Deep-sea fishing in Reunion Island
You wish to get out of the daily routine, you are looking for an activity to do alone or with friends? We recently tested some sport fishing and share it on our travel blog! A day of deep-sea fishing, off Saint-Gilles coast. Nothing better to reconnect with the sea without getting bored on a beautiful boat!
Meeting at 6:30 am on Saint-Gilles’ harbour
After a generous breakfast (will it end in some fishes’stomach, I let you guess), we join the Maevasion team in the early morning at the Saint-Gilles’ harbour. While we wait for the 3rd participant to start the day, we chat with the manager. And big was the surprise when we realized that it was actually my teacher when I was 4 or 5 years old! And the last but not the least, his surname is Mr Poisson (Mister Fish in english) … a former teacher reconverted as a fisherman!
We’ve come full circle! I would go even further saying: life is beautiful…
In short, after this wonderful nostalgic moment, the 3rd person joined us. We will call him Romain “A”, because yes, his name is also Romain. Strange, this name is so rare … We are finally ready to embark and sail in Indian Ocean immensity.
7 am, we embark direction big fishes
So we join Rodolphe and Daniel, our skippers and fishermen masters, aboard the Maeva 2! They have 3 boats in their fleet (Maeva 2, 3 and 4 …, don’t look further, there is no number 1)! We also looked for the story around the name … a mother, a woman, a child called Maeva! But no, we went wrong again. The name of the 1st boat they bought was Maeva, they simply gave more depth to the name to result in Maevasion!
After 1 hour sailing off Saint-Gilles and Saint-Leu coasts, we arrive at the 1st FAD (Fish Aggregating Devices). Buoys aligned with one another, a moving wall of seagulls looking for any little fish, indicates the position of the FAD. We learn that during the weekend, only professionals can fish there. The rest of the week, amateurs are allowed too.
After some miles, our 1st bit!
We hear the sound of the line unrolling in the reel of the fishing rod. Our 1st bit. Romain “A”, for whom it is not the 1st deep-sea fishing trip, brings back a beautiful blue and silver sea bream. As our skippers said it was a small fish, they just gave him a harness to wedge the fishing rod.
Security is simple. The fishing rod is not attached to the harness, it just keeps it for comfort. So if a fish pulls really hard, you have to let go of the fishing rod, which is attached to the boat. So do not hesitate to let it go if necesary (to be honest I think it must be exceptional)!
After a while, a second nibble! Rodolphe who in the cabin on top on the boat, estimates the size of the fish. Apparently, this is a big catch. Therefore we are invited to take place on the “torture chair” as they call it. We are so glad, we were only waiting for that! After 3 or 4h of fighting to get our prey tired (all of us sat on the chair at least twice) and to get tired ourselves (my biceps hurt for 2 days), there is the apotheosis! We catch a beautiful marlin… with an estimated weight of 70 or 80 kg!
1st time I catch a fish as big as this one within my 3 deep-sea fishing trip! Romain “A”.
Deep-sea fishing, sport but also patience
After our Grail, there will follow about 2h of total flat! Not even 1 bit despite Daniel and Rodolphe’s efforts. New areas, new type of fishing rod, test of different baits and hooks. Fresh fish, squid hooks of any size and color … but nothing.
We make the most of the opportunity to take a little nap. But we do not sleep deeply. At the slightest noise, we are ready to put on the harness and fish. It’s nice, not too hot, the weather is perfect.
Between 2 fishes or 2 nap, we have something to eat on board !
Aboard Maeva 2, we have enough to drink and eat almost as much as we want (with reasonable limits of course). Daniel serves us fresh refreshments (coca, juice, water, beers). And things to eat (bread and fish salad, smoked swordfish, fresh pineapple…). In short, we won’t die starving, or from thirst, quite the opposite!
Fish, who want my fish?
And then, while we were going back to Saint-Gilles, it start to bit again and again. For at least 2 hours, the sea is with us. The Indian Ocean leaves us breathless! So, we spend more time deep-sea fishing than expected. In turn we put on the harness or take place on the seat depending the size of the fish.
In the end: 1 blue sea bream, 1 marlin, 7 or 8 coryphène sea bream, 1 tuna banana, 4 yellow tunas …!
For us it was a great day fishing!
3:30 pm, let’s go back to Saint-Gilles
While it continues to bite, we all decide to return to the harbour. Normally the trip back was scheduled at noon, but the deep-sea fishing was fruitful and nobody was in a hurry. So they extended the boat trip. It takes 1h to 1h30 from the FAD where we were. Back at 5pm .. 10 hours in the boat for the deep-sea fishing, we are exhausted, but happy!
What do we do with the fish?
The next door fish shop employees are waiting for us impatiently! They’ve already bought all the fishes! We still have time to weigh our marlin! The skippers are able to judge size by sight. Suspended full height, the result is announced: the marlin weight 80 kg! A good piece! They cut it and clean it in front of us … while we are being offered the final punch! We talk a little about the day, our battle with the giant marlin. Apparently it’s only a teenager, adults can weigh up to 200 kg … monsters!
In short, a great day of fishing! We go home, without fish, but with full sensation (and future sore muscles).
Itinerary and contacts
Maevasion : local 25, port de plaisance, 97434 St Gilles les Bains, La Réunion.
Phone : 0262-33-38-04 / 0692-86-78-08
Open everyday from 6:30 am to 7 pm
Price: 100€ /pers. for the half day (price is decreasing gradually depending on how many you are on the boat – 70€/6 pers. – 60€/8pers.)
You like trips by boat? Find on our travel blog this article: “Swim with dolphins in Reunion Island“.