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.
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
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
• Snapper 5-110lbs
• Grouper 5-10lbs
• Guitar fish 10-90lbs
• Thread fin salmon 5-70lbs
• Jacks 5-50lbs Cat fish 2-60lbs
• Barracuda 5-70lbs
• Rays 5-400lbs
West African Shore & Boat Fishing
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.
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.
A day trip can last around 7 hours. Anglers can choose from a
variety of methods including both lure and bait fishing.
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 species.
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 tropical species.
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 live baits.
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
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
Bird Safari Camp which is has a restaurant, bar and swimming