Red Sea Fishing Tours

Fishing the blue waters and coral reefs of the Red Sea

The truth is that you can't fish everywhere in Egypt, but with us you can start at many places

The name Red Sea is a direct translation of the Greek Erythra Thalassa (Ερυθρὰ Θάλασσα) and Latin Mare Rubrum which my refer to the direction South, just as the Black Sea's name may refer to North. The basis of this is that some Asiatic languages used colour words to refer to the cardinal directions. Herodotus used Red Sea and Southern Sea interchangeably. Alternatively the name of the sea may signify the seasonal blooms of the red-coloured Trichodesmium erythraeum near the water's surface. Some fisherman however do have their own theory: RED FISH! Many of the Red Sea fish species come in Red: Groupers, Big bye, Snappers (namely Bohar snapper), Breams Wrasses, etc. To anglers the Red Sea is still Terra Incognita. Even though the Red Sea is not a typical Game Fishing destination anglers live breathtaking experience when big fish probably unknown to them appear from crystal waters.

Due to its importance as a trading route to Asia, the Red Sea has been in focus of Europe for thousands of years, only recently, with advent of scuba diving, its extremely rich and renowned biological diversity came into western awareness.
Its ichthyofauna is based on Indo-Pacific and, due to its peculiar ecology, many endemic species. Since the opening of the Suez Channel in 1869  Mediterranean (Antisepsis) species have added on this. Some of them thrive the Red Sea in abundance and sizes which the Mediterranean Sea lost long time ago. Altogether more than 2000 different species of fish inhabit the Red Sea.

Thousands of km shoreline provide a variety of fishing grounds and undiscovered spots which comprise game fish including Barracuda, Groupers, King Mackerel, Giant 4revally, Sailfish and many surprises. With quite a few protected areas around legal fishing hot spots may be a couple of hours away from the harbour. Therefore we do recommend to book overnight safaris but day trips are available too. They are especially prone for those anglers who would like to combine sport fishing with a beach resort holiday. The Red Sea is perfect for those who want to engage into big game popping, jigging, trolling and bottom fishing, with diving, snorkelling, kite surfing and may be even sight seeing of ancient monuments of culture. The Red Sea is a magnificent destination.

Fishing Tour

In our Fishing Safari we are making best use of both: Local expertise and advanced technology. To plan our trip we evaluate Bathymetric Maps in conjunction with recent Satellite Imagery data on Sea Surface Temperature, Sea Surface Height, Currents, Chlorophyll occurrence and of course we employ sonar technology to spot the game. In a a typical Safari schedule we shall be trolling after breakfast and stop at 13:00 in a nice place for snorkelling, bottom fishing and lunch. After the lunch, trolling until sunset. We stop in evening in a quiet nice place to make bottom fishing, have diner and sleep over night on board. At least till sunrise!

Approach

Season

Red Sea Fishing Seasons

Fishing the right time ..

Red Sea fishing seasons are less pronounced than many other destinations. However, we do observe a clear peak in the abundance of Big Game species between December and March, as well as a small peak in July. The winter peak seems to be triggered off by wintertime oceanic circulation in the northern Red Sea basin. Due to predominant north-westerly winds, which are persistently strong in wintertime, large amounts of surface water are being driven to the south. Within the practically closed up basin, this water can only be substituted by water from great depth, which is rich in nutrients. Up-welling of fertile oceanic water from great depths results in higher biological productivity everywhere, but especially in an water body like the Red Sea which totally lacks any natural inlets which could add nutrients. Theoretical reasoning is backed up by remote sensing empirical findings: Satellite imagery shows a significant rise in the occurrence of surface Chlorophyll Concentration (CHL-a) for the northern part of the Red Sea in winter, which triggers off a feeding wave all through the food chain up to the top carnivores, we are looking for.

The small peak in the abundance of Big Game Fish in summer is largely due to the occurrence of migratory tropical species, which head far north into one of worlds warmest oceans in summer.

.. in the right Location

Other Factors

Fishing is luck, among many other factors like Sea Surface Height, which shows areas of up-welling and down-welling on the ocean's surface. An up-welling is a phenomena where water from the deep ocean rises to the surface. This cold, deep ocean water is densely packed with nutrients and when it rises to the surface and is hit by sunlight, microscopic plants (phytoplankton) and animals (zoo-plankton) are able to grow quickly. Squid and baitfish feed on these microscopic animals, and in-turn attract larger pelagic species. The best fishing is often found in the areas between high and low sea surface heights. Sea Surface Temperature, Certain species will be found in certain ranges of water temperatures, while others are drawn to temperature breaks where bodies of cooler water meet warmer water. Generally speaking the best areas to fish are in the intermediate zones between areas of up-welling and areas of convergence. These neutral areas - between the highs and away from the centre of the low - is where the food chain will have time to develop. Chlorophyll Concentration.

Chlorophyll is produced by plankton, and chlorophyll imagery is obtained from satellites and helps anglers determine the location of blue water versus dirty water. The data from the satellites is processed to display relative Chlorophyll concentrations. Knowing where phytoplankton blooms are concentrated can be an excellent indication of where baitfish should be concentrated. The boundary areas between blue and green water, often referred to as colour breaks, will typically stack up bait and hold above-average numbers of predatory game fish.

By the way, Bluefin Tuna turned up in the North Sea in 2017!

Dorado Facts

Coryphaenae are fast creatures of the Sea

Dorado fighting

Coral Grouper (Cephalopholis miniata). Also known as Coral Rock Cod and Coral Cod, Other names include miniatures grouper, miniata grouper, coral or blue-spot rock-cod, vermilion and sea-bass. has a robust, bass-like body shape. It’s a mottled orange-red to scarlet in base colour with myriad small, closely spaced, light-blue polka dots all over its body and fin. Coral grouper is small by grouper standards and will grow up to a size of 50 cm. Presence will increases strongly towards the south of Red Sea. Has a tendency to come to rest on substrates. You should use heavy tackle and baits caught near the sea bottom. In general you are going to need heavier tackle than you would normally need for equivalent sized fish.   Make sure the Grouper will not hide into the corals. Grouper can be caught on lures, live bait, and dead bait.  My favourite way to catch them is casting jerk-baits in shallow reef areas but a large live-bait is probably the most effective way. Many people have success trolling deep diving plugs so that they go just above the reef where the fish are.  If you are fishing a shallower reef it can be great fun to cast jerk-baits like a Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow and retrieving them erratically with frequent pauses.  Many times the fish bite on the pause. There are basically three approaches used when fishing for grouper – straight bottom fishing, free-lining live bait, and slow trolling. When a grouper strikes, anglers will lay their rod on the rail and start winding as hard as they can. The circle hook will handle hooking itself. 

  • Grouper run out, grab a bait, and head back for cover. This habit will cause many lost fish and hung lines. Serious grouper anglers will crank the drag down on their reel as hard as they can, often using a pair of pliers to lock it down. The idea is to stop the grouper from taking line and returning to his structure home.
  • When a grouper makes it into a rock or reef, many anglers will simply break off the line and try again. The savvy angler will give the fish a loose line for as long as thirty minutes to allow the fish to relax and possibly swim out from under the structure. It has worked for many anglers on more than one occasion.

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Serranidae (Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets) > Epinephelinae

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Coral Trout

Coral trout (Plectropomus leopardus)are an inquisitive fish that will come out of their hideaway to investigate stray food sources lurking around their territory. We have found the specimens rising to poppers on the surface regularly, almost out of curiosity, as they patrol in shallow water. When it comes to targeting trout in the slightly deeper water, extremely deep diving lures like the Halco 7metre+ work very well. These lures get right down amongst the coral in ten to fifteen metres of water and a hunting trout swimming in the area will usually investigate. A slow troll in this situation is recommended, around 4-5knots. We also don’t use wire traces when targeting trout on lures as it is too visible in these clear waters; fluorocarbon mono-filament will produce better results.  coral trout he coral trout (right) uses eels (left) to hunt food.

  1. Fish your baits right on the bottom. Keep your line tight, but leave the weight on your line on the bottom — regardless of whether you’re fishing live or dead bait like a bonito strip. Grouper live on the bottom and are holding up in either rocks or wrecks. By keeping your bait on the bottom, you’ll have it right in front of the grouper’s face where the fish can eat it.  
  2. Don’t jerk or lift the rod when the grouper takes the bait. Reel as fast as you can to set the hook, and take up the slack. As soon as the grouper is hooked-up and the rod is bowed, then use the rod to lift the fish out of the hole or up off the bottom. Next reel down really fast, and lift the grouper up again with the rod.  
  3. Be sure not to lift the grouper with the rod once you get the fish 20 feet or so up off the bottom. Switch from lifting and winding to steadily reeling. Since a big grouper will make several more runs to try and get back into the bottom, you may tear the fish free from the hook if you try and lift the rod tip. Don’t reel when the grouper is pulling off drag. Let the reel and the bowed rod fight the grouper. 
  4. Gaff a grouper in the mouth. Not only is this the safest place to gaff the grouper so you don’t lose the fish, but you also won’t damage nearly as much meat. Make sure you leave the fish laying in the water. Don’t attempt to pick the grouper’s head up with the rod. Let the mate gaff the fish and bring it on-board.

let your line out, making sure it goes straight down. The key to this method is to drop your line vertically and keep it tight. 

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Dorado or Dolphin Fish?

Coryphaena hippurus (Linnaeus, 1758) is a surface-dwelling ray-finned off-shore fish having the best-known worldwide conservation status: Least Concern (LC) according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.  The CORYPHAENIDAE family is globaly distributed and has many names: It is also called Dorade Coryphène, (French), Anfalous (Arabic), LampukaLampuki,  (Levant) Rakingo), Calitos, or Maverikos (México). Dolphin is a typically US-American name, Mahi Mahi (meaning very strong) as a name made it far beyond its Polynesian origin. Italians call it Pappagallo, Japanese say Shiira and Germans Goldmakrele. Dorado is a tropical fish of global distribution, which also migrates to the Red Sea in summer and it is one of the world’s most popular game-fish. There is no mystery why that is.  They are spectacularly coloured, fight hard and jump when hooked, and taste delicious. Therefore sport fishermen seek them. Thanks to their beauty, size, food quality, and healthy population. Catches average 7 to 13 kilograms (15 to 29 lb). They seldom exceed 15 kilograms (33 lb), and Mahi-Mahi over 18 kilograms (40 lb) are exceptional. They are distinguished by dazzling colours: golden on the sides, and bright blues and greens on the sides and back. Mature males have prominent foreheads protruding well above the body proper. Females have a rounded head. Females are also usually smaller than males.

Medium weight conventional tackle set up should work fine.  A Shimano Trinidad 16N is a good reel for casting.  Unfortunately, Dorado are often hooked when trolling with heavy tackle meant for larger fish such as Marlin and so they are totally outmatched and really don't get a chance to show what they are made of.  A Dorado caught on lightweight tackle is one of the most exciting experiences in all of sports-fishing.  Their high metabolic rate has been attributed to physiological adaptations that conform to the lifestyle of a fast-moving pelagic predator. If you hook a 15 Kg+ Dorado on a lighter salt-water bait-casting rod and reel you are in for quite a fight. 

Look for floating objects, debris and frigate-birds near the edge of the reef in about 35 m) of water. A net full of live sardines tossed into the water can excite the $orado into a feeding frenzy. Successful fishing methods include trolling Dorado caught is kept in the water, it may hold the school, and often others will come near enough to be caught by casting. (Arabic) Catches average 7 to 13 kilogram

 

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King Mackerel

King mackerel are found both near-shore and offshore, often around piers.  They may occasionally be found in deep water. King mackerel are voracious feeders that will hit a variety of baits. Spoons, jigs and trolling plugs are most likely to tempt juvenile "schoolie" kings in the 10- to 20-pound range, so for the big "smoker" kings you'll want to troll a spread of natural baits. This strategy involves covering lots of water and showing the fish different looks. A mix of flat lines, long baits and deep baits on down-riggers provides diversity and helps you dial in what the fish want on any given day. As migratory pelagics, king mackerel are constantly on the move on the hunt for bait and they will move up and down in the water column. Down-riggers offer an effective method to fish your baits at specific depths.  EYE IN THE SKY: When trolling broad areas, look for marine birds like this high-flying frigate. Birds will follow schools of kingfish for hours, just waiting for them to feed. Once the slashing starts, frigates dip low to snatch the scraps left at the surface. Spotting frigates circling an area should put a big red X on the spot. King mackerel are speedy critters and sometimes they take the corners too fast and overshoot their targets. Here, and in any missed attack, quick thinking anglers can improve their chances of a follow-up strike by feeding line back to the point of the attack. When a king boils or strikes at a bait but misses, the boat's forward motion pulls the bait away from the attacker. Peel off several yards of line and you might convince the fish into a second shot.

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Barracuda

Good coastal Barracuda

Great Barracuda live in tropical areas all around the world. When they are small they tend to live in shallow bays and other near-shore areas. As they get larger they tend to move out to reefs and wrecks farther offshore. You can often see them as they sit near the top of the water like logs. They are blindingly fast over short distances and cut their prey in half with their mouth full of jagged teeth. They grow to around 100lbs. The biggest one I have personally seen caught was around 45lbs and my best one was a little below that. More

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Yellowfin Tuna

Yellowfin Tuna

Blue fin tuna, Yellow fin tuna, Black fin tuna, Dogtooth tuna, White tuna, and Skip-jack tuna are highly migratory and seasonal to the Red Sea.

These tuna often feed near the surface so top-water techniques can be used. For trolling, you can try tuna feathers, cedar plugs, and plastic skirted trolling lures.  Rapalla type plugs also work.

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Giant Trevally

Caranx Ignobilis
GT and lots of information from Daniel Smith

Giant Trevally love large poppers such as those made by Heru, Halco, and many other manufacturers.  You cast them as far as you can, and then retrieve them with long sweeps of the rod so that the poppers kick up a lot of water.  You should vary your retrieve speed to figure out what they like.  Give it a pause to give the fish a chance to strike; you don't want to pull it away from them.  The strike is often dramatic as they launch out of the water in a shower of spray trying to annihilate your popper.  As with all top-water lure fishing, you have to wait until you feel weight on the end of your line before setting the hook as the fish often miss the lure on the first try.

Giant Trevally: also known as the GT is a species of large marine fish classified in the jack family. The giant Trevally is distinguished by its steep head profile, strong tail scutes. It is normally a silvery colour with occasional dark spots; however males may be black once they mature. Giant 4revally can grow to a maximum known size of 170 cm and a weight of 80 kg. The current IGFA World Record stands at an outrageous 145lb

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Dog Tooth Tuna

Dogtooth Tuna are generally caught either trolling or jigging.  For trolling for large ones a 50 W type trolling outfit with 100lb braided line should be sufficient.

Dogtooth Tuna can because caught trolling Rapalla type lures.

 reef drop-offs and offshore structures

It does have many similarities to the tunas though in some respects it differs considerably. Teeth for example. The reason the dogtooth tuna is called as such are its relatively large widely spaced Conical teeth.

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Sailfish

Sailfish: reaching 1.2–1.5 meters (3 ft 10 in–4 ft 10 in) in length in a single year, and feed on the surface or at mid-depths on smaller fish and squid. Individuals have been clocked at speeds of up to 110 kilometres per hour (68 mph), which is the highest speed reliably reported in a fish. Generally, sailfish do not grow to more than 3 meters (9.8 ft) in length

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Endorsements
Sustainable Fishing

Fishing for the Future

Sustainable fishing guarantees there will be populations of ocean and freshwater wildlife for the future ..

 Marine protected areas regulate human activities in the ocean

IGFA

The International Game Fish Association is committed to the conservation of game fish and the promotion of responsibleangling practices ..

 Marine protected areas regulate human activities in the ocean

Protect Planet Ocean

Oceans are the lifeblood of planet Earth and humankind. The air that you breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat ..

 Marine protected areas regulate human activities in the ocean

Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA)

HEPCA’s Mandate is the protection and conservation of the land and marine ecology in the Red Sea area.

Anglers For Conservation's mission is to inspire new generations of marine stewards through education, conservation, and community outreach.

Recreational fishers are custodians of natural resources. They spend time on the water and observe the environment ..

 

Red Sea Fishing is a Project of Projekt Manager EU. Other Projects include Microsoft Project EU and Primavera Project Training