Newsletter Area Specialist Fishing Reports

Fishing Information

Lay of the Land

The British Virgin Islands are a self-governing British overseas territory, situated in the Caribbean just to the east of the US Virgin Islands. The capital, Road Town is situated on Tortola, the largest island, which is approximately 20 km (12 mi) long and 5 km (3 mi) wide. The islands have a population of about 27,800, of whom approximately 23,000 live on Tortola. The BVIs, as they are called, are a popular travel destination for sailors, fishermen, sun worshippers, and other independent travellers. Comprised of more than 60 islands and keys,the islands fall into two types: the majority are steep volcanic islands (including the main islands, Tortola and Virgin Gorda), and a small number of relatively flat coral islands (such as Anegada and Sandy Spit). In fact, Anegada is referred to as “the drowned island” because its elevation is so low. The Atlantic Ocean surrounds the islands on the north and east, while the Caribbean Sea lies to the south and west. Sailing, diving, fishing and soaking up the sun on perfect beaches is what it’s all about on the British Virgin Islands. Tortola is a twelve by three-mile haven of white sand, lush green mountains, ruins and rum distilleries. Underwater caverns beckon from dramatic Virgin Gorda. Island time rules on laid-back Jost Van Dyke, where swim-up bars serve delicious rum concoctions. Pristine beaches lure visitors to the beautiful coral island Anegada.

Target Species

There are some flats around Tortola and a couple of guides that specifically target bones. It’s just not a popular bonefish destination and if Tortola is the only place in BVI you are visiting then I would not call it a fishing trip. It’s a tropical holiday with some fishing thrown in. Most of the fishing here is blue water with little emphasizes placed on flats species. But there are bonefish along with jacks, snapper and cuda’s you can reach from the shore.

Where to Fish

The most productive way to fish Tortola is with a guide. The flats are just not that easily reached on foot and the fish tend to be spread out in pockets that the guides know about. If you are on your own, you will need a rental car. Concentrate on the sandy bays that can be reached out of the main villages. On the south side that will be places like, Brandywine Halfmoon and Parquita Bay’s. There is a decent spot just south of the airport. On the north side there is Long Bay by the airport and a number of little used sandy bay’s that can be reached by car.

What to Bring

An eight weight will be fine. The bones tend to be in the 2 – 4 pound range, with a few slightly larger then that. I have talked to guides that have seen double digit fish, but they are rare. Normal bonefish flies work well, with cream, tan, green and brown being the prominent colors. Normally tied in sizes #2 - #6 with a variety of weights. You will definitely fishing drop-offs, so bring some heavier flies like Clousers.