Fishing in Bali

Bali’s extraordinary fishing scene, combined with its picturesque settings, makes it an unforgettable destination for any angler.
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About Bali

Bali, Indonesia's famed island of the gods, offers a unique blend of cultural richness and diverse aquatic adventures. Known for its lush landscapes, vibrant culture, and warm waters, Bali is one of the most popular tourist places in the world, with literally millions of people visiting the island annually, and a prime destination for anglers seeking both tranquility and excitement. From the serene beaches of the north to the bustling coastal waters of the south, Bali's varied marine environments promise exceptional fishing experiences all year round. Bali offers a plethora of excellent spots for recreational angling, each with unique fish species and fishing experiences. Most fishing opportunities in Bali are focused on the southern end of the island, but that’s mostly because that’s where the majority of hotels are located. The north leaves nothing behind, especially given that there are numerous Fishing Aggregating Devices (FADs) to be found there, which attract such popular species as mahi-mahi and tuna. Nusa Penida is particularly famous for deep sea fishing adventures due to its proximity to deep ocean waters. The strong currents and deep waters make it an ideal spot for big game fish. Amed is known for its vibrant coral reefs, and is a great spot for snapper, giant trevally, and barracuda. Menjangan Island, situated near a national park, offers less disturbed fishing environments ideal for spearfishing and fly fishing. However, it’s safe to say there’s no place with bad fishing on Bali.

Fishing Types

Although Bali has several rivers, an ancient and sophisticated field irrigation system, and a large reservoir is being considered, the fishing opportunities on the island are of the saltwater variety. You can find a charter for offshore fishing, exploring the deep waters around Bali where large pelagic fish roam, perfect for sport fishing enthusiasts looking to land a trophy fish. Or you can fish nearshore, especially on the island’s numerous reefs and around Bali’s scenic coasts, including the world renowned Blue Lagoon (though that hotspot can be really overcrowded). Several operators offer a chance to engage in traditional fishing, done from local boats known as Jukung, which look like a canoe with a sunroof and two counterweights at each side. Now propelled by outboard motors rather than sails, these ancient crafts ensure a deep connection to the sea and an immersion into an ancient fishing tradition, using techniques passed down through generations.

Targeted Fish Species

Bali’s waters are teeming with a variety of fish species that appeal to both novice and seasoned anglers. Bali belongs to the so-called “coral triangle”, a site of some of the highest marine biodiversity in the world. There are so many different fish species in the area that even local guides struggle with remembering all their names. There are several usual suspects of the tropical waters, iconic to recreational anglers, including the giant trevally who patrols reefs and wrecks in search of smaller fish to devour, and the giant barracuda, who lies in ambush with the same intent. The coastal reefs offer a habitat for colorful reef fish, crowned by the red (or ruby) snapper, one of the most popular game fish ever. Coral trout, groupers, triggerfish and more are waiting for you to cast your fly or lure. Some large pelagics, such as bluefin and yellowfin tuna, as well as black and blue marlin, are not found permanently in Balinese waters, but pass by the island during their annual migration. The best time for marlin fishing is usually between September and November, while for tuna, especially species like yellowfin, the peak months are from August to November. Wahoo, dolphin (mahi-mahi) and king mackerel can also be caught near Bali.

Fishing Techniques

Bali offers a range of fishing techniques to suit any preference. Both trolling and bottom fishing belong to the arsenal of traditional Balinese fishermen fishing from Jukungs, as well as charters who take their clients after fast-swimming pelagics offshore in modern, high-power crafts. Jigging and popping are effective for the dynamic species found near reefs. For a more immersive experience, try fly fishing in the coastal waters, where the clear conditions make for excellent sight-fishing opportunities. Spearfishing is gaining popularity. Bali’s guides and charters are well-equipped to provide insights into the most effective tactics and local secrets that enhance your fishing adventure.