Fishing in Egypt

Beyond the Pyramids: Egypt offers an astonishing variety of fishing opportunities in the Nile as well as on the Red and Mediterranean Seas.
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About Egypt

“Fishing in the shadow of the Pyramids” is a cliche that shouldn’t be taken literally. The ancient constructions are located quite a few steps away from the river Nile, and thousands of miles from Egypt's best fishing spots on the Red Sea coast. The Nile supplied Egyptians with fish since the days of the Pharaohs and continues to do so to this day. In the 1960s the Aswan High Dam was constructed, creating Lake Nasser, one of the biggest artificial lakes in the world. In the north, Egypt is washed by the Mediterranean Sea. Although the fishing there is not what it used to be - the Aswan dam drastically reduced the number of plankton that was being washed down to the sea, which had a deteriorating effect on the sardines and consequently all predators that fed on them - fishing charters starting from the ancient port of Alexandria will still make sure you have a good time. But most fishing opportunities in Egypt are concentrated on the coast of the Red Sea. Resorts such as Hurghada, Sharm-el-Sheikh, and especially Marsa Alam feature not only well-developed tourist infrastructure for beach vacations, but also a large number of excellent fishing charters and outstanding fishing opportunities. Click here to read more about fishing in the Red Sea. Egypt has a long history of tourism and tourist industry, and whether you come to the country for a dedicated fishing trip, or aim to diversify your beach vacation or tour of historical places with a fishing trip, you won’t be disappointed.

Fishing Types

On both the Red Sea and the Mediterranean coast charter boats are ready to take you on an offshore fishing trip, as well as a nearshore or inshore outing. There are also ample opportunities for reefs fishing in Egypt. However, most coral reefs are closed for fishing, although many charter boats would make a stop over reefs so that their clients can enjoy some snorkeling. Fishing on rocky reefs and structures such as wrecks is legal and often practiced. River fishing is concentrated in the River Nile, which has no tributaries as it flows through Egypt, and lake fishing is possible in Lake Nasser, and a number of more distant lakes that are supplied with water through a system of canals.

Targeted Fish Species

The Red Sea's deep waters host several tuna species like yellowfin, bigeye, and skipjack, appealing to big game fishermen for their size and strength. While not as numerous as in some other locations, sailfish and striped marlin also grace the Red Sea with their presence. Among species that make the Egyptian Red Sea coast worth a visit is the giant trevally, a big and impressive predator of inshore waters, the coral trout, and the unique spangled emperor. The Red Sea is also home to barracudas, groupers, snappers, amberjacks, bonitos, and cobias. The Alexandria coast offers the species common to the Mediterranean Sea, including snapper, dusky grouper, skipjack and bluefin tuna, wahoo, amberjack, dolphin (Mahi Mahi), and swordfish. The Nile River is inhabited by a number of unique fish species, including the amazing Polypterus, a family of archaic creatures that some view as the missing link between fish and amphibians. The species that attract anglers from around the world though are the Nile perch, one of the largest freshwater fishes, and the aptly named tigerfish. Also worthy of note are several species of barbel and catfish, including the electric catfish and the Vundu. A staple food for both larger predators and the local population alike, various species of marjan and tilapia also belong to classical objects of fishing in Egypt.

Fishing Techniques

For both offshore and inshore fishing most recreational anglers hire a charter boat with an experienced captain, that will show them both the most promising places and the proven technique to catch whatever fish they are after. As on other seaside locations, trolling with heavy tackle is the preferred technique for targeting big-game fish, while bottom fishing, vertical jigging, and handlining are appropriate for a recreational outing in a large group. Fishing in the Nile and Lake Nasser follows the same principles, with spinning and trolling the most often applied fishing methods.