What is fishing like in Antigua? Can you catch wahoo? Sam Dyson and Nadia Dyson of Luxury Locations Antigua go to find out on Double Header Fishing Charters based out of English Harbour on the south coast of Antigua to try their hand at offshore fishing in Antigua.
Double Header is a 55ft Hattaras fishing boat, we head out to south bank, located between Antigua and Guadaloupe to try to catch som wahoo, mahi and tuna.
From Luxury Locations Magazine Antigua - Whale of a time - Aquatic adventures aboard Double Header
As the sun rises in the early dawn over English Harbour, a lone vessel, a 55ft Hatteras named Double Header, glides out past the many yachts which have overnighted in the harbour. Double Header is bound for the fertile fishing grounds of South Bank, a sea mount located between Antigua and Guadeloupe.
The nearest northern corner of South Bank is 13 miles from English Harbour and though the journey begins with gentle lapping of waters, as the sun rises the activity soon begins merely a few hundred metres from shore.
As the water depth drops by hundreds of feet below us, Captain Derek declares that we are ready to begin fishing. Deckhand Tony, a seasoned fisherman equipped with seemingly impossible balance on the rolling vessel, calmly wanders the deck preparing the rods and lines. Within moments, six lines are out and we are poised for a great day of fishing.
Our fish targets for the day are pelagic fish species including wahoo, mahi mahi and tuna, as well as larger pelagic fish including marlin or swordfish. These species aggregate around the sea mount resulting in rich and more plentiful biodiversity in these locations.
Within 10 minutes, the tip of a rod flicks then springs forward bending to the sea, its reel clicking aggressively as line is stripped from the reel.
From the flybridge Captain Derek shouts down that it is probably a tuna due to the way the bait has been taken. My father, who until a moment earlier was calmly basking in the morning sun in the fighting chair, is now wrestling with the rod as the fight begins.
After 10 minutes of hauling and winding, Captain Derek’s hypothesis is proved correct as Tony lifts a black fin tuna over the transom. Exhausted and happy from the catch, my father relinquishes the chair ready for the next fish.
The morning continues with more tuna and a few mahi mahi over the next hour, when a call from Derek announces that we have humpback whales off our starboard side.
The massive cetaceans, as if on cue, gradually move within 100ft of the vessel, occasionally blowing up clouds of vapour, giving us a clear view of the pod of six or so. Over the next 30 minutes they meander on a similar course until we see tails flap as they dive into the abyss, leaving us to continue our fishing.
As if by way of a parting gift, as we turn away one of the lines is struck. Although we have had a few fish of different species this seems different and a lot more powerful. As I am passed the rod it seems like a monster is attached to the end of the line. As I haul and wind it seems as if I am winning the battle in a similar way to the other fish landed, but this is something different – it is a wahoo.
Fifty feet from the boat the rod is virtually ripped from my hands as the rod is bent double. The line screams from the reel as the wahoo charges away; this, I am told, is why they are called wahoo! After several similar charges over the next 10 minutes, my first wahoo is landed.
Towards mid-afternoon we head back to Antigua. We have had multiple wahoo, mahi mahi, tuna and barracuda on board, seen whales and tails and are happily worn out as we crack open a few well deserved, ice cold beers.
On the dockside Derek presents us with a few pounds of fileted fish destined for the evening’s BBQ.