While much fun can be had by going out at 5am on a jukung with a local fisherman, the fishing consists of throwing a simple baited line out the back of a boat and trolling the current or alternatively using a hand line. It is not exactly adrenalin-filled and your time will be spent either puttering out and back at about 4 knots or sitting watching your local friend doing all the fishing, but you will be fascinated by just how many fish they catch using this method.
Given the amount of marine life and the virtually guaranteed chance of success, it is somewhat surprising that there are so few game fishing boats. If you do find someone to take you out, make sure the boat you go with has a covered area, looks shipshape, and you have plenty of sunscreen and liquids. Most boats will leave from either Benoa or Padangbai harbors; costs will range from US$80 to US$200 per person for 4 hours and will usually take no more than four people, although some can take as many as eight. Species you are likely to find include Spanish mackerel, wahoo, mahimahi, all sizes of tuna, sail fish, and barracuda.
Established operators are Bali Fishing (www.bali-fishing.com) or Ena Fishing, Jl. Tirta Ening 1, Sanur (tel. 0361/288829; www.enafishing.com). Ena also does a night trip leaving at sundown and returning 4 hours later. They have also recently added a freshwater fishing trip to Lake Buyan although the fish here are smaller than those in Lake Batur.
Another option and labeled as "fishing at its finest" is Yos Dive (tel. 0361/773774, 0361/775440, or 0361/775438; www.yosdive.com), based out of Tanjung Benoa. Trolling for 4 hours from a power boat for between two and four fishermen at a time will cost US$200 per person. They also will charter a covered power boat for the day, with driver for US$625, including fuel and lunch.
Possibly the best boat is operated by Blue Water Safari (tel. 0361/723479; www.bwsbali.com). You can charter the whole boat for Rp5,500,000 for 4 hours or Rp8,000,000 for 8 hours. They provide you with the latest kit and they use GPS and a fish-finding technology to locate the shoals. A half-decent picnic lunch is included. The boat carries up to 10 passengers, but only four lines can be used at a time.
While Lombok has many fishermen, fishing is simply a necessary fact of life. Most fishermen or boat owners however will be only too delighted to take you out. Prices for a few hours should be about Rp400,000 depending on fuel usage. Lombok Marine (tel. 0370/692225; www.lombokmarine.com), in Mataram, will take you to Desert Point or possibly to deep water spots beyond the Gilis. This is on a traditional jukung and not a speedboat with any facilities other than an awning.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.