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The Backstage Pass

Big Game Fly Fishing: A Guide to the Best Locations

May 03, 23

Big game fly fishing is a testament to many things. From the start, the odds are truly in the favor of the fish. These fish, the fish we refer to as big game fishing—migratory and jungle tarpon, marlin, tuna, sailfish, Giant Trevally, and a few others—when caught and landed, is a true accomplishment. These fish are big and they come from even bigger environments, where despite their size, they have adapted to the harsh conditions of being part of the food chain in the ocean...where there is always something bigger and hungrier.

Most fly fishing trips for big game species involve specialized boats and locations. Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Seychelles, Louisiana, and a few others. These locales offer exciting opportunities for big game fish. Choosing to take a big game fly fishing trip is just the first step in the exhilarating process of catching these special fish. Gear, guides, and attitude all come into play. 

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Destinations for Big Game Fly Fishing

With our 20 years of experience traveling the world fly fishing, we’ve learned of some special locations to chase big fish. From jungle tarpon to blue marlin, our team knows the importance of choosing the right destination.

Costa Rica

The country’s waters are healthy and full of fish, the beauty is staggering, and the sluggish pace of life seductive. From large tarpon in the jungle to roosterfish and sailfish offshore, anglers in Costa Rica do not lack a shortage of species to pursue. World-class, catch-and-release fishing in the Pacific Ocean for sailfish, striped, blue and black marlin, Dorado, tuna and wahoo. For jungle tarpon, since the environment is quite dynamic, fishing situations are also varied, ranging from sight casting, hunting or waking in shallow lagoons and creeks, or waiting for tarpon to roll or break bait on the surface. Due to the intimate jungle environment anglers can often get much closer to their quarry than in other global tarpon fisheries, making this a unique place to hone one’s skills.


Guatemala has earned a reputation as the billfish capital of the world. Guatemala has such strong bluewater fishing because of the Equatorial Counter Current, a well-defined west-to-east ocean flow that creates a type of “billfish highway” which gathers most of the billfish just off of Guatemala’s coast. With numbers like “85 sailfish released in a single day” and “35 on the fly in one day,” it’s hard for any other region in the world to compete with this year-round bite. In addition to the great sailfishing, the area is also home to impressive numbers of blue, black and striped marlin, Dorado, roosterfish, tuna, and more.


None more for jazz, food, and redfish, Cajun country should be on the big-game radar. Offshore fishing here is not as popular as in Costa Rica or Guatemala, but, it is a lot closer to home…and worth the trip. Venice is about a 2-hour drive south of New Orleans and is located on the edge of the Mississippi River Delta which is appropriately called the “Fishing Capitol of the World.” Venice is surrounded by vast marshes and is close to several barrier islands offering some of the best coastal fishing anywhere in the gulf. In addition to inshore fishing, Venice is the place to go for going offshore to target tuna, dolphinfish, tripletail, cobia, snapper, wahoo, more jacks, and even marlin.


From large migratory tarpon in the Yucatan and in the waters of Ascension Bay to marlin, tuna, and roosterfish, Mexico is home to a massive selection of big game fish for the adventurous angler. As an overall fishing destination, we love the Yucatan for a variety of reasons. Travel is quick reasonably priced, with direct flights to Cancun from most major U.S. cities. And, the same can be said for the locations of Baja, Mexico. With miles of open and accessible coastline, the East Cape of Baja is arguably the world’s #1 place to catch roosterfish from the shore. For anglers looking to target large, migratory tarpon, our destinations in the Yucatan can ease any tarpon angler's addiction.


The Seychelles offers unbelievable fly-fishing opportunities for an incredible number of different species including a variety of bluewater and big game action. Tuna, sailfish, Giant Trevally, wahoo, and marlin swim in the waters surrounding these majestic islands. When you take into account the sheer diversity of fish species found in the Seychellois islands, the seclusion, the epic scenery, and the overall action, these are saltwater fisheries that are truly unlike any other found on the planet. As for the incredible Giant Trevally action that is found throughout the islands, we can confidently say that there is nothing else that compares in the entire world of fly fishing.

Fly fishing for big fish is an adventure and a commitment. If you are considering diving into this exciting past-time, then contact Yellow Dog today. Our experience fly fishing the world means we can work to match your big game fly fishing trip desires with a destination best suited to fulfill them.

Related Articles:
World's Best Bluewater and Offshore Fly Fishing
Debunking 10 Myths about Bluewater Fly Fishing
Jeff Currier on Fly Fishing for Marlin