Fishing around for the Best

Mauritius: Exotic Marlin Magnet

Few North American anglers ever make the long trip to Mauritius, which is located in the Indian Ocean about 1,800 miles off the east coast of Africa. The same cannot be said of the record-setting billfish that regularly ply the waters around this tropical island. Here you will find large populations of swordfish, tuna, and black marlin, as well as blue marlin for which Mauritius is renowned.

Blues caught off the coast of Mauritius have always ranked among the largest of the world's billfish. For anglers keen to pit their wits against these great sport fish, you won't find a better place to hook a marlin of a thousand pounds or more.
Because Mauritius is a mid-ocean volcanic seamount, deep water and big game fish are never than a short boat ride from shore. Nor are the tuna, dorado, and several species of shark that live in the island's fish-rich waters year-round. With quick runs to the blue water, anglers don't have wait long for the action to start.

The best times for billfishing in Mauritius are the spring and summer months. Year-round water and air temperatures are very comfortable&$151;both usually in the mid-80s (though the summer months can be humid).

Competitive sportfishing enthusiasts should consider visiting Mauritius at the time of the Marlin World Cup. Held each December during peak marlin season, the World Cup attracts a large international field of anglers and is one of the top sportfishing tournaments in the world.

Most participants during the five-day competition hook at least a 500-pund blue, and on occasion some have recorded a Mauritian Grand Slam: a black marlin, a blue marlin, a sailfish, and a short-billed spearfish. Winning teams and individuals receive cash prizes, in addition to airfare and accommodations for return trips to the island.

Mauritius may be remote, but that doesn't mean visitors have to settle for rustic accommodations. There are many large luxury resorts on the island, most of which offer fishing chatters or special sportfishing packages. Luxury hotels range from $175 to $225 per person per night. Large charter boats cost between $750 and $1,200 per day.

For those who make the journey, Mauritius is well worth the effort. In addition to world-class fishing, it boasts spectacular beaches and exciting nightlife and casinos. English is the official language on the island&3151;which is part of the British Commonwealth—though French and Creole are also common. The island's eclectic mix of Indians, Africans, and Europeans produce a remarkable blend of cultures that is apparent in its architecture, food, and art.

Paul McMenamin is the author, editor, and photo director of the original Ultimate Adventure Sourcebook.

Published: 30 May 2001 | Last Updated: 14 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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