Fishing in Goa is one of the most exciting and fun activities. There is deep-sea fishing, river fishing in the mangroves and estuaries, and lake fishing in Goa for the angling enthusiasts. You can also try spear fishing. Private boat charters and yachts leave on full-day and half-day trips with tourists to bring in the fresh catch. There is plenty of fish to catch in the Goa waters – salmon, stingray, mullet, soormai, King fish, guitar fish, surgeon fish, rock fish, barramundi, lady fish, barracuda and more.
Fishing is the main coastal business of the local population. Fishing trawlers leave in their fishing boats at night and come back with their catch between 9 and 11 in the morning. Businesses will pick up the fish and sell it in the markets. Fish caught in Goa is sold throughout the state and also in the neighboring states of Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Sport Fishing in the Arabian Sea
The Arabian Sea in the west provides Goa a 110 kilometer coastline. Head out to the sea for a deep-sea fishing experience. You can set sail either in the early morning or the evening. You can do both day fishing and night fishing in Goa.
- Sail 40-60 kilometers offshore into the sea.
- Explore the blue waters and enjoy the fresh wind.
- Use advanced tools like fish finder, compass, depth sounder, GPS.
- Usually, the big fish is available in deeper waters.
- The depth range is between 160 and 260 feet.
- Learn all about casting hooks, natural and live baits, reeling the fish in.
- Learn different fishing methods like popping, jigging, bottom fishing, spinning, trolling, and also fly fishing.
- Equipment provided on board, or can be easily hired in Goa.
- Also enjoy swimming and snorkeling.
- You can include a visit to the Grand Island or the Ilha Grande.
- Many operators provide snacks, lunch, and beer on a full-day trip.
Beach Fishing in Goa
In-shore and beach fishing in Goa is also very enjoyable and rewarding. You can use live baits like sardines, prawns, mullets, and even freshly cut baits to attract the fish. You can also take a boat to go a few meters into the sea. Here are some of the best places for in-shore and beach fishing –
- Sinquerim Beach
- Sinquerim Bay
- Cabo Bay
- Palolem Beach
- Mormugoa Bay
- Candolim Beach
You can catch stingray, rockfish, guitarfish, groupers, barramundi, barracuda, mackerels, groupers, and others.
There is also crab catching at Mobor beach and Sonaulim. Learn how to set crab traps to catch the mud crabs. Dawn and dusk is usually the preferred time. You can then have a tasty meal prepared with your catch. A local shack or restaurant should be able to do it. If you want, you can prepare a meal in your villa too. But remember to pick a remote and quieter beach so that swimmers don’t interrupt your fishing.
The Last Asylum – The Polem Beach in extreme South Goa is a particularly good place for beach fishing. There are jagged headlands and a thick jungle, which ensures that this rocky beach is always secluded. This is a virgin beach, which is why it is popularly referred to as ‘last asylum’. The water is opaque and has a blue-green fluorescent tint. You will find croakers, snappers, and even mid-sized guitar sharks here. Night fishing is particularly productive here.
River Fishing in Goa
Zuari and Mandovi are the two main rivers of Goa. Interestingly, these two rivers are also connected at one point. You can do sport fishing in these rivers, the estuaries and creeks. The prized catch here is the mangrove jacks and barramundis. You can also catch catfish and ladyfish.
- The mangrove jack is an extremely versatile fish.
- It is strong and known for violent runs.
- It has large and sharp spines and teeth.
- The fish can strike at lightning speed and has an aggressive style, so offers a good challenge for the angler.
- A good tackle, strong line, and trigger reactions are needed.
- The mangrove jack is between 6 and 9 kgs, while barramundis in the rivers range between 80 and 90 cms.
The Tiracol River in North Goa is also a good place for fishing. You can catch red snappers, barramundis, threadfin salmons, groupers, and giant trevallies here.
Spear Fishing in Goa
There is plenty of tropical life for spear fishing in Goa. The best places for this are –
- Grand Island
- Bat Island
- Sail Rock
- Sunchi Reef
- Amee Shoal
There are also some other reefs and drop-offs, which are all good places for spear fishing. You will have good visibility. The depth range is between 8 and 15 meters. You don’t have to wear a wet suit as the water is warm and comfortable. A light wet suit should be enough when there are current changes.
You will be provided elastic powered spear guns, compressed gas pneumatic powered spear guns, slings, fins, snorkels, and mask. There is an orientation briefing before you dive. You can expect to catch barracudas, mackerels, red snappers, groupers, jacks, surgeon fish, spade fish, cobia, lobsters, and more.
The Best Time For Fishing In Goa
October to May is generally considered the best time for deep-sea fishing in Goa.
Dawn and dusk are the best times. Select a secluded beach. Too many swimmers will drive the fish away.
River fishing is always productive, so you can do this throughout the year. But it is necessary to pick the time of day wisely. The best time will be at the top of the high tide as these are low-lying areas.
October to January is the best time for spear fishing in Goa.
It is important that you always release your catch if you are doing deep-sea fishing, beach fishing or river fishing. A ‘catch and release’ policy will preserve the biodiversity of Goa. For spear fishing, always limit your kill for conservation.
Fishing Essentials In Goa
- There are tour operators who offer half-day and full-day fishing trips in Goa.
- Equipment can be rented easily. Many operators will also give you the equipment to use when you book the trip. You can also bring your own gear.
- There are fishing expeditions for both advanced and beginner anglers.
- Training is available for beginners.
- Boats can seat 3 or 4 people.
- Boat rental is around 1,500 rupees for 3-4 hours.
- Fishing trip prices vary between $30 and $300 depending on the class of the leased vessel and the duration of the voyage.
- Fishing trips can be combined with diving, snorkeling and dolphin watching.
- Carry a sunscreen, sunglass, and a hat.
- Apart from fish, you can also catch oysters, crabs, clams and lobsters.
- There are more than 100 species of aquatic animals in the Goa waters.