The waters of French Polynesia are a delight for deep sea fishermen looking for thrills. Marlin, tuna, mahi mahi, jackfish, some of the worlds biggest catches have been made in the South Pacific. “I fought with that marlin for about 45 minutes” recounted Tumi, after landing his prize catch. Take a trip out to sea with a local fisherman and test yourself against the big fish!
Naturally, fishing is an integral part of the culture of The Islands of Tahiti. Traditionally practiced, big game fishing allows to feed many Polynesians. So, in order to discover more closely the techniques of fishermen to bring back beautiful fish, leave a day at sea. With the magnificent mountains and sublime beaches of the islands as a backdrop, you’ll set off to some of the best spots, where you’ll likely make the biggest catches. In French Polynesia, fishing is highly regulated to protect the environment and preserve biodiversity. Industrial fishing is prohibited. The rahui is a method to protect marine species by prohibiting fishing in certain areas, for a given period. We must also respect the minimum size and not take protected species. In anchorages, it is forbidden to empty the fish.
Fishermen from all over the Pacific come to the waters of French Polynesia to fish, especially for the big game. Local fishermen use seabirds to guide them to the schools of fish out in the ocean, and that’s where you find the bigger fish. The best catches are tuna, jackfish, mahi mah, kingfish and of course, marlin, especially the magnificent sailfish marlin. Some of the fish caught in the waters of French Polynesia are among the biggest ever caught, anywhere, and the weigh-ins at the end of a contest are usually a thrilling spectacle. Sometimes, fishermen on the same boat also have an internal competition for the biggest catch.
Make sure that you take wet-weather clothing and headwear with you, as well as plenty of suncream.
If you’re a big-game fishing enthusiast, you’ll be interested in the different techniques used in The Islands of Tahiti. Troll fishing, bait fishing, jigging and an ancient Polynesian technique known as poito in Tahitian, or buoy fishing. A dead sardine is wrapped around a rock that is sent several tens of meters deep. A buoy is attached to the other end of the line. The principle is simple, when the buoy moves, it means the fish is biting. Now it’s up to you to play and raise the tuna. If you are particularly interested in big game fishing, there are local competitions in several archipelagos.
Other nautical activities
Some of the best spots for fishing in French Polynesia are in Bora Bora, Tahiti, Moorea, Raiatea, Huahine and the Tuamotu Islands. If you’re not a fisherman, there are countless other nautical activities to enjoy in The Islands of Tahiti as well, including snorkeling or diving, so that you can observe the fish without having to catch them.
Not everybody gets excited by the idea of catching a big fish out in the deep sea. Some prefer to simply observe the fauna by snorkeling in Bora Bora. On a transparent kayak or from a boat, admire the beauty of the seabed. In The Islands of Tahiti, , whatever your travel itinerary, you will have many activities to do at sea: surf, paddleboard, windsurf, parasail, jetski and the unique pleasures of a catamaran cruise at sunset.