The Bucket List – World’s Top Five Exotic Fishing Destinations

If you are like us and your dreams involve casting, netting and reeling in giant scaly beasts of the sea, then you’ve probably daydreamed about some of the world’s most unique fishing locations. Maybe you’ve read about them in an angler’s magazine, or seen a spread in National Geographic, or heard a firsthand account from your wife’s boss about his last epic trip abroad, whatever the case, they stuck in your head. Well quit dreaming and start booking your next adventure!


You are only on this planet for a finite amount of time.

Don’t waste it fishing off the pier.


For those who need inspiration, here are our top five exotic fishing locations:


  1. Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

At the southern tip of South America is an archipelago of islands known as Tierra del Fuego, or ‘The Land of Fire’. Already this places sound intriguing. The largest island in the group, Isla Grande, is divided between Chile and Argentina. The main fishing river starts in the mountains of Chile and flows across the border, emptying in the Argentine Sea.

Often seen as a desolate environment above the water, the true treasures lie beneath the waves. The area is home to some of the largest brown trout, with average weights of 10 pounds and monsters of up to 25 pounds. If fly-fishing is your passion, Tierra del Fuego is your Valhalla.

Top Lodge: Kau Tapen Lodge

Fun Fact: Canadians might come across their national animal, as North American beavers were introduced in the 1940s to generate a fur trade industry.

  1. Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe/Zambia

Who knew that a man-made lake could grow to become one of the world’s most premier fishing destinations? Lake Kariba was formed when the Zambezi River was flooded to create the Kariba dam. The lake was stocked with tiny kapenta, for the sardine industry, but these small fish have become easy prey for the giants of the Zambezi River, the tiger fish.

The tiger fish are the trophy fish of the region, with weights of up to 60 pounds. Their teeth resemble piranha and they fight like demons. The hippos provide visual entertainment while waiting for the tiger fish to strike.

Top Lodge: Gache Gache Lodge

Fun Fact: Tiger fish have been known to attack birds – in flight!

  1. Iliamna Lake, Alaska

This lake is famous for both its fictional inhabitant and its non-fiction giants. In the fictional category, the lake is said to be home to a mythical lake monster, which scientists believe to be a white sturgeon. For those based in reality, the lake contains a plethora of trophy fish, including king salmon, steelhead, arctic grayling, rainbow trout and dolly varden.

Top Lodge: Rainbow King Lodge

Fun Fact: The lake has a population of fresh water seals.

  1. Cairns / Lizard Island, Australia

What list of exotic fishing locales is complete without a black marlin experience? The black marlin is one of the most well known sailfish and is the ultimate prize for any game fisherman. They are found around the warmer coasts of the Pacific Ocean, but tend to favour the gorgeous clear waters adjacent to Australia.

The area between Cairns and Lizard Island in North Queensland is home to some of the largest, fastest and most vicious black marlin populations on the planet. These fish can have you fighting for hours. Forget Hemingway and the ‘Blues’, the black is the top trophy for sailfish.

Top Guide: Billy Billson

Fun Fact: Black marlins tend to frequent the surface area during the full moon.


  1. Haida Gwaii, Canada

For the finest salmon fishing in the world, visit the remote island archipelago of Haida Gwaii. With 30 pounds and over Chinook salmon being caught every week from June to September, Haida Gwaii is the home of the world renowned ‘Tyee’. These fish will change your whole perception of fishing and will haunt your dreams for the rest of your life.

Best Fishing Lodge in Haida Gwaii: Escott Sportfishing Lodge

Fun Fact: Haida Gwaii is referred to as the ‘Galapagos of the North’.

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