Fishing in Ecuador

Spanning from the Pacific coast across the Andes to the Amazon basin and out to the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador offers diverse fishing opportunities, culminating in pursuit of big-game fish such as marlin and tuna.
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About Ecuador

Ecuador's unique geography includes the Pacific coast, the Andes mountains, the Amazon basin, and the Galápagos Islands, each offering distinct fishing environments. From saltwater big game fishing to freshwater Amazonian adventures, the variety of ecosystems ensures a broad range of species and fishing experiences. The coastal waters of Ecuador are renowned for their big game fishing, particularly around the Salinas and Manta regions. Anglers can target marlin (blue, black, and striped), sailfish, tuna (yellowfin and bigeye), and dorado, making it a dream destination for those seeking the thrill of deep-sea fishing. The Galápagos Islands, part of Ecuador, provide a totally out-of-this-planet fishing experience where you can catch record-sized marlin, tuna, and wahoo in some of the most pristine and untouched waters on the planet. Fishing in the Galápagos also offers the chance to witness the archipelago's unique wildlife. Nearshore areas promise a catch of snappers, groupers, and unique roosterfish. Inland, the streams and lakes of the Andes, as well as the rivers and lagoons of the Ecuadorian Amazon, offer unparalleled freshwater fishing. A fishing trip to Ecuador is not just about the catch; it's also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the country's rich culture, history, and gastronomy. Enjoy local seafood cuisine, explore ancient ruins, and experience the warm hospitality of the Ecuadorian people.

Fishing Types

Ecuador has established itself as a prime area for offshore, big-game fishing. Not only the waters of the Pacific nation house a great number of record fish, but also the deep sea is often but a few minutes sailing from the shore, especially on the Galapagos Islands. Most charter in Ecuador’s ports are focused on big-game fishing, but of course the country’s fishing is not limited to that. Nearshore and inshore fishing trips target species such as groupers and snappers. Inland Ecuador offers decent opportunities for river and lake fishing as well, including quite near the capital city of Quito, in the Ecuadorian Andes. And the Amazon basin of Ecuador promises a possibility of a backcountry adventure into the tropical jungle with its winding rivers and unique native fish species.

Targeted Fish Species

Ecuador is rated as one of the countries with the highest level of biodiversity in the world, and many amazing fish species are found in its waters. The nutrient-rich Humboldt Current brings a variety of pelagic species to Ecuador’s Pacific coast, including blue, black, and striped marlin, sailfish, yellowfin and bigeye tuna, dolphin (mahi-mahi) and wahoo. Mackerel and bonito, as well as bottom-dwelling groupers and snappers are also present in impressive numbers. The Galápagos Islands offer a unique marine ecosystem with a mix of tropical and cold-water species, many of which are endemic, such as the Galápagos shark, the Galápagos damselfish and the salema. Most of those are of more interest to scientists and conservationists, but they are indicative of the rich marine life surrounding the islands. In the Andes near the capital city of Quito you may find introduced rainbow trout and largemouth bass. As for endemic species, the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador is less known than its counterparts in Brazil or Peru but is home to a fascinating array of freshwater fish species, thriving in its rivers and lagoons. Those include peacock bass, known for its striking appearance, piranha, the fist with a bad reputation, arapaima, one of the largest freshwater fish species in the world, and various species of catfish, including the red-tailed catfish and the piraíba. Fishing for those species ist strictly regulated and partly forbidden, but in spite of that inland fishing in Ecuador can be as exciting as saltwater fishing.

Fishing Techniques

As in most other locations around the world, big-game fishing in Ecuador is about trolling with heavy tackle , mostly using bright-colored artificial lures. Anglers who go fishing in Ecuador’s inshore waters can use spinning, bottom fishing, and jigging to target sedentary species that spend most of their lives near cover and structures. And fly fishing and spinning enthusiasts can have a great time pursuing rainbow trout and largemouth bass in the inland rivers and lakes.