Fishing in Vietnam

Vietnam is blessed with beautiful nature, including picturesque mountain ranges, green forests, and numerous waterways that offer many activities. If you are into fishing and wish to fish in Vietnam, this Vietnam fishing guide is for you. Read more for information on types of fishing, where to fish, what you should bring, and when to go fishing in Vietnam.

Vietnam Waterways

Vietnam is a country with almost half of its mainland bordering the sea. There are many famous beaches from the North to the South of the country. Featuring a 3,620 km coastline and over 2,000 islands, many types of fish can be found near the shore and far offshore in Vietnam’s water. Vietnam would be an excellent place for shore or deep-sea fishing if you want to enjoy a little ocean taste.

Besides the long coastline, there are also about 400 rivers in Vietnam. The South Central of Vietnam, with many highlands, has fewer rivers than in the Red River Delta and Mekong Delta. The three most significant rivers in Vietnam are the Red River, Tien River, and Hau River. At these rivers, you can have leisure time catching freshwater fish.

Fishing Permits and Licenses

In Vietnam, you do not need a fishing license or permit to fish in public water. Depending on the lake and areas, some are considered private government property, so fishing is prohibited.

Baits and Tackles

Traditional fishing equipment carried out by local fishermen is mainly handmade. Local tackle shops will have all the basics, like lures, baits, floats, nets, hooks, sinkers, lines, poles, and limited saltwater and freshwater reels. Professional tackle shops can be found in major cities or bought online.

Types of Fishing in Vietnam

Saltwater fishing

How to go fishing and Fish to catch. When you want to catch saltwater fish, charter a boat to go offshore or find deepwater areas along the beach to throw your fishing line. You can catch barracudas, mackerels, snappers, squid, and even marlins when you go deep sea. Meanwhile, on the shore and near the rapids, depending on the sea level, you can catch drums, porgies, bass, grouper, humphead red snapper, discus, and mackerel.

Nha Trang, Phan Thiet, Quy Nhon, Ninh Thuan, Vung Tau, Con Dao Island, and Phu Quoc Island are perfect places to catch saltwater fish.

In Vietnam, most local boats are wooden boats. If you want to charter a boat, go to the local docks and piers (check the following paragraph) and ask the fishermen. In this case, we recommend you go with a local tour guide, who can help you communicate and deal with the price with the fishermen. There are also some fishing tours with prices that vary from VND 450,000 to VND 950,000 (depending on the location and size of your group). If you charter a boat, the prices are higher.

  • In Quy Nhon: Ham Tu, Hai Cang District, Quy Nhon City
  • In Ninh Thuan: Vinh Hy Bay, Vinh Hai, Ninh Hai District, Ninh Thuan Province
  • In Vung Tau: Long Hai Port, Long Dien District, Ba Ria-Vung Tau
  • In Con Dao: Ben Dam Port, in the Southwest of the island
  • In Phu Quoc: An Thoi Town, in the South of the island

What to bring

You should bring your fishing gear, but you can ask to rent one if you don’t. If you are on a fishing tour, they will provide you with them.

Besides that, there are other necessities you need to bring when fishing in the Vietnam Sea. If you are seasick, taking seasick medicine 30 minutes to 1 hour before getting on the boat is advisable. And follow the prescription if you plan to stay on the ship long.

Heatstroke and sunburn could also be other problems when you want to go saltwater fishing. Remember to get waterproof sun cream, wear a long-sleeved shirt and a hat, and go to the shade after exposing yourself to the sun for a long time. You also need to bring a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from the bright light and bottles of water to keep you hydrated.

Fishing on the rapids or rocky shores could also bring a measure of danger when high waves and algae grow on the rocks, making them slippery. You may get caught by the waves, so wear a life vest and slip-resistant shoes, and bring a long rope tie around your waist so you won’t be washed far away. We are not joking about this one!

Freshwater fishing

fishing in vietnam can gio 3
Maddy enjoying a day out fishing at Can Gio, 1.5-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City

You can fish on a small boat or at the banks at rivers, lakes, or small channels in the delta. Another style of freshwater fishing in Vietnam you may want to try is using your bare hand instead of a rod to catch the fish, called “mud fishing.” The freshwater species usually live and hide in places like water hyacinth roots and small holes in the ground or between the rocks in a slow stream without big tides or torrents. You can put your hand in or lure them out when figuring out their hidden places. Be careful when trying to find the fish bare-handed because some species have venomous spines, so you may want to use fishing gloves when catching them.

Some waters in the deltas feed into the ocean. The types of fish you can find here are plenty, such as pangasius catfish (locally known as basa), bronze featherback, common carp, airbreathing catfish, eel tail catfish, shark catfish, climbing perch, giant gourami, snakehead, Soleidae, goby, tonguefish, eel, barramundi, and shrimp.

Famous natural fishing spots in Vietnam are Tri An Lake in Dong Nai Province, Dau Tieng Lake in Tay Ninh Province, Bien Lac Lake in Binh Thuan Province, and Tien Sa Lake in Ba Vi District, Hanoi. There are also fish in canals in Ho Chi Minh City. And as far as we know, most Vietnamese fishers keep their catch, regardless of the fish size.

Check out these day trips from Ho Chi Minh City

The fishing fee is VND 110,000 per rod. It’s a catch-and-release price. If you wish to keep the barramundi, they charge VND 150,000/kg (fish under 2kg), VND 200,000/kg (fish 2kg – 5kg), and VND 250,000/kg (fish 5 kg+). Their phone number is 079 227 6351 (Vietnamese speaking).

fishing in vietnam can gio
My Thanh Van recreational fishing pond at Can Gio

Besides, there are various recreational spots offering fishing activities in Ho Chi Minh City like My Thanh Van (Can Gio District), Xuan Huong (Binh Chanh District), and Dong Dieu (District 8) in Hanoi like Xuan Que (Long Bien District) and Ly Son (Ha Dong District), or in Danang like Thai Tien Sa (Son Tra District), Vuon Chuoi – Khue Trung (Cam Le District) and Ba Sen Vang (Hai Chau District).

The only downside is that the fish are fed human food so often that you will likely need to buy bait. You will have to pay for the service by the hour and an extra charge based on the weight of the fish if you want to keep it. The service is usually from VND 20,000/hour, and some places will charge a fee per day of VND 110,000 instead of by the hour. Most places will rent you fishing gear, so you don’t have to bring one yourself. If you use spinners, you should get your own lures.

When to Go Fishing in Vietnam

It would depend on the types of fish you want to catch, but generally, if you do saltwater fishing, avoid fishing in the stormy and rainy seasons from April to November because there could be strong winds, monsoons, tidal waves, and unexpected rain.

For freshwater, on the other hand, August to November is the best time because there are high tides, which could bring a lot of fish. This is also when there is more food for the fish, and thus, they grow big.

Summing up on Fishing in Vietnam

When fishing in Vietnam, you can challenge yourself, have fun, catch big fish and different species in Vietnam’s water, or spend your leisure time patiently fishing for smaller fish in rivers and lakes. Another fun way of fishing in Vietnam, which involves a few physical movements, is catching fish with your hand. Each type of fishing will leave you with a unique experience and memory, but remember to bring medication and safety tools to take care of your health when participating in this exciting sport. Ready? Now, let’s go fishing!

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