Fishing and Diving
Best fishing is during the spring months.

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Antigua Fishing and Diving

Best fishing season is the end of March through June for kings averaging 45 pounds, dolphin that average 30 and wahoo that typically top out at 45 pounds. You can look to see a fair number of the small white marlin, but locals say blues are scarce.

They also admit that the reason so few blue marlin are hooked may be because not very many locals fish for them: "We fish only for what we can eat," one of them confided.

The Antigua & Barbuda Sports Fishing Club sponsors the annual Antigua Sportfishing Tournament headquartered at the Catamarina at Falmouth Harbour. It's held the last part of May.

The water around Antigua seems like prime billfishing ground. You only need to go from two to 10 miles offshore to encounter a dropoff that ranges from 50 to 200 fathoms.

For diving, the barrier reef that surrounds Antigua makes for mostly shallow dives; you really have to go out of your way to find places that go below 60 feet.

One of the better places is Cades Reef, a 2-1/2 mile stretch along the leeward coast; that is in such good shape it's been designated an underwater park. Visibility is often 80-100 feet, with plenty of fish life and staghorn coral.

The water below Shirley Heights offers some of the deepest diving, down to 110 feet. Ocean-going fish species like rays, grouper, sharks, turtles and schools of spade fish are frequently spotted here. Wrecks start at only 20 feet with the "Andes" in Deep Bay and the steamboat "Jettias" in 25 feet off Diamond Bank.

To me, the most interesting spots were at Waymund Reef and Sandy Island where I found coral encrusted anchors and cannons from old ships like the "HMS Waymund."

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