Fishing In Lombok

Lombok is an island rich in culture and stories. It was only a matter of time before tourism would set foot on the Island. The fast paced tourism development has reached a level at which Lombok can be considered a good alternative for escaping the increasingly congested island of Bali. Nevertheless, as a maritime tourism destination, Lombok still has many virgin and unspoiled beaches waiting for both beach-lovers and anglers seeking quietness and natural beach settings. Indeed when travelling the east and south coasts of Lombok, seclusion and silence dominate the atmosphere. And it’s exactly this remoteness that renders the journey interesting.
Travellers in search for cultural authenticity, still relatively unchanged by tourism and time, will find plenty of joy in Lombok. Anglers keen on exploring not only Lombok’s fishing spots but also its people, landscapes and the underwater world will be more than pleased.

If casting a line is your kind of fun, then you’ll be pleased to know that Lombok is filled with beautiful fishing locations. Choose from the many fishing tours available or learn to cast off straight from the shore. Best Sport Fishing Spots in Lombok are very popular among anglers from all over the world. The waters in this part of Indonesia is a fishing haven for fishing enthusiast of all levels. Hobbyist to serious anglers enjoy their fishing holidays at many spots in Lombok, that are rated as among the best in Indonesia. Species i.e. Mahi Mahi, Dog Tooth Tuna, Giant Trevally, Yellowfin Tuna, Garoupa, Red Snapper are found in Lombok Straits, Flores Sea and areas of southern Lombok that face the Indian Ocean and Bali Sea at north Lombok.

In surrounding waters you’ll find yellowtail fish, jack trivially, tuna, and barracuda as well as sometimes wahoo. Some of the top areas for fishing in Lombok include Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, Gili Air, Nanggu, Gede, Tangkog and Meninting Village. In certain parts of the island at night, large ships operate. Due to this, some of the fishing population has declined due to overfishing. This is specifically prevalent around the eastern end of Lombok. Instead, the waters around Sekotong provide more variety of fish, where only small, local boats venture to. The islands nearby are perfect to dock on, including Gili Layar, Gili Gede and Gili Asahan. Stop for a rest and a swim at the pristine, remote beaches.

From November to April there are strong currents and lots of swell, making the very sea choppy. If visiting in the dry season, from May to September, strong winds can pick up as well as strong currents. So at this time, beach fishing is best to opt for. This leaves the shoulder season, between September to October as the best season to fish around the southern coast of Lombok. For travellers visiting for a short time, opt for a day tour, which will provide all necessary gear to make your fishing journey runs as smooth as possible.

Eastern Lombok

Overlooking the distant Island of Sumbawa, both Pink Beach and Tanjung Rengit offer a spectacular view and have an extraordinary charm. As the name suggests, the sand is coloured in pink tones. A typical phenomenon resulting from millions of tiny broken corals crushed by the waves and washed up to the mainland. Steep cliffs towering above the sea compose the west side of Tanjung Rengit. For anglers, these formations invite a sense of excitement as it offers amazing popping conditions for throwing and playing our baits continuously.

Southern Lombok

In the past, the road conditions in Sekotong were less than favourable and in general, the area was considered remote. Nowadays, the roads connecting Mataram and Lembar to Sekotong are intact and quite smooth. From Lembar, even the east end of the area, for example, Bangko-Bangko, is now easily accessible. Despite its narrow width and occasionally sharp turns, the road is in good conditions. The coastal area of Sekotong has recently been targeted from local and international tourists and has prepared adequate infrastructure to receive them. 

On the way, you can find many small and large inns. Various warungs/ food stalls can be spotted along the way although restaurants are not on the list. Diving and snorkelling operators have emerged in the area and private cottages along the coast and on the small islands have been built. During my journey someone told me the area was once known as “The Gulf of Loneliness”. However nowadays Sekotong and its surroundings have been set to become a new maritime tourist destination.

The waters around the Bay of Sepi, better known by Sekotong, are a complete fishing ground offering various different fishing spots. For popping techniques, we can find steep cliffs at the eastern end of Sekotong and Tanjugan Berarus, around Tanjung Gendang and Bango-Bangko. Surrounded by many small islands (Gili) with wide reefs and drop offs the central part of Sekotong is most entertaining for sports fisher. Many of those reefs are relatively hidden and remain quiet from the diving and snorkelling crowds. With the right currents and a little bit of luck, quick strikes are guaranteed. And the best part: no competition – the ocean is yours, only small local fisher boats come to fish in this area. Nevertheless, we must carefully calculate the best timing for the trip.

When is the best time to fish in Lombok

The West wind blows between November and April. In this season the currents tend to be strong and the swell high. This is perfect for popping but we should understand the situation, meaning we can’t fish all day because sometimes the wind changes make the sea surface choppy, and therefore unfit for popping. From May to September the east wind blows accompanied by strong winds and very strong currents. While the turquoise waters may seem safe, be warned that there are very strong currents flowing between the islands and underestimating their power can become dangerous. In September and October are the best season for fishing in Lombok. The Bajo tribe call this season simbar tangga (transition). The wind is very calm and the currents are good for fishing.

Other than choosing the right season we have to look out for the calendar month. Our advice is not to fish when the moon brights up the sky (full moon). Understanding the weather conditions about monsoons and knowledge about the lunar calendar greatly help us achieve the best results and stay safe during the trip.

Boats available for fishing in Lombok

The southern coast of Lombok offers quite a choice of fishing boats, all owned by the communities. The average engine capacity is 40 PK, but speedboats with 150 PK engine capacities or even more can also be found. Diving operators usually run these speedboats and therefore they are not free for rental. The most likely option is to rent a boat owned by fishermen. The fishermen in Lombok usually have some experience and prepare the boats to be fit for a fishing tour. The boats are safe and clean and the owners knowledgeable. When practising popping on these small fishing boats, not more than two anglers can throw their baits together. So if there are more than two anglers on the boat we have to switch turns to throw our baits. Even so, these small fishing boats are the best choice, because the fishermen understand about sports fishing and its characters. Their knowledge about the spots and the southern sea of Lombok enlarge our possibilities of success. Some island hopping Fishing vacation in Lombok starts from USD 49/pax with a maximum capacity of 4pax per fishing boat.