Fishermen are passionate and ambitious about their catches. They will search avidly for the catch of a lifetime and travel all over the world to achieve their goals. Some dream of catching a shark, some a marlin, others a razor toothed piranha. For an extreme fisherman, no challenge is too great. They seek the thrill of the catch and will put a huge effort into fulfilling their dreams.
Holidays can revolve around fishing and the world is literally their oyster when searching for their goal. There are famous stretches of water that are holy grails for extreme anglers. They yearn for the catch that has eludes them and will stop at nothing until that elusive fish has been captured.
10. Florida shark fishing
The waters of Florida are perfect to find a variety of sharks including black nose, bull, hammerhead and lemon sharks, ranging in size from three to eight feet long. Sharks are notoriously aggressive and will lead anglers a merry dance around a boat, biting and snapping at the bait and fighting all the way. They can jump in the air or hang on for dear life, taking hours sometimes to be caught. They are heavy, tenacious and have extraordinary strong muscles and sharp teeth, a challenge for any fisherman. The central Florida area has many locations that are populated with sharks. Ormond Beach, Cocoa Beach and Daytona Beach are all renowned among fishermen for being prime locations for shark fishermen to visit.
Sharks inhabit coastal regions and for this reason, Florida is an ideal place to find them. They are prevalent around South Florida and the Miami area where they will search out the warm waters to feed and to mate. Between March and August is the best time to find them as they migrate northwards up the South Florida coast. If you are planning to catch one of these marine beasts, be prepared for a battle they can weigh up to 300lbs or more.
9. Northern territory, Australia for barramundi
These fish are prevalent around the Northern Territory and Kimberley coast of Australia and live in open water as well as rivers and creeks. They can weigh around 10-20kg and be up to 2 metres in length, although one metre is more common. Whilst they are common in this area, they are fighters. They are very tenacious and can jump, leap and wriggle out of the hook in an effort to escape capture. They like the warm waters, so summer is a good time to fish for them. It’s a beautiful environment to fish in and the barramundi are an iconic fish to chase in Australia, their thrashing fight and beautiful markings making them a favourite amongst anglers everywhere.
Fishermen travel hundreds of miles to find the best spots to catch this marine wonder. It is a very powerful fish and its strong muscle tone comes covered in a variety of skins. It likes to feed at night and has eery red tinged eyes which can be seen under the water during night excursions. They breed in the summer and move inland to spawn, the young then heading back out to sea when they grow. One bizarre fact about this monster is that it is born as a male and has a sex change during its life, becoming female, normally when they reach around 5kg, according to Fishing Australia.
8. Puerto rico
San Juan in Puerto Rico is the place to fish for tarpon. There are endless mangroves here where the tarpon live and this provides an exciting and challenging environment to fish. High winds affect the north coast of Puerto Rico, making the fish seek refuge in the lagoons where they like to dwell and feed. The experience is described by anglers as a proper adrenalin thrill, especially on a night trip. The tarpon are hardy fish and will fight and wrestle with the fisherman, making the experience a real challenge for the experienced angler. They are hard to catch, and only an experienced fisherman knows the technique and can perfect it well enough to bag the fish.
There are plenty of fish to be found in the mangroves, but the warm seas of the island of Puerto Rico offer the chance for a variety of fishing adventures as well. There are deep waters and the island lies in the middle of migration routes for many species, making it ideal for avid anglers. The deeper waters are famous for stocks of marlin, whilst the tarpon is more suited to the inland shallower waters.
7. Thailand – stingray
The stingray is notoriously difficult to catch, making it a favourite amongst angler’s challenges. These secretive seabed dwellers can be found in Thailand, notably in the Bangpakong and Maeklong rivers. The massive width of the ray camouflages beautifully with the river bed, so if they can be spotted, that is half the challenge for the fisherman. It has been known for these river monsters to have a length of up to 14 feet and to weigh up to 350lbs.
The stingray is one of the largest freshwater fishes in the world, so anglers want to add this catch to their list of conquests. The rivers and reservoirs of Thailand are perfect locations to attempt this feat. However, they are notoriously difficult to catch once found, sometimes taking hours to yield after the initial sighting according to Fishsiam. Anglers claim that the battle with a stingray is akin to battling a submarine, and it is easy to see why. Not only are they hard to spot, they are deadly, heavy and extremely strong. The fish can be caught during the day but some anglers say they prefer to look for them at night and believe they have a better chance of bagging one in the dark.
6. Cuba – marlin
Deep sea marlin fishing in Cuba was made famous by author, Ernest Hemingway and is still fiercely popular to this day. The fish are very strong and extremely large and as they can swim so fast, they make a fitting challenge to the ambitious angler. The marlin is a long fish with a characteristically long bill and can weigh as much as 160lbs. however, the blue and black marlin can weigh as much as 1,000lbs, so it is understandable why they are so hard to catch. The waters around Cuba are heavily populated with marlin, making Cuba a must for anyone who wants to catch one of these deep sea monsters.
The summer months are the most prolific for marlin which are hard to find as well as hard to catch. The blue marlin is among the holy grails of fish to an angler and there are many tournaments and competitions devoted to the capture of this great bony fish. As the fish swim so fast, the fishing boat needs to go fast to keep up. Lures, natural or live bait are used to tempt the fish, although speeds need to be slow enough to keep live bait alive, according to Puretravel.
5. Japanese puffer
The strange looking Japanese puffer fish is a delicacy to eat in Japan. Almost the entire fish is poisonous so it needs an expert to prepare it. This means that anglers need to wear protective clothing when fishing the beast, as even the skin is toxic. The fish is also known as a blowfish or fugu and parts of its body are 100 times more deadly than cyanide. The fish puffs up as a defence mechanism so is often caught in its puffed up state. It is best caught in the spring when it spawns, and Japan plays host to 38 of the 100 varieties found worldwide. Despite their odd appearance, they make the list for extreme fishing because of their tastiness and the danger of catching this slippery, angry little fish.
The fish is not a fast swimmer, so when it senses danger it inhales air and makes its poisonous spikes more visible and dangerous. Their thick skin also makes them a difficult challenge for any predator. The stellate puffer fish is the common variety found in Japan and lives in salt water. The fish itself is not poisonous, it is what it consumes, mainly shellfish, which make it so deadly.
4. Amazon river – piranha
There are over 2,000 species of fish in the Amazon river, making it a haven for keen anglers. The river itself is over 6,500km and includes many inlets and tributaries which make it a popular destination for anyone interesting in fishing. We are all familiar with a piranha, and know them from films of flesh eating schools of the toothy fish devouring flesh in seconds. This is an unlikely occurrence in the real world, because it would only ever happen if the fish were literally starving, but the notoriety of the fish makes it top of the list for keen Amazon anglers.
They are a unique fish, carnivorous, the sharpest teeth and a big appetite, they are a must for the list of a keen fisherman. Because they are greedy little monsters, any meat will suffice as bait for a piranha. They are relatively easy to catch and fishermen often find them in a net along with more desirable fish, caught by accident. Once they have been caught, it is vital to avoid the razor sharp teeth at all times. If posing for a photo and replacing the fish, be sure to hold it well away from the teeth or the piranha might be tempted to take its revenge.
3. Indian ocean
The Indian ocean provides some of the best game fishing in the whole world and is a popular destination for those in search of the ultimate catch. Waters around the Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius provide a luxurious bolt hole for the days that aren’t spent fishing. There are so many fish in the waters around the idyllic islands, that an angler can take their pick of saltwater fish. The notorious milkfish offers a challenge as it is one of the hardest fighting fish that can be tackled, according to Aardvarkmcleod.
The Seychelles provides excellent opportunities to find bonefish and marlin and some of the atolls and seabeds seem to have been stuck in a time warp and hardly touched by man. Desroches Island is famous for its wealth of fishing opportunities, including the little known trevally fish. There are opportunities to fish in shallow waters where wading gear is necessary for catching the plentiful catches that the oceanic waters have to offer. St Brandon’s offers excellent opportunities for bonefish and many other species, and if you know where to fish and can be bothered to make the arduous journey, you will feel as if you are the first human to fish there
2. Tennessee river
The Tennessee river affords opportunities to find different types of bass and the infamous catfish, all at enormous sizes, making it a destination that extreme anglers have to visit. One of the attractions of seeking out the catfish, is the size. Catfish can grow to enormous sizes, and 20-40lbs is not uncommon among the Tennessee river waters. They can be caught from boat or by land and are popular to eat, so they remain a popular magnet for American anglers. The blue catfish is a regular among the Tennessee river population. It is a ferocious fighter and has a tail with an incredible strength which provides ample challenge for any extreme fisherman. The largest catfish caught in the river weighed 112lbs, not bad when the world record is only four pounds heavier, according to Gameandfishmag.
June provides ample chances to catch catfish and the dangerous tailwaters are a popular place to moor boats, but extreme caution must be taken as these areas can be very hazardous. Apart from the blue catfish, the flathead and channel catfish are also populous in the Tennessee river but attract less attention as they are smaller and not packed with as much punch as their blue relatives.
There are great game fishing adventures to be had in Fiji and it is popular among the world’s extreme fishermen. It has over 330 islands to base yourself in, so the choice is wide. Vanuatu is a good starting point for fishing and there are plenty of fishermen and charters ready to take anglers on the trip of a lifetime. It is a regular destination for those in search of blue marlin, black and striped marlin. As they migrate, they pass through Fiji and return on their way back. They move close enough inland to be fair game, because of shoals of tuna which swarm around the warmer, shallower waters. January to March seem to be the best times to bag one of these elusive monsters but excellent fishing opportunities abound all year. One New Zealander spent two hours battling with a near 500lb marlin before winning the battle in 2014. Not only does Fiji have an abundance of tropical fish, and large specimens of them, but the deep waters where some of them are found, are not a million miles away, so a fishing trip does not have to a be a marathon.