©Pêche cotière|Evelyne Coustillat

Fishing on Reunion Island

some good spots recommended by fishing enthusiasts

The intensity of Reunion Island is above all thanks to the many contrasts on offer. One of the most beautiful images is the one of a fisherman facing the powerful waves crashing into the cliffs. Fishing on Reunion Island is not always an extreme sport, but it is always guaranteed to offer the same fascinating show. To see it for yourself, here are some suggestions of where to go!

2. The jetty and harbour in Saint-Pierre

A few hundred metres further on, we arrive on the jetty in Saint-Pierre. Here, we can fully appreciate the force of the elements. The wind is blowing, the waves are crashing against the black rocks and we can picture how the fishermen on Reunion Island lived back in the day. The further we venture along the jetty, the more the ocean reminds us that mankind is powerless when faced with the sheer force of Mother Nature. At the end of the jetty, the old lighthouse protrudes into the blue sky. The ancient slogan of Saint-Pierre summarises the centuries of fishing in the South of the island: Fortis fortuna fortior, “Bravery is worth more than fortune”.

 The jetty reminds us of this gruelling ancient trade, but the town’s harbour is a welcoming and friendly place that is very much appreciated by the locals. It’s a place for both fishing boats and recreational boaters who stop off here to enjoy a cocktail or for the children to play on the nearby beach. We sit back and relax on the terrace and enjoy the view whilst imagining those fishermen braving the elements.

3. Etang-Salé Bay

Etang-Salé Bay is a very unique little slice of heaven. We relax under the palm trees and then head towards the Bassin Pirogue, a small beach that is protected by a barrier reef forming a lagoon. Fishing and recreational boats are moored in the small harbour and are bobbing up and down surrounded by the diverse underwater life, including corals, crab-giraffe, sea urchins and octopus. The nets are thrown in and the baskets are filled up in the scorching Reunion Island sun. At the far end of the Bassin Pirogue is Etang-Salé beach, one of the biggest on the island with magical burning black sand from the volcanic basalt.


4. The Bassin de Manapany

Out near the tempestuous coral reef of Manapany in Saint-Joseph, we can sometimes catch a glimpse of lone fishermen with their fishing rods. Eyes fixed out to sea, they are in their own world up on their rock, throw their carefully prepared bait out into the water and then wait patiently. A quick chat with them will help to understand that in fact the superb view and the peace-and-quiet of this place make it worthwhile, even if they don’t catch anything. They share this place with families who come to enjoy the fabulous saltwater natural swimming pool that has given the area its reputation.

5. Marine de Langevin

At the Langevin Marina, fishing really is a family affair. For centuries, the history and passion has been passed on through the generations under the watchful eye of Notre Dame du Bon Port. Be careful on the unpredictable landing area in Saint-Joseph! The sheer violence of the swell and the powerful waves can sometimes take fishermen off guard. It doesn’t hurt to remember that you need to be cautious when fishing along the coastline of Reunion Island, the waves can suddenly become surprisingly big.

7. Marine de Saint-Philippe

Not many boats dare to come and moor in this marina. The most ancient port of Reunion Island (along with Saint-Pierre) is especially well-known for the violent swell and jagged rocks. The Saint-Philippe Marina is also renowned for the wealth of wildlife and so naturally, some of the local fishermen come here. A little further on, in the shade of the casuarinas, the brightly coloured rowing boats dry off in the sun before heading back out to sea, as early as dawn the next day.