Game fishing is one of the most popular water sports across the world. In game fishing, anglers hunt for a specific type of fish for sport. There are many places in the world where fishing is very popular. The Andamans is one of them. The archipelago is a major hub for fishing as it boasts a variety of fish. This means that it also attracts many anglers who pursue fishing for sport.
There are many spots near Havelock Island and Port Blair where you can go for game fishing in the Andamans. But, if you want to get away from the crowd and catch yourself a trophy fish, you should try fishing in Barren Island.
What is Barren Island?
Barren Island is a volcanic island located in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is the only volcano in India and the only active one in South Asia. The volcano is first known to have erupted in the 1700s after which it went dormant for a long time. It erupted again in the 90s and then again in the 2000s post which the island has been witnessing a steady increase in tourists.
The island itself is uninhabited except for a few goats, bats, and rodents. The massive prehistoric caldera spews smoke most of the time and you can see it from miles away. The island has some vegetation but not enough to sustain human activity.
Apart from the massive caldera, the most fascinating part of the island is the beaches that are ash coloured, unlike the white sandy beaches in the other islands across the Andamans. This phenomenon is believed to be a result of the volcanic impact over time. Even the sandbanks under the water near Barren Island are supposedly black, which makes it very interesting for scuba divers to explore. Most people either take a cruise around the island or take a charter boat if they want to engage in activities like fishing or snorkelling.
Explore game fishing in Barren Island
Game fishing is a big crowd puller in Barren Island. The marine life around the island is very diverse and attracts a wide variety of interesting fish, especially, those that can be trophies for anglers. The density of fish in Barren Island is much more than anywhere else in the Andamans. Also, the sizes of the fish are huge. No wonder the island attracts so many game fishers. You’ll see a lot of black and blue marlins as well as yellowfin and dogtooth tuna. There are also many Dorado fish and some sailfish that you can catch. There is a big possibility that you’ll catch a trophy fish on your fishing trip to Barren Island.
A big advantage of fishing on Barren Island is that you don’t have to wait patiently for the entire day to be able to catch just once. It is guaranteed that you’ll catch so many fish that you’ll be exhausted by the end of the day. If you are somehow unable to find the right spot, trust your local guide to show you the best spots to right fish.
How to take a fishing trip to Barren Island volcano
The popularity of Barren Island trips has been increasing steadily in the Andamans over the last few years. To accommodate the rising number of people showing their interest to visit the island, the Andamans offers many cruise and charter boat services. Regular passenger ferries don’t go to Barren Island, unlike the other islands in the archipelago. If you want to go fishing in Barren Island then taking a charter boat is your only option.
Charter fishing trips to Barren Island are only available from Port Blair or Havelock Island. You’d have to keep an entire day aside if you want to take a trip to try fishing in Barren Island. This is because just the journey to and from the island can take a few hours. Even by charter boats from Port Blair, it may take you 4-5 hours to reach Barren Island, while from Havelock Island you can cover the trip in 2-3 hours. You may spend at least a couple of hours on Barren Island whether you are fishing or snorkelling in Barren Island or doing both.
Cost of game fishing in Barren Island
Charter boats are the best way to go to the Barren Island volcano. They are also a bit more expensive than other means of transport. As mentioned earlier, Regular passenger ferries do not go to Barren Island, so you’d have to hire a private boat charter to Barren Island. You may have to spend around INR 130,000-150,000 on your day-long trip to Barren Island. The cost, however, covers most of the expenses you could incur during your trips like meals, fishing gear, beverages, and other facilities. Charter boats also come with boat staff and a guide to help you navigate through your trip and activities.
You would also need a permit to go to Barren Island and fish or engage in other activities like snorkelling or scuba diving. The cost of the permit for such activities is INR 1000 for Indian Nationals and around INR 3500 for foreign nationals.
Perfect time to visit Barren Island
The Andamans is a beautiful place that should be enjoyed under good weather. Imagine sitting on a sunny beach or fishing on a hot and humid day. Does not sound that appealing or even like a vacation, does it? If you are planning to visit Barren Island, you should plan your vacation between November to February. The weather is pleasant around this time and there’s less chance of rain or storms. October, March and early April are also fine, but the weather does get a bit hot and humid around this time.
Best things to do in Barren Island
Taking a charter fishing trip to Barren Island is one of the top things to do in the Andamans. The Barren Island volcano is a majestic island and the underwater topography around it is known to be mesmerizing. Apart from fishing, you can try scuba diving and snorkelling in Barren Island. Snorkelling is very popular in Barren Island as everyone can do it irrespective of experience or the ability to swim. Scuba diving, however, is only limited to advanced-level scuba divers.