Reel ‘Em In

The BVI is the new “go-to” destination for sport fishing

The BVI is long famed for its incomparable sailing conditions and pristine beaches. But did you also know that it is one of the best places in the world for sport fishing and your chance to land the “Big One?” A sport fishing Mecca by any other name, most of these excellent fishing grounds have been firmly held secrets, known only to local fishermen and passed down through generations.

Recently, however sport fishing charters are increasing in number and popularity due to the variety and extent of our prime fishing grounds that range from inshore reefs to the Territory’s most famous fishing spot, the “North Drop.” Situated between Anegada and Jost Van Dyke, this area is such named because the seabed literally drops from some 300ft to over 2000ft and this is the place where that eternally prized, record-breaking marlin really can be caught!

Ocean Surfari is the latest sport fishing charter company to open their doors, with a snappy tag line, “Pick A Fight.” The company opened last year in Soper’s Hole and also operates out of the USVI.  The main goal of this charter company is to help create the BVI’s very own sport fishing industry by working closely with the newly formed Sport Fishing Association to make the BVI a “go-to” destination for big game fishing. This would not only bring a new element to our tourism offerings, but aim to make the Territory a world-class sport fishing destination.

Captain Krys Vialva, Marketing and Sales Coordinator for Ocean Safari, explains: “We provide full day, three-quarter and half day charters out of Tortola and the USVI, and have a new fleet of seven boats including a 61’ Buddy Davies boat called Indigo, two 48’ Buddy Davies boats, two 37’ Calypso boats – custom made in Trinidad and two 34’ Buddy Davies boats. All our boats come with captains, and depending on the boat we would also include a mate. We take a maximum of six persons to ensure their safety and in order for the guests to have the best experience possible.

In the BVI, Ocean Surfari’s 48’ Buddy Davies is known as Rodfather and the 37’ Calypso is chillingly called, Hitman. The 34’ Buddy Davies is called Indigo Express as she used to be the tender to her big sister, the 61’ boat Indigo.

“On the day of a charter,” Krys says, “we supply an experienced captain who will have extensive knowledge of the BVI waters and, together with the guests, they will determine the best places to fish, depending on the guests’ preferences, weather conditions and the captain’s skill and knowledge. We also provide the fishing tackle and bait – even camera equipment so that all the guests need to do is to reel them in!” And it goes to say that water, soft drinks, beer and ice are all part of the package!

In addition to the fantastic offshore locations, there are also good inshore locations for family fishing or for those that prefer to stay closer to shore. However, from September to May, our deeper waters are awash with kingfish, dolphin, wahoo, skipjack and yellowfin and blackfin tuna. World record sized blue and white marlin are prevalent at the famous “North Drop” in the summer months of July through September.

Keeping the fleet in tip top condition is of paramount importance and Ocean Surfari employs a chief engineer who ensures that their maintenance program keeps their premium fleet going strong. “Also,” said Krys, “the guests expect a high level of service and a high performing boat, so we do everything we can to maintain that standard.

The timing for the opening of their new venture in the BVI is strategic and Krys believes that the right time is now.  He said, “There are more and more people interested in sport fishing, and the industry here has not yet been tapped. Also as tourism becomes more tailored, sport fishermen are always looking for the next best fishing grounds, and we have all that and more,” concluded Krys.

Information about Ocean Surfari’s fishing charters in the BVI is available at

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Official webpage of The BVI Welcome Guide. Source of information for everything in the British Virgin Islands since 1971.

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