Deep Sea Fishing
You will gain a whole new appreciation for fresh seafood after you take part in a deep-sea fishing excursion, cast your line into the deep blue waters off the coast of Prince Edward Island and catch your own fish. Whether you've set your sites on a fresh feed of mackerel, you'd like to do battle with a giant bluefin tuna, or you are lured by the mystery of shark fishing, boat captains around the province are eager to share in your adventure on the high seas.
The most common types of deep sea fishing charters in both the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Northumberland Strait are for mackerel. Beginning in early July and continuing into September, charters can be booked from a number of fishing ports along the Prince Edward Island coastline. Charters are typically 3 ½ hours in duration and are a fun and economical activity for the whole family. And when you have your feet planted back on shore, the captain will send you back to your cottage or campground with your catch of the day, freshly filleted and ready for the barbecue!
Going After the Big Ones
For those who prefer to go after big game fish, may we suggest some tuna or shark angling? There are several tuna charters available on the Island, and a handful of boats equipped to take adventurers into waters where sharks are lurking beneath the surface.
Now, for all you beach-goers, don't be alarmed. These blue, mako and porbeagle sharks prefer the cooler waters of the channel and are rarely seen close to shore. And further to that, within the pages of our rich and colourful history, there has never been a shark attack on Prince Edward Island. Our waters are not only the warmest north of the Carolinas, they are among the safest, too.
For the most part, though, sharks don't frequent Island coastal waters until late summer and because of this, charter captains don't start taking bookings until September. Come July, however, there is plenty of action for big game fishers as the tuna season begins by the middle of the month and carries on into the fall. The tuna fishery operates on a quota system and therefore does not have a fixed season.
With a rod sitting firmly in its sheath, be ready for a fight that could last up to three hours. Tuna will pull hard on your line, so hard that the captain will have to start his boat and pull against your prey. The boat will sometimes travel up to nine kilometres (six miles) in an attempt to wear down a large tuna.
There's a good chance that you may not even see your quarry until you have it up to the boat, because a 400 kg, or heavier, tuna will make every attempt to stay deep in the water, often moving back toward the boat in order to get some slack in the line and then making a run in the opposite direction. At this point your line will tighten with a snap and the fight will be on once again.
Sport fishers view tuna angling as one of the greatest thrills of their sport and they are equally thrilled by an apparent resurgence of the species over the past few years. Charter operators had seen a decline in tuna numbers for about 10 years, but these migratory giants of the sea are once again plentiful in the waters off Prince Edward Island. Tuna charters can be booked from several locations on the Island, including North Lake, also known as "The Tuna Capital of the World."
Anglers are reminded, though, that if they do catch one of these enormous fish they are not permitted to bring it home with them. The license belongs to the boat you are fishing from and the captain will be the sole owner of your catch. However, should you bring in a tuna you'll get a free charter for the day, as well as having one of the greatest thrills known to the sport of fishing.
So, from tasty mackerel, to the high energy excitement of sharks and tuna, Prince Edward Island waters are teeming with fish. Our many charter captains will supply the boats, gear, bait and know-how, and all you have to bring along is the willingness to have a whole lot of fun.