While fishing is good year round, the winter season from October to early March is among the best. Blue marlin can be caught all summer and into the fall, and renowned big game fish tournaments take place in August and September.
Charters are available at marinas in major cities and tourism areas. Most boats range between 32 and 50 feet; fit six passengers; can be chartered for half- or full-day; and usually include bait, crew, and equipment.
Big game fish are found close to shore across Puerto Rico, so you won't waste time traveling to fishing spots. A mile off the San Juan coast, the ocean floor drops 600 feet (183m), and the awesome Puerto Rico Trench, a 500-mile-long (805km) fault that plunges to a depth of 28,000 feet (8354m), lies about 75 miles (121km) directly north. It's a 20-minute ride to where the big game fish are biting, so it's possible to leave in the morning, make the catch of the day, and be back at the marina in the early afternoon.
Deep-sea fishing is top-notch throughout the island. Allison tuna, white and blue marlin, sailfish, wahoo, dolphinfish (mahimahi), mackerel, and tarpon are some of the fish that can be caught in Puerto Rican waters, where 30 world records have been broken. Charter arrangements can be made through most major hotels and resorts and at most marinas. The big game fishing grounds are very close offshore from San Juan, making the capital an excellent place to hire a charter. A half-day of deep-sea fishing (4 hours) starts at around $550, while full-day charters begin at around $900. Most charters hold six passengers in addition to the crew.
In San Juan, experienced operators include Sea Born Fishing Charters (tel. 787/723-2292), as well as Castillo Fishing Charters (tel. 787/726-5752), and Caribbean Outfitters (tel. 787/396-8346).
Rincón also has a number of deep-sea fishing charters, such as Makaira Fishing Charters (tel. 787/823-4391 or 787/299-7374) and Moondog Charters (tel. 787/823-3059).
In Palmas del Mar, which has some of the best year-round fishing in the Caribbean, you'll find Capt. Bill Burleson.