Fishing In Bali: The Ultimate Guide To Indonesia’s Best Fishing Experience

If you’re thinking about a fishing tour here in Bali, then we’d absolutely encourage you to go for it.

This part of the Indian Ocean is home to a wealth of big fish and small fish alike and you can find tasty treats on almost any Bali fishing expedition.

Our guide will help you plan your fishing tour of the island and where to find the big fish, and help you understand what you can expect on fishing trips here.

The Fish Of Bali

The first question anyone, who is looking to do a fishing tour of Bali, wants answered is “What fish can you catch here?”

Well, that’s something that might take even a professional fisherman a lifetime to answer in full because there are so many fish in Balinese waters that you could never list them all, but some highlights that you might find on a Bali fishing tour include:

Giant Trevally

Caranx caninus Jurel Toro in Pacific Mexico

If you want to catch fish that offer a thrilling change of pace to the norm, then the Giant Trevally is what you’re looking for.

These are the boss fish of Bali’s reefs and they will attack pretty much anything in the water (so try not to fall in when you’re on your fishing tour for these).

They’re easy to find in all Balinese waters but the biggest specimens can be found around the Nusa Islands. (Nusa Penida, in particular, has a great reputation for this fish).


large yellowfin tuna thunnus albacares launches 2023 11 27 05 35 27 utc

Tuna aren’t native to Balinese waters but they pass through them on their annual migrations. You can catch several species of tuna here.

The most popular and easiest to find is the Mackerel Tuna (also known as Bluefin or Black Tuna, but they’re not as big as the Pacific Bluefin Tuna). The best time for fishing Bali for these fish is June.

You can also find Yellowfin Tuna (which tends to hang out between August and November at Bali’s Fishing Aggregating Devices or FADs) and Dogtooth Tuna (head to the reef drop-offs to find the best ones).

Spanish Mackerel which is closely related to dogtooth tuna are also found in Balinese waters.


Cubera snappers gather at fresh water spout in lagoon at Sian Ka'an natural reserve, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Bali fishing charters aren’t the only place to capture “snapper” because the name “snapper” quite literally applies to huge varieties of fish around the world and nearly any fishing tour will get you some form of this fish.

However, Balinese waters are home to the only member of this species that really matters when fishing.

Bali is home to the Ruby Snapper (or Red Snapper). These are very tasty and easy to find around the reefs.

You won’t need to learn a huge amount of fishing techniques to land this fish, deep water jigging is enough.

Game Fish

Man holding fresh caught Mahi Mahi on ocean boat

There is a wealth of game fish here for enjoyable fishing. Bali is home to the Mahi Mahi (a monster fish that is best found near the Nusa Islands) and Wahoo are ideal for a fishing tour from October through to January.

You may also find, depending on when your Bali fishing tour takes place, that you can land sailfish, blue marlin, barracuda and amberjack. Barracuda makes for great eating.

Reef Fish

Beautiful shot of brook trout fish underwater life

Reef Fish

You don’t have to take fishing charters out into the wilds if you don’t want to. In fact, you can easily find great reef fish for fishing too.

Look out for coral trout, leatherjackets, snappers, grouper, triggerfish and more just a short journey out to sea by boat.

How To Go Fishing In Bali

yachts at the sea in bali indonesia aerial view 2023 11 27 05 05 49 utc

There’s a vast stretch of the Indian Ocean around Bali and it’s all good for a Bali fishing tour.

Bali Fishing Charters (Deep Sea, Trolling Or Coral Fishing)

If you’re looking to work on your fishing techniques then the best Bali fishing tour option is just to hire one of the traditional boats known as a jukung.

They’re super basic but if you book one yourself you’ll be able to do some cheap fishing.

Bali fishing charters tend to hire these boats for beginners anyway and thus, you’re just cutting out the middleman.

However, if you’re keen on a more luxurious fishing tour, then you opt for a modern conventional boat for your fishing.

Bali Bottom Fishing Tour

Whichever way you go, you’re going to be doing the same kinds of fishing in Bali, you’ve got three main options and the first is bottom fishing or coral fishing.

Bottom fishing or coral fishing is the best way to catch reef fish to eat for dinner.

It’s very easy and you don’t need to be a professional fisherman to get results in the waters of Bali.

Bottom fishing nearly always results in a tasty meal here thanks to the volumes of fish around Bali’s reefs.

To catch fish when coral fishing, you just drop a weighted line and use a baited hook, then when you get a bite, you just reel in the fish and do it all over again.

If you opt for a Bali fishing tour it almost always starts with bottom fishing or coral fishing before moving on for you to enjoy some swimming and snorkelling.

Bali Sports Fishing

If you want a Bali fishing tour that’s more of an adventure, you’re going to want to try sports fishing.

Bali is a lovely place for heading out for Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Dogtooth Tune, Ruby Snapper, Amberjack and the Giant Trevally.

This kind of fishing tour needs to be booked carefully, though, you want to work with a provider that specializes in catching these kinds of fish.

Not every fishing tour has the gear for you to tackle large fish appropriately.

You should be aware, however, that this kind of Bali fishing tour can’t guarantee success as sometimes, the bigger fish, just won’t play ball.

Bali Shore Fishing (Including Ultralight Fishing)

You don’t need a boat or a fishing tour to go fishing in Bali and if you spend any time wandering around the coasts of the island, you will soon discover plenty of locals just using a rod and line from the shore.

However, you should be prepared to catch much smaller fish than you would on a sea fishing tour and to use innovative forms of bait (we’d recommend bringing your own bait to Bali, in fact, it’s hard to buy here for shore fishing, the locals tends to make their own).

There’s a growing love of ultralight fishing in Bali now and you can bring superlight tackle and aim to see who can catch the smallest fish.

If you want to fish from the shoreline, we’d recommend Jimbaran Bay and Gilimanuk Harbor as great places to start. These areas are well-known for their fish and there’s a lot of fish in the water close to shore.

Where Is The Best Sea Fishing In Bali?

There is, quite literally, no bad place for fishing in Bali. While most anglers take a boat from the Southern End of the island, that’s because most holidays take place on the Southern End of the island, not because there are no fishes in other parts of Bali.

In fact, you can go fishing anywhere and the North of Bali has the FADs set up for this purpose and the Bali Strait (which lies to the East of Bali is the perfect place for anglers to take a boat and test the waters).

The Nusa Islands

Aerial Drone Photo of coastline in Nusa Lembongan Ceningan Bali Indonesia

One of our top choices for a place to enjoy a fishing trip and, perhaps, a private fishing charter would be the waters around the Nusa Islands (Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida).

The limestone cliffs and white sand beaches of this area look awesome from the sea and make for amazing photographs. It’s a great place for drone photography too (check out the Drone Laws in Bali before you fly). 

The area is also great for finding the biggest Giant Trevally specimens and you can find some really interesting and challenging hard-fighting species here too.

It’s also good for Mahi Mahi at the right time of year and if you want to meet some exciting marine life, you can go swimming with manta rays on a trip here too.

The Lombok Strait

Lombok is the neighbouring island to Bali and the Lombok Strait is where the water is funnelled between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

It’s a challenging place for a charter boat because the water is choppy and animated but it’s a brilliant place to go for game fishing.

If you want your fishing trip to end with the deck stacked up with the tastiest catch possible, then you’re going to want to risk the Lombok Strait.

Typically, you’re going to get some tuna and wahoo, plus plenty of other species.



Amed is a fishing village area in Bali and it’s one of the finest places to go fishing here.

In fact, thanks to the care and effort put in to build some amazing FADs in Amed’s waters, you will find a ton of great game fishing in this area.

We’d also note that Amed is a bit further off the beaten path than most tourists like to go, which means fishing here tends to be a bit cheaper than it is in the South of Bali.

Anglers seeking a great deal on a fishing charter in Bali are unlikely to be disappointed with a trip to Amed.

Where Is The Best Fresh Water Fishing In Bali?

We’ve tended to focus our attention on the ocean as most fishing in Bali takes place at sea, but you can also go fishing inland and on the freshwater lakes here.

There’s a lot to be said for renting a small boat and taking your road out on the lakes, it’s peaceful and the scenery is often very dramatic.

You could even combine your fishing trip with a photography one and get some stunning images for the folks back home.

Lake Tamblingan & Lake Buyan

Beautiful view Lake Buyan. Bali island, Indonesia.

These two lakes in the North of the country are truly spectacular and the climate is a bit cooler than it is on the beaches.

You can enjoy fishing here without a license at 1,000 meters above se level and you will find Tilapia and Catfish as your reward.

The waters are also home to the zebrafish which is an invasive species and you’re doing the local creatures a favour by catching it.

Fish Farms

There are also plenty of inland fish farms in Bali and while many anglers will feel like this is “cheating”, you can pay a fee and then catch plenty of fish at these places too.

What Are The Laws For Fishing in Bali

sunrise over fishing boats on Bali

One thing you’re going to love about going fishing in Bali is that there are very few restrictions on the way you spend your time in the ocean here.

That means there are almost no minimum size requirements (but please throw anything you’ve fished up that’s too small back – there’s no sense in depleting the fishing stocks) and there is no requirement to buy a fishing license either.

Restricted Fishing Techniques

That doesn’t mean you’re free to do just whatever you want here, though, and there are some restrictions on the fishing techniques that you can use.

Spearfishing is only permitted for freedivers. You may not spearfish while snorkelling.

The two official marine protected areas also have a ban on destructive fishing such as trawling.


Does Bali Have Good Fishing?

bali island landscape
Picture Source:

Yes! Bali is a very popular place to come for a fishing tour because of the wealth of marine life that lives just offshore.

This part of the Indian Ocean is home to a wide variety of fish and fish stocks are not at any risk from fishing trips.

You can go bottom fishing, sports fishing, and even take fishing trips that just fish from the shore. Whatever you opt for, you’re going to find it very easy to catch something interesting and tasty.

How Much Is Fishing In Bali?

It very much depends on the kind of fishing you want to do. Fishing from the shore requires a hook, line, rod and some lures.

Bottom fishing doesn’t require a lot of equipment and if you want to save money, you don’t need a fishing charter to have fun, you can just take your own kit and rent a jukung for a period of time.

However, an organized fishing charter is essential for sports fishing (particularly if you don’t want to catch your own bait fish) and if you want to explore more of the local ocean then it can be good for bottom fishing too.

You will also find that the boats are better prepared for other activities such as diving or finding great places to snorkel.

You can expect to pay about $50 for a place on one of the larger fishing trips in Bali for bottom fishing, and up to $1,000 (or more) for the right boat and equipment to do private sports fishing.

Can You Fish Off The Beach In Bali?

Yes, thought we should note that it would be a rare event to catch anything big enough for food and you’re going to want to go fishing at high tide if you want to fish from the beach.

That’s because you’d need to go way out and be at constant risk of being knocked over by waves at low tide.

There is a better option than fishing from the beach, though.

If you visit Nusa Dua, for example, you can easily rent a pergola for some near-beach fishing at the coral reefs. Nusa Dua is also home to some of the best beach areas in Bali. (Note: It’s also on the Southern End of Bali and shouldn’t be confused with the Nusa Islands).

There are no size limits in Balinese waters and if you think it’s big enough to eat, nobody will object to you taking a fish home for food.

What Are The Best Months For Deep Sea Fishing?

There are no bad months for trolling and fishing in Bali. You will find that specific fish have seasons (tuna from May to December, Wahoo from May to September, etc.) but that you can easily catch fish here all year round.

If you’re looking for peak fishing yields, then the months from July to November tend to realize the highest volumes of catch.

Is Deep Sea Fishing Worth It?

Yes! While bottom fishing is fun, there’s nothing quite like the excitement of joining one of the fishing trips that goes out to deep water and reels in some of the larger specimens waiting below the waves here.

How To Book A Bali Fishing Holiday Or Fishing Charters In Bali?

Whether you want to go bottom fishing or sports fishing, the best place to book any Bali fishing charters or tours is through the amazing Bali Res Centre.

They can arrange for your fishing charter, boats, hotel rooms, flights and anything else you need to explore the ocean and have a great time on your holiday here in Bali.

Most of all, when you do business with the Bali Res Centre, you ensure your holiday money stays in Bali and doesn’t go overseas to some multinational corporation.

2024 06 24 STTROPEZ Seaside Affair BLOG BANNER

Final Thoughts On Fishing, Bali

As you might expect from a tropical island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, Bali is a brilliant place to enjoy a fishing tour.

Joining an organized tour means that you don’t have to worry about finding bait fish or having all the right equipment to go after the big fish.

But you can also organize your own fishing trips to catch fish from a local boat and enjoy the pleasure that all anglers have when they tackle something new.

It also makes for a great day out and a lot of fun to fish from the shore (or beach) and you’d be amazed at how many species you can find when you explore the water with a rod and hook.

In short, there’s fishing for every budget in Bali and you don’t need to charter a boat to have an amazing time fishing on your trip to this island. Good hunting!

Share this post