Advice for Fishing in Tonga
For your first time visiting Tonga with the idea of reeling in the big ones, there are a few things you need to know. We’ve put together this quick list of fishing tips for Tonga in order to help you plan your fishing trip and set the right expectations. For more advice, check out The Complete Guide to Fishing in Tonga.
1. Most South Pacific Game Fish Can be Caught in Tonga
Wondering if your targeted species are available in Tonga? Chances are, it is! Tonga is renowned for its Blue Marlin fisheries, but its waters are also home to game species, such as black marlin, Pacific sailfish, yellowfin tuna, skipjack tuna, dogtooth tuna, wahoo, mahimahi, barracuda, giant trevally, Spanish mackerel, kawakawa, coral trout and the list goes on. Read up on some of the most popular species to target in What Types of Fish Can You Fish for in Tonga?
2. While Fishing is Good All Year Round, There are Better Times for Specific Species than Others
Tonga is a year-round fishing destination, where there’s something exciting to reel up in any season. However, if you have your eyes on a particular species and want to get the bigger of that species possible, then there are certainly better seasons than others for fishing. For instance, blue marlin is best caught between June and December, while the biggest yellowfin tuna can be caught from August to February. Check out the full list of fishing seasons in The Best Time for Fishing in Tonga.
3. Vava’u is the Main Island Group for Fishing Charters, but You’ll Find Options Everywhere
The northern island group of Tonga, Vava’u, is a fishing mecca where you’ll find the most options for fishing charters. It’s definitely the place to go if you’re a serious angler. However, there are still charters to be found in other island groups, such as Tongatapu, ‘Eua and Ha’apai. Check out our quick rundown of each island group and their relationship with fishing in The Complete Guide to Fishing in Tonga.
4. Speciality Fishing in Tonga includes GT Fishing and Spearfishing
GT or spearfishing enthusiasts will find some awesome options in Tonga. There are charters dedicated to giant trevally fishing in Vava’u, while there are also dedicated fishing trips for spearfishing in Vava’u and ‘Eua. In fact, there are full seven to 10-day holiday packages for spearfishing in ‘Eua, which you can read up about in The Complete Guide to Spearfishing in Tonga.
5. Want to Keep the Catch? Ask First
Different charters have different policies when it comes to keeping the catch. While some are happy to let you take the catch to cook back at your accommodation, others may have a “catch stays with the boat” policy, some of the catch might be donated to a local village, while species like billfish are often “catch and release”. If you want to keep the catch, ask your chosen charter provider before heading out to avoid disappointment.
6. If You Have Your Own Gear, Look Out for Bareboat Charters
Some charters, particularly in Vava’u, offer “bareboat” charters where you’ll get the skipper, boat and maybe some bait if you bring your own fishing gear. Bareboat options are typically cheaper than normal fishing charters, so it’s a good way to save money if you have your own gear.
7. You’ll Get Over the Bluewater Syndrome Quickly
Spearfishers, you might not be used to how clear the water is in Tonga, which rarely goes less than 30m (100ft). This makes it a little challenging to understand how close you are to the pelagics to get a good shot, but you get used to this after a couple of days at the most. Get more advice on spearfishing in Tonga here.
8. Check Out a Fishing Tournament
If you’re looking to get in on a fishing tournament, check out the Tonga International Billfish Tournament in Vava’u in July over four to five days. The Nuku’alofa Fishing Club also has monthly competitions.