River fishing in PouemboutRiver fishing in Pouembout
©River fishing in Pouembout|Oneye Production


in New Caledonia

Welcome to the world of fishing in New Caledonia, an archipelago of islands, with the 400-kilometre-long Grande Terre as its main attraction. Nestled in tropical waters protected by the barrier reef, New Caledonia offers a rich and diverse fishing experience. Fishing is not just a pastime here; it’s deeply woven into the fabric of Caledonian life.

What types of fishing?

in New Caledonia

New Caledonia is ranked among the top 5 global destinations for fly fishing. In harmony with nature’s rhythm, fly fishermen often venture to the idyllic Grand Lagon Nord during low tide.

Out on the open sea, the waters surrounding New Caledonia are perfect for productive fishing expeditions. Many engage in sport fishing, seeking marlin, swordfish, tuna, mahi-mahi, and more. The pleasure of big-game fishing lies not in keeping the catch but in the thrill of the chase, the battle with the prey, and the release back into the ocean in a no-kill approach.

If fly fishing and big game fishing are modern forms of fishing, New Caledonia has been practicing this activity for millennia to feed its inhabitants. And with impressive technique and mastery! Crab fishing, in particular, requires skill and experience to return with a respectable catch without getting your fingers pinched. Also, admire the technique required for net fishing: effectively handling a large net slung over one’s shoulder takes a skilled hand…

If you’re proficient in free diving and spearfishing, New Caledonia provides an extraordinary setting for underwater hunting. While capturing prey is a goal, the environment and visual spectacle hold equal importance for enthusiasts. Without a doubt, the New Caledonian lagoon will captivate you with its abundant aquatic life and stunning underwater landscapes.

In New Caledonia, fishing is not just a leisure activity; it’s a way of life and an integral part of the local heritage. Whether you’re into traditional or modern methods, you’ll find a variety of fishing experiences throughout the South Pacific archipelago.

Where to fish in New Caledonia?

In Nouméa

Depart from the ports of Noumea for big-game fishing on well-equipped boats. Numerous operators offer sea excursions, taking you to drop-offs along the barrier reef, isolated reefs, or the open sea beyond Noumea’s lagoon. Whether you’re interested in jigging, popping, trolling, or deep-sea fishing, these spots offer perfect settings for a day of comfortable fishing, snorkelling, and lagoon exploration. You can also embark on multi-day cruises to the Coral Sea Park, Astrolabe, or Walpole reefs.

On the West Coast

The western side of Grande Terre boasts sea and fly fishing opportunities. This vast territory presents superb locations for freshwater and saltwater fishing. Knowledgeable professionals will guide you to lesser-known sites for trolling, casting, or fly fishing. Consider combining your fishing trip with an island excursion. If you stay with a local host, they’ll gladly share the secrets of crab fishing.

On the East Coast

The lush East Coast, with its rainforests, is a paradise for creek shrimp fishing within tribal communities. The region’s numerous waterfalls and rivers provide excellent locations for traditional fishing. Take part in a tribe’s warm welcome and join in net braiding or assegai making workshops. Enjoy your catch in a delicious meal or try fishing for pelagic species off Ponérihouen on the east coast.

In the Islands

Residents of the Loyalty Islands and the Isle of Pines are well-acquainted with sea and traditional fishing. In Lifou, sea outings offer opportunities for trolling, jigging, or casting for a day. These sites are less crowded, increasing your chances of a rewarding catch. Watch a net fishing demonstration during a sea excursion guided by experts or with your tribal host. Contact your accommodation provider for more details.

In the Great South

For a unique off-the-beaten-track experience, head to the Great South and its vast, uninhabited natural landscapes. Engage in sea and traditional fishing, troll within the lagoon or beyond, and make stops at pristine islets. Various Yaté tribe associations offer visitors the chance to discover fishing for grisettes, clams, and other shellfish during low tide—a family-friendly experience. Inquire with the tribe about learning the art of traditional net fishing.

Frequently asked questions about fishing in New Caledonia
  • What are the iconic fish?

    Caledonian waters are incredibly rich, offering a wide variety of fish species. Enthusiastic anglers can expect to encounter tuna, loaches, mahi-mahi, jacks, kingfish, mekoua, wahoo, and even marlin.

  • What's the best time of year?

    Fishing is available year-round, with a pleasant climate and diverse fish populations. However, it’s advisable to avoid the wet season from January to March to make the most of sunny days, enjoy islet breaks, and go for a swim.

  • Should I bring my own equipment?

    Most operators provide quality fishing tackle suitable for the targeted species. If you have a favourite rod and reel or special equipment (especially for fly fishing), feel free to bring them along. Remember to check your airline’s baggage regulations before your departure. You can also purchase equipment at specialised stores in Noumea if needed.

  • What about licences and permits?

    Fishing remains relatively unrestricted in New Caledonia. Only professionals are required to have a fishing permit. However, regulations exist for authorised fishing zones, species-specific periods, size limits, and trip quotas. Your guide will have all the necessary information. The practice of “catch and release” or “no kill” is increasingly encouraged in the region.