Ascension Island Fishing - Blue Marlin Fishing

A tiny island, just 34 square miles in area and volcanic in origin, Ascension is located in the South Atlantic mid-way between Angola and Northern Brazil.  It sits some 500 miles south of the Equator.

Politically the island is a dependency of its bigger ‘neighbour’ – St Helena – which is located 800 miles to the South East and is part of the Commonwealth.

The deserted island, initially discovered by the Portuguese in the 16th century, lacked a source of freshwater however and as such was not initially colonised.  That was until the British exiled Napoleon Bonaparte on St Helena in 1815. To prevent any rescue attempt by the French they garrisoned a company of Marines, supported by a squadron of warships, in Ascension.

Now to the final part of the history lesson. Given its strategic position between Africa and the Americas, US army engineers constructed a 15000’ runway on Ascension immediately after the 2nd World War. This provided ready access to the island but also, importantly, a staging post for the Falkland Islands.

But how about its fishing potential. Well it was in the early 80’s, at the time of the Falklands War, that it first came to my attention.  A brief report appeared in the UK angling press describing soldiers catching masses of Tuna from landing craft, just offshore. Part of their ‘R & R’.

But this really meant nothing because, unless you were in transit to either St Helena or the Falklands,  tourists weren’t permitted to land on Ascension. It was, in effect, a closed military base.

However a Military Policeman started patiently to explore its fishing potential, fishing either from the locals’ small open boats or its rugged shoreline. He consistently caught Sharks, Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo and Dorado often within less than a mile of shore. In fact the Sharks could be caught from the shore! But interestingly, usually when chunking for Tuna, he encountered Sailfish, Marlin and Broadbill Swordfish.

Then in early 2002 the Island Administrator obtained permission from the military authorities for tourists to visit the island.  But numbers were limited, in large part because of military restrictions – the only fight down was aboard an RAF Tristar, scheduled every 4 days – but also its infrastructure, just the one small hotel.

In June of that year 3 boats moved down there from Ghana - Andromeda, Harmattan and Shy 3 where they had been currently based, to Ascension. Harmattan is now co-owned by Phil Riley of Five Star Travel. The rest is history!  And Ascension has, quite rightly, been named the ‘Jurassic Park of Sportfishing’.

That 2002 season started at the beginning of November.  And immediately they were starting to hook into numbers of 600lb plus Blue Marlin.  Several ‘granders’ were fought and released.  And the American mothercraft operation – God’s Will, God’s Favor (the re-named Madam and Hooker) – landed a fish of 1337lbs.  Also Dieter’s boats had broken the All-Tackle World record for Six Gilled Shark twice, the best a fish of 1298lbs.  In addition Broadbill were being taken, and there were masses of Tuna and Wahoo present.  The Yellowfin ranged to over 200lbs.

The season ended in mid-April.  But the boats were still catching numbers of Blue Marlin and the Tuna had arrived in force!  We reported that this activity continued right through the summer months!

Unsurprisingly, the 2003 season started where things had left off!  Several Blue Marlin, that appear to have been well in excess of the current All-Tackle World record have been fought and lost.  Here we’re taking about fish of at least 1400lbs!


If you are interested in a weeks blue marlin big game fishing in Ascension Island, email five star travel for more info


Current prices are as follows, when booked through Five Star Travel as Phil Riley our owner is one of the owners of Harmattan

£1000 per day (9 hours) for blue marlin big game off shore

£700 per day (9 hours) for inshore trolling, jigging and time on the mooring chumming for Tuna

£500 per night (4 hours) for Six-Gill Shark fishing on the mooring. Bait must be caught in your 4 hours or purchased locally (extra) on Harmattan



We can assist with all of the above, you can just check out the links for info and prices. The Ascension Island Travel agency will send you all of the requirements for Island Application Entry Form


If you would like FIVE STAR TRAVEL to take care of all of your fishing brequirements, payments, permits, flights and hotel accommodation, taxis transfers to and from Brize Norton or car parking at the RAF base - Please ask about our full package prices for the best alround deal ... You won't get a better deal as I'm co-owner of the boat !

blue marlin ascension island



234lb Big Eye Tuna - Ascension Island - FIVESTARTRAVEL.CO.UK - 20131320lb Blue Marlin - Ascension Island - FIVESTARTRAVEL.CO.UK - 2013900lb Six-Gill Shark - Ascension Island - FIVESTARTRAVEL.CO.UK - 2013