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Fishing in Indonesia

Indonesia is at the top of many travelers’ to-visit list. It’s a beautiful country, offering visitors so much to do, see, explore, and eat. The locals are welcoming and the trip won’t be too much of a strain on the wallet. The food is excellent and also at an excellent price. Tropical forests surround the place, and relaxing on the white sandy beaches is a favorite pastime for tourists that are visiting. Indonesia also offers anglers a variety of fishing opportunities out amongst their numerous islands. Indonesia is the world’s largest collection of islands, and is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. Although these waters were overfished in the past, stricter regulations in recent years have changed the way anglers fish.This in turn has made for excellent opportunities for visiting anglers. You have two main options when fishing in Indonesia – hop on a Balinese “jukung” (a traditional Indonesian fishing boat) and fish like a local, or head offshore in a larger boat for bigger fish. Whichever style you choose, you’ll be hooked on Indonesian fishing! Each one has its own style and flavor that is sure to be the experience of a lifetime. For those that have the time, why not try both?

A traditional jukung can usually have up to 3 anglers on board. It’s long but slender, with long outriggers (or handles) coming off the sides of the boat. This helps keep it steady, meaning even when you’re in the middle of a fight with a big fish, the boat won’t unbalance and you’ll still be able to reel your prey in. Fishing from a jukung will get you way closer to your prey than fishing from a center console. These boats are also covered, offering shade to everyone on board. Traditional fishing trips are popular around Bali, in places such as Bunutan and Amed. While most trips focus on trolling and bottom fishing, you can also try jigging if you're up for a challenge. As well as conventional fishing methods, you might also use a “berbulu” to fish. This is a line with a dozen hooks on, which are themselves surrounded by animal hairs. This gives the hooks perfect camouflage and will see you hooking up Mackerel in no time. For bigger fish, like Mahi Mahi, you can also use a berbulu line with a single hook at a time. The fishing guides will be sure to help you with all of the equipment and landing your fish, so no need to worry about bringing your own tackle or experience.

Still in Bali, but in the south out of Denpasar, you can do some serious offshore fishing. This is more suited to experienced anglers who can fight larger prey, but also for families with kids who need a safer and larger boat. You’ll need a minimum of a 6 hour trip to head out and target Marlin, Sailfish, and Mahi Mahi. You can also go on 4 hour trips bottom fishing for Barracuda, and Amberjack. These waters are home to some giant specimens of all of these species. Captains in Indonesia offler anglers a lot of flexibility with their trip, and can usually accommodate your needs. So if you have an urge to go snorkel the reefs, just let them know beforehand. Head to the east of Indonesia, in West Papua, for awesome year-round offshore fishing. Here, you can target Blue and Black Marlin, Dogtooth and Yellowfin Tuna, Sailfish, huge Giant Trevally, Mahi Mahi, and Wahoo. Overnight trips are popular here, as you can head out further to catch even bigger fish. Drinks are provided on most trips, and you’ll usually need to bring your own snacks. Fishing gear and tackle is usually provided, and most captains are happy for you to keep enough fish for your dinner. If you’re interested in snorkeling or spearfishing, but let your captain know before the trip so they can prepare the equipment. You won’t need to buy a fishing license in Indonesia.

Overall, there are many reasons that a vacation to Indonesia should be high on your list of places to see and explore. The fishing is world class, and the entire place will be a lot kinder on your wallet than many other vacation and fishing destinations. Expand your horizons and get out of your comfort zone with some traditional Indonesian fishing. Or, go for a trophy catch off one of the nation’s many islands. With many different islands to explore, you could spend an infinite amount of time here and still would not be able to see everything that this place has to offer. Whatever you choose, fishing in Indonesia has to be on your bucket list.

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