Fishing in Seychelles: 8 Species of Fish and Trip Planning Tips

man fishing

The waters that surround Seychelles are one of the richest fishing grounds on the planet. This area attracts thousands of international sport and recreational fishermen each year who are keen to enjoy one of the world’s best fishing experiences.

The diversity of fish species found in this part of the world is amazing. Anglers can try their hand at catching bonefish, striped bonito, bigeye trevally, bluefin trevally, snapper, moustache grouper and many other species.

If you are interested in fishing in Seychelles, you have reached the right place. This guide will share everything you need to know about fishing Seychelles, including the types of fish species available and the best time of the year to schedule your fishing trip. We’ll also list the best fishing charter companies in the Seychelles.

Key Takeaways

  • Seychelles is one of the world’s best fishing destinations because of the diversity and abundance of fish found in its waters.
  • Many fishing styles can be used successfully in the Seychelles, including deep sea fishing, beach fishing, drop lining, and saltwater fly-fishing.
  • Seychelles is particularly well known for its fish-rich flats, including the Poivre, d’Arros, and St. François atolls.
  • Bonefish are the most abundant game fish found in the Seychelles.

What Is So Special About The Seychelles?

The Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands located in the Indian Ocean, just off the coast of East Africa. It is known for its beautiful scenery, pristine natural environment, and abundant wildlife. Here are a few reasons why Seychelles is the perfect fishing destination:

Large fish populations

The warm currents, plentiful food supply, and restrictions on commercial fishing make Seychelles a haven for fish. The large fish stocks means you will have no problem finding a good fishing spot, either in the shallows or at depth. 

Exotic fish 

The Seychelles is a particularly exciting destination for fishing because of the many exotic fish varieties. Some of the interesting fish species include bonefish, bluefin trevally, milkfish, grouper, triggerfish, wrasse, bumphead parrotfish, yellow lipped emperor, Indo-Pacific permit, sailfish, and barracuda.  

Several styles of fishing

Whether you like deep sea fishing, beach fishing, fly-fishing, or another approach, you will be able to find a location where the fish are biting.

The prized bonefish 

Bonefish are a prized species amongst fisherman because of their speed, strength and ability to fight. Although they aren’t good eating, they are exciting to catch, which is why they draw so many keen fishers to the region.

8 Fish to Catch while Fishing in Seychelles 

Here are a few of the fish species which are popular with anglers visiting the region:

1. Trevally 

A picture of a travally fish swimming in the ocean with others in the background.

Trevally are aggressive predators that can reach up to 150 pounds in size. In Seychelles, they are often found in the reef edges during low tide, water channels during mid-tide, and on the open flats during high tide. 

They are very strong fish, so make sure you use a high quality line and rod. When you do get one on your line, expect it to run towards cover aggressively. There are many varieties of Trevally in the Seychelles including the Yellow Dot Trevally, Bluefin Trevally, Golden Trevally, Yellow Spot Trevally, and Big Eye Trevally. 

2. Grouper 

A picture of a large grouper front and center with several other fish swimming in the background.

You will find ten different species of Grouper in the Seychelles including the wiretap grouper, camouflage grouper, and white splotch grouper. Although they spend most of their time in the deeper water, they can be found in the shallows at high tide. 

They are greedy fish and will eat everything in front of them, so you will have no trouble getting one on your line — if you can locate them. The main challenge you will face is getting the fish into the boat, as they often run directly at coral often resulting in a broken line.

3. Snapper 

A picture of a bohar snapper fish up close with several other fish behind him.

Snapper are everywhere in Seychelles. They are schooling fish, so you will usually encounter them in groups near the surface of the water. The bohar snapper is one of the most aggressive species of snapper in the region and is often found in the flats. They will put up a good fight, which makes them an exciting target.

4. Bumphead Parrotfish 

A picture of several Bumphead Parrotfish swimming in the ocean.

The bumped parrotfish is one other most iconic fish in the region. It is an unusual looking creature with a large bump on its forehead and a parrot-like mouth. Parrotfish often have beautifully colored scales, which makes them a photogenic fish. Adult parrotfish can weigh as much as 100 pounds, so a fair amount of strength will be required to land one. 

5. Milkfish 

A picture of several milkfish at the market.

Many anglers coming to Seychelles have added the Milkfish to their ‘must catch’ list in recent years. The milkfish is a fast moving silver-colored fish that can grow up to 6 feet in length. They are powerful animals which put up a good fight once hooked, so you will need a heavier fly rod. They often feed on plankton, so an algae lure is often effective. 

6. Indo Pacific Permit 

The Indo Pacific Permit is a beautiful fish that is found in large numbers in the Seychelles. They have silvery-white scales with splashes of brown or gold along the edges of their body. Although they are common, catching one is not always easy. They are a clever fish that will put up a fight. You can usually find the Indo Pacific Permit in groups around sandbars. 

7. Yellowfin Tuna

A picture of several yellowfin tuna swimming away from a shark.

There are many tuna species in the Seychelles, but yellowfin tuna might be the most enjoyable to catch. They are easy to spot as you will often see large schools feeding in groups on the water’s surface, with seagulls sometimes flying down to pick up the scraps of what they are eating. 

While it’s entertaining to watch yellowfin chase after large groups of Bonito, catching them is even more fun. They grow quite large in the abundant waters of the Seychelles with 50 to 60 pound yellowfin tuna common.

8. Barracuda 

A picture of a man holding a barracuda that he caught while fishing.

If you are looking to hook a challenging gamefish, head out into the open sea and look for barracuda. They are devastating predators that rely on speed, aggression, and stealth attacks to take down their prey.

The barracuda in the Seychelles can grow up to 6 feet in length and have an aggressive temperament — so expect to have a fight on your hands. Once hooked, you will be amazed by the acrobatics they display as they attempt to get free. Fortunately, there are plenty of charters in the area with experienced captains who can help you take down the biggest barracudas.

Related: How to Buy Property in Seychelles as a Foreigner

Cost of Seychelles Fishing Trip 

The cost of a fishing trip Seychelles will vary based on:

  • When you go
  • Where you will stay
  • How long your trip lasts
  • If you are going to use a fishing charter, hire a boat, or travel to local fishing destinations 

To give you a rough estimate, an all-inclusive 7 day trip with: 6 days fully guided fly fishing, all meals included, tender boat with fuel, water sports, complimentary excursions, free soft drinks, and fly fishing gear included will cost around $10,000 USD (excludes flights and ground transfers). 

However, you can also visit the Seychelles on a tight budget. If you book your own accommodation, hire a boat, and travel to fishing grounds on your own, you could enjoy a fishing trip for as little as $200 a day (excluding flight costs and ground transfers).

Seychelles Fishing Season 

The close proximity of the Seychelles to the equator means that it does not experience huge changes in temperature or daylight hours throughout the year. As a result, there are only two real seasons, which are based on the direction of the trade winds.

The first season experiences a northwest trade wind and stretches from December to March. This is the wetter season as the wind direction produces more humidity and rain squalls. Fortunately, the Seychelles is mostly outside of the cyclone belt, so rain events are quite mild.

The second season has southeast wind and extends from May to September. The winds are much more even during this time of the year. 

April and November are the less windy months of the calendar year. During this time, the seas are calmer and the water is clearer.

It’s possible to fish at any time in Seychelles. However, most people consider October to May to be the best time of year for both bottom fishing and fly fishing.

Seychelles Fly Fishing 

A man saltwater fly fishing.

The vast areas of shallow water surrounding the Seychelles are perfect for salt water fly fishing. The sheer numbers of fish and their amazing variety make it a fly fishing paradise.  There are several fantastic locations for fly fishing in Seychelles, including:

  • Cosmoledo Atoll
    Cosmoledo Atoll is an atoll of the Aldabra Group, located in the outer region of the Seychelles.This location has many white sand flats, channels, and lagoon edges filled with Bonefish, Bluefin Trevally, Barracuda, Bohar Snapper, Milkfish, the Indo-Pacific Permit.
  • Alphonse Island Resort
    This is one of the most popular locations for fly fishing on Seychelles. There are large numbers of bonefish, giant trevally, milkfish, triggerfish, and over a dozen other exotic  species. There are amenities and lodging on the island, so you can stay there and get an early start on your fly fishing each day.
  • Providence Atoll
    This is a one-of a kind remote location located to the southwest of the main Seychelles islands. It must be reached by boat, but the journey is absolutely worthwhile. You’ll find the atoll packed with bluefin trevally, giant trevally, big bonefish, bumphead parrotfish, Indo-Pacific permit, triggerfish, milkfish, and dozens of other species.
  • Farquhar Atoll
    Farquhar Atoll is surrounded by extensive flats with an incredibly range of fish. It is an idyllic location with clear aqua water and white sandy beaches — the ultimate saltwater fly fishing destination. You will find plenty of giant trevally, milkfish, bonefish, and other exotic fish species located in this par os Seychelles. Although it is located far to the southwest of Seychellois’ main island of Mahe, it is worth the journey.

5 Seychelles Charter Fishing Companies 

Charter fishing is one of the best ways to fish in the Seychelles. Charter operators have the local knowledge, skills, and equipment necessary to help you find and catch some incredible fish. 

Using a fishing charter also means you will have a safe, comfortable, and convenient fishing trip. Most charter operators will supply bait, life jackets, fishing tackle, training, drinks, lunch and everything you need to have a great time. Here are 5 of the best charter fishing companies in the Seychelles:

1. Gerrys Private Charters

Gerry’s Private Charters is a popular service that fishes the abundant waters to the North of Mahe Island. This operation uses a large 34-foot fishing vessel named with ‘Kreole Kiss’. Overhauled in 2016, this vessel features twin 200 HP Yamaha 4-stroke InLine 4-cylinder engines and room for up to 6 anglers.

This charter has all of the gear necessary for traditional trolling techniques, bottom fishing, chumming, and deep sea fishing. Some of the fish found in the part of Seychelles visited by this charter include Snapper, Yellowfin Tuna, Grouper, Giant Trevally, Sailfish, Blue and Black Marlin, and Mahi Mahi.

It’s a family friendly operation with everything provided including Penn reels and tackle, a selection of lures, snacks, drinks, and fishing licenses. Lunch is available if you opt for a full-day charter and they can even help you find accommodation if you want to go on a multi-day trip. Learn more.

2. Angel Tours Seychelles 

Angel Tours offers a family friendly charter service that fishes throughout the Seychelles. This charter uses a large, custom-built 29 foot catamaran powered by two 150 HP Suzuki engines. This impressive craft has a top speed of 30 knots, which makes it easy to explore many parts of the Seychelles.

Beginners and families can opt for a short 3 hour trip around the islands, while keen fisherman might prefer an all day-trip that heads into deeper water. Some of the fish which fisherman often catch while on-board include  Sailfish, various Snappers and Groupers, Blue Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, Bonito, Jobfish, Amberjack, and many more.

Angel Tours offers a Fish & Relax package, where you get to  fish for 4 hours before being taken to a nearby beach for Creole BBQ, before spending the afternoon snorkelling. This charter supplies you with rods, reels, tackle, water, and snacks. 

3. Gerry’s Private Charters

This is a smaller charter ideal for fishermen and family groups who want to spend the day on a smaller boat with a knowledgable local. The charter uses a 20’ vessel that is powered by twin 60 HP Suzuki 4-stroke. 

Using a smaller vessel makes it easier to navigate through shallow sections of water and find secluded fishing spots. Gerry’s Private Charters is also great option for short outings to local beaches and for sightseeing.

Some of the fish commonly found in the areas serviced by Gerry’s Private Charters include Bonito, Jack Crevalle, Barracuda, Rainbow Runner, Snapper, Grouper, Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, and Yellowfin Tuna. Simply let your captain know which type of fish you are interested in and they will take you to an appropriate location within the Seychelles.

The vessel has a max capacity of 4 fishermen. All equipment is provided including an assortment of lures, fishing licenses, and drinks. Lunch is provided on all-day charter trips.

4. AGT Fly and Fishing Charters

AGT Fly and Fishing Charters provide a wide range of fishing experiences including deep sea fishing, jigging and popping, and fly fishing. This charter runs a large 32 foot boat with twin 175 HP engines and top speed of 30 knots, which is capable of taking up to 4 adults. 

Finding fish will be easy thanks to the Captain Gregory’s local knowledge and the on-board FishFinder. The charter offers 5 hour trips for beginners and all-day outings for the more experienced anglers. Some of the fish you can catch include Sailfish, Dorado, Wahoo, Bonito, and much more.

The boat is quite comfortable, with a downstairs kitchen and rest room. Everything is provided on the trip, including rods, reels, lures, food, and drink. 

5. A1 Fishing – Special K

A1 Fishing offers a world class angling experience for fishermen of all levels. The charter operates ‘Special K’, a 36 foot Cabo Express sport-fishing vessel. This large boat can accommodate up to 5 anglers.

Special K is fully decked out with top-of-the-line navigational and safety equipment. It is quite comfortable with a full toilet and other amenities. Each charter comes with two captains, so you will have plenty of assistance and local knowledge available. 

This charter specializes in big game, so it’s ideal for fishing enthusiasts who want to catch  Blue Marlin, Black Marlin, and Sailfish, They also encounter plenty of Tuna, Wahoo, and Mac Mahi in the deep waters, which are tough to bring in. 

If you aren’t interested in big game, the Special K can also be taken inshore to catch Rainbow Runner, Bonito, and other fish that run close to the coastline. All equipment is included Learn more.

Related: Fun Seychelles Facts

Seychelles Bonefishing 

A bonefish caught while fly fishing with the fly hook still in his mouth. A hand holding the fish.

Bonefishing is one of the most popular activities in the Seychelles. It is an exciting form of fishing because of the athleticism, strength, and agility of bonefish. They are remarkable animals which really put up a strong fight when hooked. 

The majority of the world’s bonefish are located close to the equator, in the warm shallow waters of the tropics. Aside from Seychelles, you can find bonefish in Florida, Bahamas, Mauritius, and Caribbean. However, the Seychelles is the richest source of bonefish, due to its expansive areas of shallow water.

Bonefish are bottom feeders which eat a wide variety of sea creatures found on the bottom of the flats. They have a pointed head and long nose, which helps them to dig into the sand to dislodge crustaceans, crabs, worms, and shrimp to eat. Their mouth is on the bottom of the head instead of the front, to make it easier to funnel food from the sandy flats into their stomachs.

Interestingly, bonefish do not have do not have teeth at the front of their mouth. Instead, they have a hard calcified surfaces on their tongue, upper jaw, and throat, which are called ‘pharyngeal teeth’. 

The bonefish will hold down their prey with their nose then crush it in their mouths. Their mouths are so strong that they can easily crack open shrimp, crab, lobster, and other crustacea.

Bonefish take on the color of their surrounding environment. Because the Seychelles has pure white sand, the bonefish in this region have developed a beautiful silvery appearance.

The best way to catch bonefish is by fly fishing. It is quite challenging and exciting, because of the fish’s amazing athleticism. They are incredibly fast and nimble, which makes bonefishing a satisfying experience.

There are many great bonefishing locations in the Seychelles including:

  • Alphonse Atoll
  • Cosmoledo Atoll
  • Astove Atoll
  • Farquhar Atoll
  • Poivre Atoll and St Joseph’s Atoll

Wrapping Up

As you can see, the Seychelles is one of the world’s premiere locations for fishing. The abundance and diversity of the fish in the area means you can enjoy a fishing experience like no other. 

Related: Cost of Living in Seychelles