Fishing at sea is a great way to relax
Fishing at sea is a great way to relax
You couldn’t imagine a better place for sea fishing. A warm climate, even in winter with beautiful turquoise waters and relatively calm and warm seas that teem with fish all year round, unlike other seas which are more seasonal. There are also some idyllic coral reef lagoons and bays for swimming, snorkeling and relaxing.
You will have a great time, and you have a great chance of catching a real sea monster that will give you an incredible memory as well as providing you and your friends with a sumptuous meal. Enjoy your trip but don’t relax too much, because the reel will suddenly start singing and you will usually be surprised by what you find at the end !
You’ll need to take your passport with you as this is often required on leaving Egyptian harbors. But equally essential are appropriate clothing, warm clothes in winter and a cap and/or sun cream in summer.
Remember to bring a towel, swimwear and snorkeling gear if you want to explore any of the island reefs or just jump in for a cool off.
Don’t assume, without asking first, that your boat will provide your fishing equipment for you so make sure you will have the fishing tackle, bait and any other equipment you need. We don’t know of anywhere in Marsa Alam where you can rent or buy this at the moment so you may need to go to Hurghada or check first that your boat captain can provide equipment.
Some boat trips provide their guests with on board meals but do check first and take a little of your own food or drink if you think you might not be happy with what’s provided. Also, remember that however tasty the fish might be – if you try to eat all your catch in one go you might not feel too well later.
You can also take your mobile as there’s normally a reasonably good reception for at least two or three kilometres off shore although you can never be sure.
Legal and environmental considerations –
Please also check with your Captain what is legal in terms of equipment and fish types that can be caught. This may change according to the season. Fishing nets, harpoons and spearguns are never allowed. Also in some Red Sea areas, such as the Wadi El Gemal and Gebel Elba Marine Parks, fishing is not permitted so seek guidance first. There are 1248 identified species of fish in the Red Sea, of which more than two hundred exist in plentiful numbers however do seek advice from your Captain about environmental issues.
It is strictly prohibited to fish on or close to the reefs or to fish for turtles, sharks, Napoleons and certain other fish types. But in most of the Egyptian Red Sea most forms of recreational fishing are legal providing the captain has obtained the appropriate permits and limits the fishing to the areas specified in the permit.Finally, please don’t leave rubbish anywhere – especially plastic as this is easily ingested by birds, turtles and other marine animals.
A local agent Ehab can organize a fishing and snorkeling trip from anywhere in the Marsa Alam area.
For more information either read my comments below The earlier you book ahead the better, especially in the busier summer and Christmas periods.
He arranges fishing trips twice a week, depending on the weather, for just 70 euros per person (minimum Seven people)* for a day trip including food, drinks, permits, transfers from and back to your hotel and all fishing equipment.
or 400 euros for a private boat for a day and the price including everything ( food, drinks, permits, transfers from and back to your hotel and all fishing equipment )
The 21 meter vessel, Nadeen Safaga (shown in one of the photos on the right and in the large photos below ), has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a sun deck with a seating capacity for up to twelve passengers.
It also has a spacious and comfortable lounge where you can eat or relax with a cup of tea or soft drinks and if you wish watch satellite television. The boat is fully equipped with all the latest navigation, radio communications and safety equipment, including life jackets, and there is also a comprehensive first aid kit including sea sick medication should you need it.
The captain will also provide you with all the fishing equipment you might need including trolling tackle, still fishing tackle, hooks of different sizes, sinkers in various sizes, line swivels, fillet knives, needle pliers, scissors, hook extractors etc.
What Kind Of Fish you can catch :-
Additionally between ten and twenty per cent of Red Sea fish species are unknown of anywhere else in the world. This rich and unique but fragile diversity is due to the fringing reef which stretches for up to 2000km along Egypt’s coastline alone and also to the low population levels of the surrounding coasts and the relatively (until recently) low level of commercial fishing activity. Most Egyptian commercial fishing takes place either in the Mediterranean or in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Suez over 500km north of Marsa Alam.Traditional and recreational fishing, providing they follow the environmental laws and guidelines, should not pose a critical threat to this amazing ecosystem.
- 1. Never use fishing nets, harpoons or spearguns.
- 2. Never fish for sharks, turtles, napoloens, ornamental fish, sea cucumber or other proscribed species.
- 3. Never fish on or near a coral reef.
- 4. Never fish in the Marine Protected Areas of Wadi El Gemal or Gebel Elba.
- 5. Never leave any rubbish.
- 6. Check for seasonal restrictions.
- 7. Check you have all the right permissions.
Here I have written about just a few of the many interesting fish types you will find in the Red Sea off Marsa Alam –
BARRACUDA (D & A)
This is a large torpedo shaped predator fish, usually solitary, with a voracious appetite and Piranha-like teeth which hunts using cunning ambush tactics, pouncing on its’ prey with speeds of up to 43km/h (27mph). And that’s not their only trick ! When gorged, these intelligent creatures can herd a school of fish in to shallow water, and stand guard until they a hungry enough for another bite.
Young barracuda usually keep to the shallow bays, coastal reefs and nearshore areas but as they grow bigger they are more often found further offshore but still usually close to shipwrecks or island reefs.
When fully grown they normally weigh 4 to 10kg but the largest specimen ever caught was 50kg and 2 metres ( six and a half feet) long. They not infrequently grow to 1.8 metres and can be easily recognized, not just by their elongated shape and size, but also by their powerful lower jaw which juts out beyond the upper to give the fish’s head a pike-like appearance.
They have an exaggerated reputation of being dangerous to divers and snorkelers but as with all marine life you should treat them with respect and take care not to provoke them and never touch or feed them.
It is true that rarely they might mistake divers following them as competitor predators and even turn and bite but such incidents are extremely unusual. The risk might be marginally greater if there is poor visibility or you are wearing very shiny reflective items that might mimic their prey.
When hooked on a line they are very fast initially, often leaping out of the water, but they do not usually have the stamina for a long fight. They have been caught using both bait (especially silvery bait like mackerel or small bonita) or lures, but their razor like teetch will often cut through any line if it’s not wire. The barracuda has excellent eyesight so avoid using a hook which is too large but, most importantly, you should be extremely careful when handling them.
The bonito is a migratory species which lives in schools with a modest sized mouth, strong jaws and small but distinct teeth – and while a full grown adult can occasionally weigh close to 10kg they normally weigh around two or three kilos.Most anglers use trolling to catch bonito and because they usually surface feed it’s usual to keep the bait only just below the water line. A small hook is buried discreetly into the bait and a light line is used since a heavy one tends to reduce the number of bonito strikes.
It is a popular food in Egypt and across the Mediterranean – eaten grilled or baked and, because of its’ oily flesh, it also makes good bait for large predatory fish.BUTTERFLY FISH (D)
A strikingly beautiful fish with flat brightly coloured and patterned bodies and the good news is that if you go diving or snorkeling you are likely to see many of them – at least in the Marsa Alam area – although in many parts of the world they have become endangered due to sea pollution and damage to their reef environments.
They are active throughout the day and move about with surprising bursts of speed, flitting and darting above the reef. This behaviour, along with the sharp dorsal fins of some species of butterfly fish, helps to protect them from predators.
They are a small fish, usually between 10 and 15cm in length (4 to 6 inches) with some species growing up to 20cm and with occasional large specimens reaching 30cm.
Normally most butterfly fish species are found around reefs at depths of less than 18 metres. They peck at the coral as they hunt worms, polyps and other small invertebrates but their diets also include plankton and sea anemones.
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