Curacao is a well known island in the world of Caribbean travel. It is easily accessed by air travel and cruise ships visit there almost daily. This interesting destination is part of the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao), which all lie north of the Venezuelan marine coastline. However, the old alliance title of the islands — the Netherland Antilles — is no longer is accurate since each of the three islands has formed their own unique relationship to Holland.
Fishing Choices in Curacao
The fishing is divided into two types of fishing: offshore and inshore, the latter being divided into inside bays and coastal beaches.
The epicenter of offshore fishing operations is in the waterfront of Punda. This is located in the principal city of Willemstad. Punda's image is the frequently published facade of rows of brightly colored Dutch-style ornate building fronts.
The offshore charter boats are the same flying bridge sport fishermen (FBSF) vessels one might find in Miami, Florida or Key West. The ride from Punda harbor out the inlet and into blue water is relatively short, so you'll be trolling before you know it. Expect to catch plenty of mahi, wahoo, blackfin tuna, and a shot at a marlin is quite possible.
The inshore fishing in Curacao yields snook and tarpon. Be sure to bring your own tackle to the island, as there are no tackle shops. I'd recommend 10-pound spinning and/or an 8-weight fly rod. Bring the same kinds of leaders, lures and flies that you would for a trip to Florida's Everglades National Park. I've been to Curacao many times and have found spinning with lures to get better results than fly fishing — part of this is due to the high winds that are fairly common.
Where to Go
There are no inshore guides, so the best way to get directions for snook or tarpon is by talking to any of the offshore charter captains and mates. Do not be surprised if you're told by a captain or even a cab driver to fish in some pretty urbanized and industrialized spots. I've had some of my best fishing in the culverts behind the old Amstel plant. On my best morning there, I released 12 snook and six small tarpon.
Attractions and Activities
Curacao has an arid desert like environment that has nice offshore waters and loads of birds. Not surprisingly, there are good beaches, fine diving and there is a seaquarium if you like big fish tanks. You can go sightseeing and shopping in Punda and walk across the famous Queen Emma pontoon bridge into Otrabanda and shop some more. On the west side of the island you can hike the ocean rocks at Westpunt or get a local guide to climb Mount Christophel.
Quick Facts about Curacao
The people of Curacao speak Papiamento, Dutch, English and Spanish, but any traveler to the island and its many wonderful hotels will find that English is spoken very widely. The American dollar is accepted in Curacao. The electric current in the hotels for appliances like hairdryers is the same as in the States.