u.s. virgin islands deep sea fishing
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Imagine the salt air brushing across your face as waves lap against the hull, the anticipation of a tug on the line where deep blue waters house some of the most illustrious game fish in the world. This is the allure of U.S. Virgin Islands deep sea fishing, a realm where every cast is a story waiting to unfold, and every catch is a dance with the ocean’s depths. It’s not just a sport; it’s a vibrant adventure, attracting souls from across the globe to the best U.S. Virgin Islands destinations. Whether you’re meticulously planning a U.S. Virgin Islands vacation or spontaneously deciding to embrace the thrills of the sea, the promise of rod-bending action is tantalizingly close.

Here, testimonials of hard-fought battles with mahi-mahi and heart-racing encounters with barracuda aren’t merely tales; they’re invitations to be a part of an ever-changing narrative. With a knowledgeable captain at the helm, the U.S. Virgin Islands become more than a travel destination; they transform into chapters of an angler’s diary where waters rich with life set the stage for unmatched exhilaration. The profound beauty and bountiful marine life of these islands beckon you to come and write your own story upon the vast blue canvas.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Discover the thrill of battling the ocean’s greatest game fish in the renowned waters of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Learn from experienced captains and crews who can turn your deep sea fishing trip into a memorable and educational experience.
  • Seize the opportunity to tailor your fishing adventure to your schedule, including excursions that cater to cruise ship arrivals.
  • Explore the range of local aquatic life, from the swift wahoo to the awe-inspiring sharks, as part of your deep sea journey.
  • Enhance your U.S. Virgin Islands travel guide knowledge with a hands-on approach to navigating these crystal-clear waters.
  • Ideal for both seasoned anglers and beginners, the U.S. Virgin Islands offer top-tier fishing experiences.
  • Utilize this guide as a starting point for U.S. Virgin Islands vacation planning, ensuring an unforgettable adventure.

Why the U.S. Virgin Islands are a Deep Sea Fishing Paradise

Among the top things to do in the U.S. Virgin Islands, deep sea fishing stands out as a thrilling adventure, and it’s no wonder why. Nestled at the edge of the impressive Puerto Rico Trench, these islands offer some of the most spectacular settings for sportfishing enthusiasts. From the dramatic underwater landscapes to the rich diversity of marine life, every element combines to create a fishing paradise unlike any other.

Exquisite Locations at the Puerto Rico Trench

The geological wonder of the Puerto Rico Trench has blessed the U.S. Virgin Islands with some of the most thrilling deep-sea fishing spots on the globe. The renowned North Drop and South Drop are must-visit places in the U.S. Virgin Islands for every fishing aficionado. With depths that reach thousands of feet, these areas are veritable underwater highways for migratory species, offering a diverse menu for the predators of the deep.

Year-Round Offshore Action for Diverse Marine Life

You will find a year-round calendar filled with opportunities to reel in anything from the agile sailfish to the mighty blue marlin. Known for its outstanding U.S. Virgin Islands top vacation spots, the region promises bountiful catches, including the ever-popular wahoo, kingfish, yellowfin, blackfin tuna, and the colorful dolphin fish, known locally as mahi-mahi. No matter the season, the waters are teeming with life, ensuring your fishing trip is both eventful and rewarding.

Renown for Marlin: St. Thomas Ranking Global Charts

The jewel of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, is globally recognized as a premier destination for hooking the legendary blue marlin. The North Drop’s reputation brings anglers from all over the world, hoping to land a record-breaking catch. With such prestige, St. Thomas remains one of the U.S. Virgin Islands top vacation spots for deep sea fishing connoisseurs.

Fishing SpotDistance from St. ThomasNoteworthy Catches
North Drop20 miles northBlue Marlin, Tuna, Wahoo
South Drop8 miles southMahi-Mahi, Sailfish, Kingfish

As you consider the myriad of activities the islands offer, keep in mind that engaging in deep sea fishing is not just about the sport—it’s about embracing the magnificence of nature, the rush of the chase, and the indelible memories made offshore in the heart of the Caribbean. Undoubtedly, deep sea fishing in the U.S. Virgin Islands is an escapade that should be high on your list of priorities.

Understanding the Waters: The North Drop and South Drop Explained

If you’re planning a fishing adventure in the U.S. Virgin Islands, two underwater landscapes you must become acquainted with are the North Drop and the South Drop. These locations are not just places on a map, but the bastions of sport fishing that have put the U.S. Virgin Islands on the map as a premier destination among the world’s top tourist attractions.

The North Drop promises an unparalleled challenge for those seeking the majestic blue marlin. Its location, about 20 miles north of St. Thomas, marks the edge of the Puerto Rico Trench where depth and currents collaborate to curate a marine biodiversity hotspot. Conversely, the South Drop is celebrated for its accessibility and rewarding offerings such as mahi-mahi and sailfish. Only 8 miles south of St. Thomas, the depths here plunge to 12,000 feet, enriching the waters with nutrients and attracting a bountiful variety of fish in the warm embrace of the Caribbean Sea.

For any angler, understanding the unique aspects of these fishing grounds is crucial:

  • The North Drop is renowned for blue marlin, especially during summer months when they are most prolific.
  • The South Drop’s slightly warmer waters support an extraordinary diversity of species year-round.

On your U.S. Virgin Islands trip, these illustrious drops are more than just attractions; they’re gateways to thrilling confrontations with some of the ocean’s most coveted species. Book your charter, set the course, and immerse yourself in the exhilarating pursuit that awaits in these deep blue battlegrounds.

Targeting Trophy Fish: What You Need to Know

When embarking on a U.S. Virgin Islands vacation, the dream of landing a storied trophy fish is within reach. Known for its clear cerulean waters and abundant marine life, the archipelago is a prime destination for deep-sea anglers of all skill levels. Before you set out on your U.S. Virgin Islands trip, here are some insights to help you target the prizes of the deep.

Blue Marlin: The Peak of Deep Sea Angling

The chase for blue marlin is a thrilling test of skill and patience, promising the reward of a lifetime for dedicated anglers. Renowned spots like the North Drop are celebrated for their prolific blue marlin population, earning the U.S. Virgin Islands a global reputation.

Tuna Varieties: Techniques for Yellowfin and Blackfin

Whether you’re after the fierce yellowfin or the elusive blackfin, the U.S. Virgin Islands’ waters offer the ultimate battleground. Experienced local captains can guide you through the most effective techniques to increase your chances for a successful haul.

Fish SpeciesBest Season to CatchPopular Techniques
Blue MarlinJune – OctoberTrolling with lures and bait
Yellowfin TunaMarch – JuneChunking and live baiting
Blackfin TunaYear-roundVertical jigging and trolling

Gearing up for your deep sea excursion? Remember to consult with local charters to align your trip with the best seasonal spots for these coveted species. With the right combination of expertise and persistence, your U.S. Virgin Islands trip may just yield the ocean’s most impressive trophies.

U.S. Virgin Islands Deep Sea Fishing

As one of the top things to do in the U.S. Virgin Islands, deep sea fishing stands as a testament to the thrill and joy of marine sports. With the allure of the open ocean and the prospect of a bountiful catch, you’ll find that U.S. Virgin Islands deep sea fishing is a pursuit imbued with both challenge and excitement.

The waters surrounding these idyllic islands serve as a sanctuary for an array of majestic game fish. The North Drop is the theater of dreams for any angler seeking the celebrated blue marlin, while the South Drop invites enthusiasts to partake in the fast-paced endeavor of hooking tuna species. Here, your connection to the sea and its inhabitants becomes a narrative of personal achievement and ecological discovery.

Deep sea fishing in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Every expedition into these deep sea fishing grounds offers an intimate encounter with the ocean’s remarkable ecosystem. Diverse in its offerings, the marine tableau presents anglers with opportunities that extend beyond the catch—painting every outing with the brush of serenity and the thrill of pursuit, making it one of the top things to do in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Fish SpeciesHotspot LocationSeasonal Availability
Blue MarlinNorth DropSummer and Fall
Yellowfin TunaSouth DropYear-Round
Blackfin TunaSouth DropYear-Round
WahooBite-Lines near St. ThomasWinter

To maximize your adventure in the U.S. Virgin Islands, embracing the thrill that comes with deep sea fishing is unparalleled. Whether you are an experienced angler or a novice to the sport, the crystal blue waters invite you to cast your line into one of nature’s most majestic arenas. Here, amidst the ebb and flow of the Caribbean Sea, you find a pastime that not only challenges but rejuvenates—the ultimate deep-sea adventure awaiting your arrival.

Choosing Your Charter: What to Consider for the Best Experience

Embarking on a fishing charter during your U.S. Virgin Islands vacation planning is an exciting prospect. The best U.S. Virgin Islands destinations offer a variety of charters, but your experience can vary greatly depending on your choice. To ensure a memorable and satisfactory trip, here are some elements you should consider.

Assessing Boat and Gear Quality

When you’re out on the Caribbean Sea, the quality of your boat and gear plays a pivotal role in your deep-sea fishing success. To maximize safety and comfort, prioritize charters that invest in high-quality, well-maintained vessels and the latest fishing technology.

Reputable charters like Double Header Sport Fishing showcase their commitment to quality with impeccably maintained vessels designed for the open seas. Similarly, Local Flavor Charters equips its boats with a range of sophisticated gear, ensuring you have the best tools at your disposal to make that big catch.

Take the time to research and compare the offerings of various charters. Reading reviews or reaching out to the companies directly can provide valuable insights into the condition of their equipment. Remember, the right boat and gear not only enhance your experience but also increase your chances of reel success.

Expertise of Captain and Crew

The difference between a good fishing trip and an unforgettable one often lies in the hands guiding you — the expertise of your captain and crew is essential. You want to be with a team that has a deep understanding of local waters, weather patterns, and the habits of the sea life you’re targeting.

Experienced professionals like Captain Eric and Captain Red are known for their mastery of the waters surrounding the U.S. Virgin Islands. They have garnered acclaim for not only their navigational skill but also their ability to read ocean conditions, deliver engaging narratives on the local ecosystem, and provide expert guidance throughout the fishing excursion.

By selecting a charter with experienced captains and crews, you ensure valuable local knowledge that enhances your chances of a successful outing. It’s this expert guidance that can turn a day on the water into an adventure that you’ll be recounting for years to come.

The Best Times for Deep Sea Fishing in the U.S. Virgin Islands

As you dive into your U.S. Virgin Islands travel guide, note that the islands’ tropical climate extends an open invitation for deep sea fishing year-round. Yet, understanding the seasonal patterns is crucial for anglers looking to maximize their experience. For those aspiring to hook the coveted marlin, the summer and fall months are prime time, as these majestic fish frequent the local waters. Weather conditions during these seasons typically offer calmer seas, which not only make for a more pleasant jaunt offshore but also increase your chance at a bountiful catch.

During the winter and spring, while the trade winds may be brisker, they bring with them a different array of marine life. It’s a period when you might be rewarded with an impressive tuna or wahoo, each promising its own excitement and challenge. Regardless of when you visit, your itinerary should boast deep sea fishing as one of the top things to do in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

It’s also worth syncing your trip with the islands’ famed fishing tournaments. These competitions draw anglers of all levels and capture the vibrant spirit of the local fishing community. Taking part or being a spectator during such events adds a thrilling competitive dimension to your fishing adventure.

Deep Sea Fishing in the U.S. Virgin Islands

To better prepare for your deep sea escapades, refer to the upcoming local fishing event calendar, and keep an eye on the forecast for optimal conditions. With the right timing, your deep sea fishing trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands could be an experience of a lifetime, teeming not only with fish but with rich memories as well.

Must-Visit Places for Deep Sea Fishing in the U.S. Virgin Islands

When it comes to the thrill of deep sea fishing, certain must-visit places in the U.S. Virgin Islands come to mind that you simply cannot overlook. The legendary North Drop and South Drop offer unparalleled opportunities, teeming with the world-renowned blue marlin and a myriad of other prized game fish. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting out, the U.S. Virgin Islands top vacation spots provide an unmatched fishing experience.

Setting off from the scenic National Park Dock in Cruz Bay, St. John, or from the bustling American Yacht Harbor E Dock, positions you perfectly to access these fertile fishing grounds. Services like Mixed Bag Sportfishing and Abigail III Fishing Charters stand ready to tailor an excursion to your experience level, strategically guiding you through these rich waters.

LocationKnown ForPopular ChartersTarget Species
North DropBlue Marlin HotspotMixed Bag SportfishingBlue Marlin, Tuna, Wahoo
South DropDiverse Marine LifeAbigail III Fishing ChartersMahi-Mahi, Sailfish, Tuna
Cruz Bay DockGateway to Fishing SpotsLocal Expert ChartersAssorted Billfish and Game Fish

By choosing St. Thomas and St. John as your base, you’ve selected the pinnacle of Caribbean deep sea fishing. The combination of a challenging pursuit and the soothing tropical vistas ensure that your angling adventure will be memorable. As you plot your course for fishing excellence in the U.S. Virgin Islands, these locales promise both respite and excitement, proven to satisfy the appetite of any fishing enthusiast.

Deep Sea Fishing Tactics and Techniques

When you set foot on a charter in the U.S. Virgin Islands, you’re venturing into one of the world’s prime deep-sea fishing grounds. Here, the seasoned wisdom of local captains is your greatest asset. Let’s delve into the methodologies that can turn an ordinary fishing outing into a tale of epic catches and unmatched sea-faring excitement.

Optimizing Bait and Tackle Selection

Selecting the right bait and tackle is not just a choice but a strategy that can significantly affect the success of your pursuit. Experienced captains in the U.S. Virgin Islands have honed this selection process to perfection, considering factors like the targeted species and prevalent water conditions. Your kit might range from vibrant artificial lures to various live baits, each with the potential to intrigue the likes of the powerful marlin or the agile wahoo.

Deep Dropping and Trolling Strategies

Deep dropping involves sending baited lines into the abyss, coaxing out denizens of the deep for potentially record-breaking captures. Trolling, on the other hand, keeps bait near the surface, enticing predatory fish into a chase. Both methods require a nuanced understanding of the fish’s behavior and habitat—a kind of knowledge that captains of the U.S. Virgin Islands charters share generously, ensuring your fishing escapades are fruitful and memorable.

Fishing StrategyTarget SpeciesBest Time of DayPreferred Bait
Deep DroppingSwordfish, Snapper, GrouperEarly Morning/AfternoonSquid, Mackerel
TrollingMarlin, Tuna, Mahi-MahiLate Morning/Early EveningBallyhoo, Skirted Lures

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice excited to experience some of the top things to do in the U.S. Virgin Islands, mastering these tactics and techniques can enhance your deep-sea fishing adventure. With the guidance of skilled captains, your U.S. Virgin Islands vacation could yield not just the thrill of the catch but also lessons in the art of sportfishing that you’ll treasure long after the trip’s end.

What to Expect on Your Deep Sea Fishing Adventure

Embarking on a deep sea fishing excursion in the U.S. Virgin Islands is more than just a simple day at sea; it’s a comprehensive adventure that offers both thrilling action and serene beauty. Awaiting you is a day filled with the thrills of the chase and the anticipation of the catch, surrounded by the stunning backdrop of the Caribbean’s finest waters. We understand that knowing what lies ahead can enhance your experience, so let’s dive into what you should expect from your trip.

Captains’ Insights on Daily Fishing Conditions

Your journey begins with expert advice from seasoned captains with an intimate understanding of the U.S. Virgin Islands tourist attractions beneath the waves. Each morning, they provide critical insights into the day’s forecasted conditions, empowering you with knowledge to make the most out of your excursion. Whether it’s calm seas or challenging weather patterns, your captain will have the foresight to guide you to the most abundant fishing spots, ensuring a rewarding experience.

Typical Itinerary for Half-Day and Full-Day Trips

The most successful deep sea fishing trips often kick off at the crack of dawn, leveraging the peak biting times to increase your chances of a remarkable haul. Depending on whether you’ve chosen a half-day or full-day voyage, your itinerary will be crafted to explore the prolific waters of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Revel in the excitement of catching a wide variety of marine life as each trip reveals unique opportunities reflective of these coveted U.S. Virgin Islands trip ideas. Rest assured, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, the memory of these azure waters generously filled with majestic fish is certain to be etched in your mind forever.

Packing for Your Fishing Trip: Essentials and Recommendations

Embarking on a deep sea fishing journey in the picturesque U.S. Virgin Islands is an exciting endeavor. To guarantee a smooth sail, it’s paramount that your packing list covers all the essentials for this unique adventure. Proper preparation, as part of your U.S. Virgin Islands vacation planning, involves not only selecting appropriate attire for a day under the sun but also ensuring personal items that enhance the overall experience are close at hand.

Here’s a curated list of recommended items tailored to the conditions of the U.S. Virgin Islands, ensuring that your experience is nothing short of comfortable, safe, and enjoyable. Remembering these items will help you focus on the thrill of the catch rather than the discomforts that come with unpreparedness.

ClothingLightweight, Breathable AttireSuitable for tropical, humid conditions; includes items such as quick-dry shirts and shorts.
Sun ProtectionSunscreen and SunglassesHigh SPF to shield from UV rays; polarized sunglasses to reduce glare on water.
FootwearNon-Slip ShoesProvides stability on wet surfaces for safety on deck.
Personal GearCameras/BinocularsFor capturing images of the stunning scenery and wildlife.
RefreshmentsSnacks and HydrationEssential to stay energized and hydrated; best to consult your charter on alcoholic beverages.
HealthSeasickness RemediesPreventative medications or natural remedies to combat motion sickness.

As a part of your U.S. Virgin Islands travel guide, it’s also important to verify with your charter about the provision of safety equipment and fishing gear. Most charters will equip you with the necessary tools such as rods, reels, and bait, but it’s always wise to double-check before departure. Additionally, inquire about their policies on catch-and-release or if they offer to clean and fillet your catch for a fresh meal post-trip.

Lastly, don’t forget to pack a small bag for any personal essentials you might need throughout the day. It’s all about balancing preparedness with maintaining a light, unburdened travel experience. With your essentials in place, you’re ready to set out and conquer the deep blue, armed with confidence and excitement for the fishing adventure that awaits you in the U.S. Virgin Islands.


Embarking on a deep sea fishing expedition in the U.S. Virgin Islands is more than just an outing—it’s an entry into a world-renowned maritime haven. Recognized as one of the best U.S. Virgin Islands destinations, this locale offers an extraordinary adventure for both the seasoned angler and those new to the sport. There’s a rich tapestry of marine life waiting beneath the surface, promising both the thrill of the chase and the satisfaction of reeling in those coveted trophy game fish.

Cherished as one of the U.S. Virgin Islands top vacation spots, these pristine waters teem with legendary blue marlin, agile sailfish, and robust tunas. The expertise of accomplished charters ensures you’re well-equipped and expertly guided towards the most promising fishing grounds. Testimonials from past adventurers underscore the uniqueness of these experiences, often igniting a repeated desire for return voyages to these fertile aquatic pastures.

Your visit to these magnificent islands offers more than a simple getaway; it promises to etch indelible moments into your treasure trove of memories. As part of the robust tapestry of U.S. Virgin Islands tourist attractions, deep sea fishing here is not just about the thrill—it’s about the stories you’ll carry forward, the seascape panoramas etched into your mind, and the sensation of being part of something truly grand. Prepare to cast your line into not only the deep blue but into an experience that will captivate your heart for years to come.


What makes the U.S. Virgin Islands a premier destination for deep sea fishing?

The U.S. Virgin Islands are renowned for deep sea fishing due to their prime location at the edge of the Puerto Rico Trench, which provides rich marine biodiversity and year-round offshore action. Locations like the North and South Drops are known globally, especially for blue marlin fishing, making it a paradise for anglers looking for trophy catches.

When is the best time to go deep sea fishing in the U.S. Virgin Islands?

The best times for deep sea fishing in the U.S. Virgin Islands are typically during the summer and fall when calmer winds and waters prevail, which is also the prime season for marlin. However, the tropical climate provides year-round fishing opportunities, with different species being more prevalent at different times of the year.

What are the North Drop and South Drop, and why are they significant?

The North Drop, located about 20 miles north of St. Thomas, is a world-class fishing location known for its blue marlin population. The South Drop, around 8 miles south of St. Thomas, offers excellent chances for catching species like mahi-mahi, sailfish, wahoo, and tuna due to the unique topography that reaches depths of 12,000 feet and the warm Caribbean Sea waters.

What should I look for when choosing a fishing charter in the U.S. Virgin Islands?

When selecting a fishing charter, it is important to consider the quality of the boat and the gear, as well as the expertise of the captain and crew. Top-notch vessels and experienced professionals like Captain Eric and Captain Red can significantly enhance the success of your catch and the overall fishing experience.

What kind of fish can I expect to catch in the U.S. Virgin Islands?

The U.S. Virgin Islands’ waters are teeming with a variety of game fish including blue marlin, sailfish, wahoo, kingfish, mahi-mahi (dolphin fish), yellowfin tuna, and blackfin tuna. Your catch will depend on the season, location, and fishing techniques employed during your trip.

Can beginners participate in deep sea fishing trips?

Absolutely, deep sea fishing in the U.S. Virgin Islands caters to all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned anglers. Charters like Mixed Bag Sportfishing and Abigail III Fishing Charters offer tailored experiences that include informative insights into local aquatic life and fishing techniques, ensuring a rewarding experience for everyone.

What are important tactics and techniques for deep sea fishing in the U.S. Virgin Islands?

Successful deep sea fishing tactics in the U.S. Virgin Islands include optimizing bait and tackle based on the targeted species and deep dropping and trolling strategies, which are often refined to suit the current conditions. Charters provide personalized guidance to ensure anglers use the most effective approach for their targeted catch.

What should I bring on a deep sea fishing trip?

Essentials for a deep sea fishing trip include comfortable clothing suited for the tropical weather, sun protection, personal gear like cameras or binoculars, snacks, drinks, and seasickness remedies if necessary. Fishing equipment and safety gear are typically provided by charters, but it’s recommended to confirm before your trip.

Are there specific starting points for deep sea fishing charters in the U.S. Virgin Islands?

Yes, common starting points for deep sea fishing charters include the National Park Dock in Cruz Bay, St. John, and the American Yacht Harbor E Dock. These locations offer convenience and access to some of the most productive offshore waters in the region.

What can I expect in terms of itinerary on a deep sea fishing charter?

Deep sea fishing charters in the U.S. Virgin Islands typically include an early start to take advantage of peak bite times, and itineraries offer insights into daily fishing conditions. Half-day and full-day trips are available, with the duration influencing the fishing areas covered and species encountered.

What happens to the fish I catch during the trip?

Policies regarding your catch can vary among charters; some allow you to keep the fish, while others practice catch and release. Many charters will also clean and fillet a portion of the catch for you to enjoy later. It’s essential to confirm the policy with your chosen charter beforehand.

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By Guy Wann

About the Author: Guy Wann's lifelong enthusiasm for fishing traces back to his childhood when he and his friend Jeff Hass embarked on youthful fishing adventures, laying the groundwork for a lifelong passion. Together, they established a fishermen's club, a cornerstone in their lives, reflecting their dedication to the sport. In addition to his love for fishing, Guy is a talented artist, channeling his experiences and emotions into his paintings. His fishing quests have led him to diverse destinations worldwide, from the vibrant canals of Amsterdam to the serene Gulf of Thailand, the lush Philippine islands, the rich Mexican waters, and the picturesque Florida Keys. Born and raised in Ojai, California, Guy has honed his fishing skills in local waters before expanding his horizons globally. Now, alongside Jeff, Guy pours his passion into the "Take Me Fishing Travel" blog, documenting their fishing expeditions and the unique destinations they uncover. The blog not only chronicles their adventures across Amsterdam, the Gulf of Thailand, the Philippines, Mexico, and the Florida Keys but also serves as a platform for their future aspirations. It stands as a tribute to their enduring friendship and shared love for fishing, highlighting Guy's journey from a young enthusiast in Ojai to a worldly fisherman and artist.

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