuna and Sharks. This adds up
to an excellent sport fishery.
Gambia's estuary is fringed on its banks by dense
mangrove swamps interconnected by a maze of saltwater
bolongs. These splendid, wild waterways make an
ideal habitat for a range of tropical fish and an
ideal marine environment for the light tackle angler.
Shielded from the Atlantic Ocean, the bolong's meandering
water-ways are perpetually tranquil and appealing
to the boat anglers who prefer to avoid rough waters.
Angling methods include both lure and bait fishing.
Target species include Barracuda, Butterfish, Ladyfish,
Snappers Threadfin Salmon as well as plenty of localised
than 70 different species are regular catches in
the reefs - these include Barracuda, Cubera Snapper,
Threadfin Salmon, Cassava, Jack Crevalle and Stingrays.
Bottom fishing and trolling with 12, 20 and 30lbs
gear, it's amazing how hard these fish will fight.
The coastal region of The Gambia is made up of many
inshore reef sandbars, rocky outcrops and deep channels,
as well as the Gambia
River. Primarily a tidal estuary, these features
provide an ideal marine ecosystem for a number of
renowned sporting fish as well as numerous local
shallow clear waters of the islands at Tanji
are home to numerous predators including Queenfish,
Jack Crevalle, Barracuda, Snapper and Tarpon. If
you fancy yourself as a bit of a Rex Hunt this is
the trip for you, lure fishing on light gear is
the name of the game. You may also catch a glimpse
of the giant turtles.
this method along the Gambian coastline
gives the travelling angler the chance to try out
a variety of baiting methods including lure fishing,
bait fishing at anchor using a variety of dead or
Moored close to the rocky outcrops and reefs using
a simple stainless steel paternoster rig with quite
light tackle and local fresh prawns for bait will
create many hours of enjoyment for the angler.
The exhilaration of battling with a number of tough
fighting reef dwellers is increased by not knowing
what you're going to catch on your next bait! It
is common for over a 12 local species to be caught
in this way. On the same fishing grounds, near to
the sandbars and reefs you can also aim the larger
species. Typical catches include African Pompano,
Angel Fish, Moray Eel, Hardhead Catfish, Trevelle
Jacks, Grouper, Tropical Wrass, Cubera Snapper,
Ladyfish (Nine Bones), King Threadfin as well as
other colourful tropical species.
Using heavy duty fishing gear, baits such as herrings
are gently dropped into the depths to lure some
renowned hard fighters. Fishing slightly off the
reefs, the West African King Threadfin (locally
known as Kujeli) can be hunted down. These recognised
sporting fish have become a favorite with anglers.
Although a shy feeder, the Threadfin once hooked,
will give a lengthy powerful fight all the way back
to the boat. Other local species such as Ladyfish
react in pretty much the same way.
from the diverse bottom fishing that is available,
lure fishing or
trolling from a traveling boat is a well known method
when targeting Barracuda. Moving along the Gambian
coastal region, fishing with a selection of artificial
lures, it is an anxious time for the fisherman as
he passes time in anticipation for his rod to bend
over and line start screeching from reel. Believing
them to be fleeing fish the Barracuda will strike
at the lures. Once hooked, these fish resist being
caught hard often emerging from the water's surface
in an attempt to release themselves from your hook.
Other predatory species such as the Large Pompano,
and Spanish Mackerel are also favourites.
A typical full days' sport fishing will often include
a combination of different techniques to suit the
type of fishing on that particular day. The ever
changing tidal coloration and flow of the currents
often determines which fishing methods are used
and which fish are to be sought after. This decision
is best left to the boat's captain and crew whose
invaluable local knowledge of fish behaviour and
grounds will put you onto what's taking the bait.
to the Elopidae family they are by far the most
powerful gamefish in The Gambia! Do battle with
the Silver King or more accurately the Silver
Queen as most Tarpon over 150lbs are females. The
Gambia is home to some of the world's largest Tarpon;
the unofficial world record fish of 303lbs was landed
by a UK angler in 1995. The weight of a tarpon in
The Gambia can range from 15lb to 250lb, with numerous
fish having been caught weighing in excess of 100lbs.
A day sport fishing for one of these 7-foot fish
off the coast can be the experience of a lifetime.
These amazing fish can be targeted using a variety
of techniques such as live and artificial bait,
rods and line
The tarpon give away their presence when they occasionally
rise to the sea surface. The 'Silver Kings' as they
are sometimes known owe much of their reputation
to their often enormous size and their habit of
making, spectacular leaps after being hooked on
Although these giants can be caught throughout the
year the best time to catch the larger specimens
is November through to May. Despite having some
of the largest tarpon in the world these fish can
prove elusive so aiming for the best tides is a
critical factor. In Gambia tarpon are mostly targeted
over the rise of the high tide in the mouth of the
River estuary given good weather
conditions. Calm sea conditions are needed to fish
the tarpon for the best results and you must be
prepared to look at alternatives if the weather
turns for the worse.
chance to travel inland and catch one of the top
freshwater sporting fish (Hydrocynus Vitattus).
The average weight is 12lbs but in the 2006 season
fish up to a massive 23lbs were netted. Superb fishing
is available in the waters all around Janjangbureh
(Georgetown) on McCarthy Island which is 180 miles
up the Gambia River.
Angling is done at various spots around prominent
features; deep channels and sandbanks, sunken trees
and rocky outcrops. Fishing for Tigerfish is usually
done in two sessions; early evening and early morning
with lure fishing; slow trolling a variety of lures
along the edges of the river banks and around marked
features provide the most consistent strikes. Once
hooked, this formidable predator will break from
the water with a display of powerful turns and twists.
You can stay in a secluded bush camp called the
Safari Camp which is has a restaurant, bar and