Fishing in Bonaire


Bonaire has great sport fishing just a short distance offshore. We fish primarily for pelagic species, such as blue marlin, white marlin, mahi mahi, wahoo, and yellowfin tuna. There are always surprises out there though!

Bonaire also has other great fish to catch, including swordfish, jacks, and various deep water snappers and groupers.   

On the Flying Fish we customize every trip. You tell us what you want to do. We combine that with what's biting, and design a fishing program tailor made for you. 


Offshore Trolling

If you have snorkeled or SCUBA dived in our waters, you know how quickly the bottom drops off. Due to the steep underwater topography of Bonaire, we are able to fish for big, deep water fish very close to shore. In most places, we can be in 1000 feet (300 m) of water less than 1 mile from shore.

Bonaire hosts a variety of species to catch while trolling. They include blue marlin, white marlin, sailfish, mahi mahi, wahoo, blackfin tuna, yellowfin tuna, and barracuda. Depending on which species we are targeting, we will troll live baits, lures, dead baits, or some combination of these. Our typical trolling spread has 5 lures or baits in the water, plus two hookless teasers. 

Our marlin and wahoo are usually solitary. That is to say that we will generally be fighting one fish at a time. When we encounter tuna and mahi mahi, however, it's often a multi-fish affair, with 2 or more fish hooked at a time. 

We always have a spinning rod and/or fly rod ready to cast at any fish that appear on the surface while fighting other fish.

The Flying Fish practices strictly catch and release on marlin and sailfish. We will keep these fish in the water and get photos before the release. 

Two yellowfin tuna on deck

Two yellowfin tuna on deck

Bottom fishing

A largely untapped fishery in Bonaire is the deep water bottom fishing. One of the most interesting things about bottom fishing is the variety offered. You're never sure what you will pull up.

In these deep waters you will find fish like queen snapper, almaco jacks, snowy groupers, yellowedge groupers, silk , tilefish, and many others. All of these fish are very good to eat and fun to catch. 

Because most of these fish grow slowly, we only catch a few from a spot and leave the rest for another day. 

Bottom fishing is a great way to spend a whole day, or even just to change things up from trolling for a while.   


Night Fishing

Swordfish are our primary target on Bonaire night fishing trips. If you are looking for a shot at the hardest fighting billfish in the world, book a night charter on the Flying Fish.   

Swordfish have very large eyes which enable them to see well in low light. Therefore, they spend most of the daytime down deep, feeding primarily on squid over 1000' down. Luckily for us, at night the squid and other species migrate toward the surface and the swordfish follow them. 

We fish our heaviest tackle for these amazing, powerful fish.

While waiting for a swordfish bite, we will also fish for tuna. Casting poppers in the dark and seeing the water explode when a yellowfin or blackfin tuna attacks your popper is a blast. Then hang on! 

Tunas are very strong fish, and will put you to the test, going deep after a hard surface run. When the tuna don't want to bite on top, they're often caught down deeper on jigs or live bait.