Fishing in Zanzibar

Fishing in Zanzibar - Giant Trivally

Zanzibar is fortunate in having superb fishing almost all the year. Fishing in Zanzibar is synonymous as some of the most exhilarating and challenging deep-sea fishing is available. When the north east monsoon blows, the billfish arrive in great numbers.

There are two very definite seasons in Zanzibar:

  • Yellowfin Tuna Season - August to October
  • Marlin Season - December to mid-March

The Striped Marlin


It is the most prolific of the Marlin and they seasonally migrate through the natural corridor between Zanzibar and the mainland. This game fish is well-known for its fighting ability and is renowned for its speed and acrobatic displays. It has a reputation for spending more time in the air than in the water just after it is hooked.

Season: The prime Marlin season runs from mid-November to end of March. In March it would seem that the fish are much larger than average.

Nov - Mar

STATUS: In Season.

Fishing in Zanzibar - A Striped Marlin

The Black Marlin

Fishing in Zanzibar - A Black Marlin

A highly rated game fishing in Zanzibar, the Black Marlin has the power, size and persistence of which anglers dream! The Black Marlin in Zanzibar and East African waters are generally larger than the other Marlin and have short, heavy bodies with the fins virtually locked in position.

Season: During August to the end of October, large Blacks can be found among the Tuna. The prime Marlin season runs from mid-November to end of March.

Aug - Oct

STATUS: Not In Season.

The Blue Marlin


The Blue Marlin is the largest of the Marlin family. It is a more streamlined version of the Black Marlin. It has a long slender bill extending up to a virtual point on the top of the head where the dorsal fin slants, resulting in a huge speed take off compared to other Marlin.

Season: During August to end October large Blues can be found among the Tuna fish.

Aug - Oct

STATUS: Not In Season.

Fishing Zanzibar - A Blue Marlin

The Shortbill Spearfish

Fishing Zanzibar - Shortbill Spearfish

This elusive game fish does exist in the waters of Zanzibar on the Pemba Channel, but is infrequently encountered and rarely seen and caught. This fish is a highly migratory deep-water species feeding at or near the surface on medium-sized fish, including Dorado, Flying Fish and Pilot Fish, Squid and Crustaceans. They appear to be available all year in small numbers. The methods are the same as for other billfish.

Season: mid November to end of March with December being the best month.

Nov - Mar

STATUS: In Season.

The Sailfish


The Sailfish is one of the most strikingly colourful game fish of all - its outstanding feature is the long, high first dorsal which is slate or cobalt blue with a scattering of black spots. Its body is dark blue and silver and lights up with white dots and lines of electric blue.

Season: Seen and caught throughout the season but most prolific during December and January.

Dec - Jan

STATUS: Not In Season.

Fishing Zanzibar - Sailfish

The Broadbill

Zanzibar Fishing - Broadbill

Broadbill (Xiphias gladius) is know as the 'Gladiator of the Sea' due to its reputation of being the toughest of all the billfish with a violent mood, and is considered by many to be the toughest of all billfish to catch.

Season: All year but best in October, November and March when the seas are very calm. December before the wind goes round to the north-east can also be an excellent time to catch a Broadbill.

Oct, Nov & Mar

STATUS: Not In Season.

The Tuna


From August we start to see large numbers of migrating Yellowfin Tuna fish, which are, pound for pound, one of the strongest fish that swim and can put up a challenging fight. These swift, sleek marauders of the worlds' oceans can be picked out from their close relatives by their bright yellow finlets and belly.

Season: August to October provides excellent sport for Tuna fish. Some of the Tuna are huge and involve a long, exciting and exhausting fight in the chair.

Aug - Oct

STATUS: Not In Season.

Zanzibar Fishing - Tuna Fish

Rates for Fishing in Zanzibar

Half Day: 5hrs (06:30 - 11:30 or 13:30 - 18:30)
Suli Suli (Open Deck)
USD 450 (5 anglers)
Timimi (With Deck)
USD 600 (5 anglers)
Baloo (With Deck)
USD 750 (5 anglers)
Local Boat (Open Deck)
USD 350 (3 anglers)
Full Day: 8hrs (06:30 - 14:30)
Suli Suli (Open Deck)
USD 650 (5 anglers)
Timimi (With Deck)
USD 850 (5 anglers)
Baloo (With Deck)
USD 950 (5 anglers)

Prices Inclusions

Charter of boat & Skipper
Bait, Tackle
Equipment hire
Lunch (full day) or Snacks (half day)
All Taxes

Lesser Game Fish

Jan - Dec

STATUS: In Season.

Some of the fish found in Zanzibar for this particular category are available throughout the year:

  • The Giant Trevally
  • The Kingfish
  • The Dorado 
  • The Wahoo
  • The Barracuda

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