Group Title: Recreational fishing in the U.S. Virgin Islands
Title: Deep water game fish
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/CA01300938/00004
 Material Information
Title: Deep water game fish
Series Title: Recreational fishing in the U.S. Virgin Islands
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Division of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Planning and Natural Resources
Publisher: Division of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Planning and Natural Resources
Place of Publication: St. Croix, USVI
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: CA01300938
Volume ID: VID00004
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Holding Location: University of the Virgin Islands
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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GAMEFISH SEASON LOCATION LIMITS AND BAIT/ LURES
LENGTH
RESTRICTIONS
All year with a peak St. Thomas north and No commercial Ballyhoo, belly strips,
season from May- south drop. St. Croix 100 harvest; no sale. mackerel, lures
October fathom drop off. FADs Minimum size
regulation of 99"
Makaira nigricans Lower Jaw Fork
Atlantic Blue Marlin* Length
All year with a peak St. Thomas north and No commercial Ballyhoo, belly strips,
season from April- south drop. St. Croix 100 harvest; no sale lures
May fathom drop off. FADs Minimum size
regulation of 66"
Tetrapturus albidus Lower Jaw Fork
White Marlin* Length
October March St. Thomas north and No commercial Ballyhoo, belly strips,
south drop. St. Croix 100 harvest; no sale lures
fathom drop off. Minimum size
regulation of 63"
Istiophorus platypterus Lower Jaw Fork
Sailfish* Length
August February St. Thomas north and Minimum legal Feathers, lures
south drop. St. Croix 100 harvest size 27" fork
fathom drop off and all length and a
shelf areas. FADs recreational bag limit
Thunnus albacares of 3 yellowfin tuna per
Yellowfin Tuna* person per day
All year Shelf areas on all three Feathers, lures
islands, FADs


Thunnus atlanticus
Blackfin Tuna
All year Shelf areas on all three No limit for skipjack Ballyhoo, lures
islands, FADs tuna


Euthynnus pelamis
Skipjack tuna*
Peak season from Shelf areas on all three Ballyhoo, lures
September May islands, FADs

Acanthocybium
solandri
Wahoo
..7 October January North and South drop and Lures, Ballyhoo,
(peak season) May, shelf areas on all three Flying fish
July islands, FADs
Coryphaena hippurus
Dolphin Fish
* Federal Permit Needed (Please refer to DFW's Recreational and Commercial Fisherman's Information Booklet


FADS
Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) create
additional fishing opportunities by encouraging
seasonal pelagic fish to congregate within
these areas, helping to relieve fishing pressure
in other areas. At this time, there are 10 FADs
located within U.S.V.I waters. FADs are lost
from time to time. Please contact DFW for an
updated FAD list.
FAD LOCATIONS


DISTRICT FAD


LOCATION


Deep Water Game Fish

RECREATIONAL FISHING
IN THE U.S VIRGIN ISLANDS


St. Croix S 17046.5'N; 65000.8'W
St. Croix U* 17044.0'N; 64054.6'W
St. Croix C 17058.9'N;640 30.3'W

St. Croix B 17051.6'N; 64030.8'W
St. Croix R 17039.0'N;650 04.0'W
St. Croix T 17052.3'N;640 42.8'W


St. Thomas
/St. John
St. Thomas
/St. John
St. Thomas
/St. John
St. Thomas
/St. John


E 18011.05'N; 64055.9'W

H 18038.3'N; 64058.8'W

J 18027.7'N; 64054.2'W

K 18036.4'N; 64058.4'W


*Navy underwater buoy, in the process of being
transferred to DFW.
ETHICAL ANGLING
1) Help fish stocks increase through catch and
release.
2) Limit your take, don't always take your limit.
3) Observe regulations and report violations to the
Division of Environmental Enforcement (340) 773
5774 in St. Croix or (340) 774-3320 in St. Thomas..
4) Bring all garbage in, don't teach it to swim.
5) Captain your boat, practice safety afloat.
6) Show courtesy and respect, others' rights don't
neglect.
7) Share what you know to help your sport grow.
For more information on Recreational Sportfishing
contact:
DPNR's Division of Fish and Wildlife
www.vifishandwildlife.com

IF S;N/


DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND
NATURAL RESOURCES





Division of Fish and Wildlife
45 Mars Hill
Frederiksted
St. Croix, V.I. 00840
(340) 772-1955

6291 Estate Nazareth 101
St. Thomas, V.I. 00802
(340) 775-6762








SPORTFISHING
Offshore recreational fishing for billfish and other
pelagics in the U.S. Virgin Islands began in the mid-
1950s. Recreational sportfishing has expanded
greatly in recent years, and a thriving offshore marine
recreational fishery exists throughout St. Thomas and
St. Croix.

WORKING THE DROP
Offshore recreational fishing is done primarily
from vessels over 30 feet in length unless deep water
is accessible close to shore. It is customary when off-
shore fishing in the U.S. Virgin Islands to fish "the
drop", where the insular shelf drops off. There are two
"drops", in St. Thomas / St. John District; the north
drop and the south drop. These drops are areas 20
miles north or eight miles south of the islands and St.
Croix is surrounded by a drop which is 0.5 to 4 miles
north or south. These are areas where migrating
schools of small fish are abundant and attract larger
pelagics, such as billfish, tuna, wahoo and dolphin fish.
"Working the drop" consists of trolling with lines baited
with either artificial or natural baits and traversing back
and forth across the 50-100 fathom depth contour,
usually in a westerly or easterly direction.

WORKING THE BIRDS
Captains, mates, and anglers constantly scan the
horizon for seabirds that will lead them to areas where
bait are hitting the surface of the water. Watch for
tropicbirds and boobies on the way out to the drop.
They are pelagic "plunge divers" who will feed on sub-
surface baitfish that are most likely being preyed upon
by flyingfish, ballyhoo and mackerels. Frigates and
seagulls are surface feeders and will spot schools of
bonitos, jacks and dolphin being pushed to the surface
by blue marlin, white marlin, sailfish, tunas and wahoo.
When trolling large areas of ocean, offshore anglers
can improve their chances of fishing success by
looking for seabirds.

WATCH YOUR LINES!
If it appears a seabird is going for baited lines
create loud noises to scare them. This action alone
could prevent feeding birds from getting entangled in
fishing lines. It is important to protect these birds
(some are endangered). Remember, be an
environmentally conscious angler. Dispose of your
fishing line properly. Monofilament fishing line is
deadly to wildlife. Weight fishing lines to avoid hooking
seabirds. If you accidentally hook a seabird while
fishing, don't cut the line! Reel in the bird slowly and


lift the bird carefully out of the water. Find the hook,
cut the barb, then back the hook out. Make certain all
fishing line has been removed and that the bird is
otherwise uninjured before releasing.

MOON PHASE
There is a correlation between the number of fish
hooked and/or caught and the full moon. This data
suggests that more fish are raised, hooked and caught
immediately before the full moon, during the full moon
and immediately after the full moon. Most
tournaments in the U.S. Virgin Islands are scheduled
close to or during the full moon.

TIME OF DAY
The best times for catching most offshore species
are between 8 am 4 pm. As a rule, most blue marlin
are hooked between 9 am 3 pm while white marlin
and sailfish are hooked between 8 am 4 pm.

BAIT
Most recreational anglers in the USVI troll both
artificial and natural baits simultaneously. However,
some will troll either all artificial or all natural bait. The
most commonly used baits are ballyhoo, lures and
feathers.

LOOK FOR FLOATERS
Items floating on the surface for a length of time
serve as cover for baitfish, and in turn, attract large
pelagic species. Floaters can be anything from
seaweed to tree limbs.

FISHING
Fishing within U.S.V.I waters is regulated by both
territorial and federal restrictions, specifically for
species such as billfish and swordfish. Both federal
and territorial regulations can be found in the
Commercial and Recreational Fisher's Information
Booklet distributed by the Division of Fish and Wildlife
and can be found at www.vifishandwildlife.com or by
calling their offices at (340)773-1082 in St. Croix or
(340) 775-6762 in St. Thomas. Copies may also be
obtained from the Division of Environmental
Enforcement at (340) 773-5774 in St. Croix and (340)
774-3320 in St. Thomas.


MAP OF FAD LOCATIONS IN ST. CROIX, ST. THOMAS AND ST. JOHN


FAD H x

FAD K


BVI N
Waters T


AT.JOHN


FAD Ex


Ac CX


R T
X


SFADB


PEC I
N

PAC I


SFAD R




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