Here are a few ideas for the perfect international fishing trip, depending on what you're looking for.
Great fishing experiences aren't just limited to North America. There are plenty of exciting fishing trips you can take that will test your skills and give you an adventure of a lifetime.
But how to choose what fishing trip to take? After all, great fishing can be found all over the world.
We have some ideas on that should help you to narrow it down the fisheries you should consider for that bucket list trip.
If you like big, exotic freshwater fish or fly fishing...
One of the premiere freshwater sportfishing destinations in the world is South America. The experience of a lifetime is waiting to happen on any number of tropical rivers there. Most notably, the Amazon and other nearby rivers are filled with all sorts of interesting fish species like peacock bass, traira, goliath catfish, pacu, piranha, arowana, payara and more.
And who says you need to stay in the United States to go trout fishing? If you're willing to travel even further south to Argentina, you'll come across some of the best trout fishing spots in the world.
This is where you'll get to enjoy some awesome fly fishing trips for brown and rainbow trout on some of the most crystal-clear streams one can find. And it's all within view of the gorgeous mountain ranges of Patagonia.
If you like huge fish...
Looking for a hard-fighting game fish that might take hours to reel in? Look no further than Australia and New Zealand's coastlines as one of the world's best fishing destinations.
For the really big fish experience, look at the black and blue marlin. These fish regularly get upwards of 1,000 pounds and can take hours to get to the boat. Most anglers consider the area off Cairns, Australia to be one of the best places in the world to fish for black marlin. Giant sailfish and swordfish can also be found in Australian waters.
If you're after a giant shark, some of the biggest of all time can be found in the Land Down Under. The biggest tiger shark ever caught, a 1,785-pound monster, was caught off Ulladulla in 2004.
And don't forget that Australia holds the world record for the largest fishing record ever, a 2,664-pound great white caught off Ceduna in 1959. You can't really fish for great whites anymore, but our point remains, the fish are freaking huge in Australia's fishing grounds!
New Zealand has proven itself over and over as THE best fishing place for striped marlin. The IGFA world record, a massive 494-pounder was caught there in 1986 and has stood alone as the record ever since.
If you like variety...
Africa is the place to go for a fishing vacation focused primarily on deep sea fishing adventures, but there is room to have a lot of variety in your trip. You can literally spend one day fishing inshore for mackerel, wahoo, snapper and more. Then, the next day you can go out and fish for longfin, skipjack, big eye and yellowfin tuna of monstrous proportions.
The eastern Africa coast is also the go-to spot for hard fighting species like the giant trevally.
The coast of South Africa has plenty of fishing charters for hire and they can probably put you on whatever you want to fish for. These waters also have plenty of sharks and marlin for anyone looking for something really big to cap off an epic trip to Africa!
If you like a tropical paradise...
Ernest Hemingway spent much of his life angling and adventuring in the Caribbean Sea, especially in Cuba and the surrounding islands. Why did he love this area so much? Because of the spectacular fishing of course.
Once again, this is a place to find huge marlin. It's what inspired Hemingway to write "The Old Man and the Sea."
But the Caribbean is also a fantastic area to fish for other species like bonefish, tarpon, permit, dorado or mahi mahi, kingfish and more. If you're from a northern clime and want a fishing fix in the long winter months without drilling a hole in the ice, the Caribbean is a place to consider for the saltwater fishing adventure of a lifetime.
Places like the Bahamas are loaded with options for fishing guides. Technically, some of these tropical islands (like the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico) are a part of the U.S., but they are different enough from the lower 48 to feel like an international adventure. You can also easily travel to an island that isn't a U.S. territory if that is part of the criteria for your fishing trip. The great thing is that many of these locations are accessible from Florida.
If you don't want to travel too far or spend too much...
Two cheaper international options for great fishing action are Mexico and Central America. Both are cheap to fly to and the fish get huge in their world-class waters. There are also tons of outfitters and fishing lodges that cater specifically to visitors from the states.
For Mexico, it isn't just saltwater either. There are many dynamite bass lakes in Mexico like El Salto, Angostura, Lake Baccarac and Agua Milpa that are loaded with big bucketmouths.
The Pacific coasts of Mexico and Central America are easy to access from California and also offer some amazing saltwater opportunities. The world record roosterfish, a 114-pounder, was caught off La Paz, Mexico all the way back in 1960. Meanwhile, Costa Rica holds the world record both for mahi mahi (dolphin) at 87 pounds and common snook at 53 pounds, 10-ounces. Do not overlook places like Panama or Belize either.
The good news travel to all of these countries is relatively cheap, making for a memorable and affordable fishing adventure. The time is now to stop thinking about an international fishing vacation and to start planning it!
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