NEW YORK (Reuters) - Immerse yourself in Scotland by reeling in salmon, or bundle up in Newfoundland for an outing to catch yellowtail and mackerel.
Whether your preference is cod or bluefin, Cape Town or Cabo, online travel advisers Cheapflights.com (www.cheapflights.com) offers its top 10 fishing destinations.
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1. Sutherland, Scotland
From a boat or from the shore, fishing is a brilliant way to enjoy Scotland. Even though the outdoor sport isn’t allowed on Sundays at the Kyle of Sutherland, there are six other days of the week to take advantage of the bounty that this majestic landscape has to offer.
The area is famous for its supply of salmon, and brown and sea trout. Handy for novices, the Kyle of Sutherland Angling Association has produced a booklet to help fishermen figure out where to go to reel in the best fish around. A permit for a day of sea trout fishing costs visitors only 8 ($13). The view of Scotland’s rolling hills, though, is priceless.
2. Phuket, Thailand
Deep sea fishing is a must if you find yourself on Thailand’s southern beach haven, Phuket. The clear, blue waters of the Andaman Sea set the scene for some of the best fishing in the world.
Cast your line and wait for tuna, swordfish, blue and black marlin, and other impressive sea creatures to bite. A strict catch-and-release policy means you won’t be dining on your accomplishments, but a photo for Facebook on Thailand’s west coast may do instead.
3. Florida Keys, United States
Set your iPod to Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville,” pour yourself an appropriately-mixed beverage, and spend a day relaxing on South Florida’s turquoise seas.
There you’ll find the Marquesas Keys, located off of Key West’s west coast - an ideal spot for fishing. The marine sanctuary law ensures an abundance of wildlife, where you’ll catch shark and barracuda. There’s a very remote feel because a lot of charters aren’t willing to make the trip because of high fuel prices.
Find a charter that’s willing to go the extra mile, literally, for quite possibly the most unforgettable fishing trip of your life.
4. Cape Town, South Africa
Visitors flock to Africa’s southernmost city for culture that’s brimming with excitement. Fishermen flock for its coastline, brimming with tuna.
The area has some of the richest tuna grounds in the world and also some of the globe’s toughest fighting fish. A diverse ecosystem guarantees you’ll see albatross, killer whales and dolphins galore. Tuna season lasts from September to June, but there are opportunities to throw your net year round.
5. Sicily, Italy
Fishing is synonymous with Sicily and, unfortunately, its fish population has started dwindling as a result. But you can’t go to the Italian isle and not try spearfishing. You physically dive into the water and spear the fish - with a spear.
Patience is of the essence, as the underwater creatures are both quick and cunning, so stick to shallow waters.
6. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Appropriately nicknamed the “Marlin Capital of the World,” Cabo San Lucas in Mexico is a place to bring your highest-quality camera. There’s nothing like capturing your family’s Christmas card on the beaches of Mexico’s most abundant shoreline - with a massive marlin on display.
More than 3,000 species of marine life live off the Baja Peninsula - and marlin rule the seas. Some of the most well regarded yacht charters around, like the Picante Bluewater Sportfishing fleet, take eager novices out daily, year round.
7. Montauk Point, New York, United States
Montauk Point, a glacial cliff on the east coast of Long Island, provides a fishing retreat for New Yorkers, Philadelphians, Bostonians - and everyone in between. Thankfully charter groups that take you out come equipped with experienced captains who know what they’re doing.
Bring the family to reel in tuna, striped bass and shark that swim the eastern shore of the United States. Remember to bring a cooler: your finest catches can serve as dinner after a sun-filled day on the high seas.
8. Newfoundland, Canada
The tastiest fish in the world, from Arctic char to rainbow trout to cod, live off the coast of Newfoundland on Canada’s east coast. Stay inland along Newfoundland’s Flowers River if salmon piques your interest. But for saltwater species, like yellowtail and mackerel, head east to the blistery coast.
The area, between its mountainous terrain and serene surroundings, is an ideal spot to bait your hook, sit back and relax. Until you get your first bite, of course.
9. Puget Sound, Washington, United States
For a day trip from Seattle, try nearby Puget Sound. The waters are calm and it’s easy to relax - perfect for the stressed out workaholic who just wants to get away from it all.
Turn off your cell phone, cast your line, and sit back while the salmon comes to you. Your view of Mount Rainer and the Olympic Mountains will be worth the trip. Fishing is popular in the area, so there’s no shortage of charters to take you out. Sign up ahead of time, and then go with the flow.
10. Victoria, Australia
Imagine your boat rocking back and forth as roaring waves push it farther and farther away from shore. You’ve got your fishing lines in tow and you’re ready to catch something big.
Powerful and wild waves are no strangers to Bass Strait. The strait, which separates Tasmania from Victoria, has a reputation for being rough. But you need to get out there if you hope to see sharks — great hammerheads, gummy, school and spurred dog sharks — off of Australia’s coast.
Edited by Paul Casciato