Vietnam is blessed with beautiful nature including picturesque mountain ranges, green forests, and numerous waterways that offer so many activities both for locals and visitors. 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 is a country with almost half of its mainland bordering the sea. There are many famous beaches from North to 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. If you want to enjoy a little ocean taste, then Vietnam would be an excellent place for you to do some shore or deep-sea fishing.
Besides the long coastline, there are also about 400 rivers in Vietnam. The South Central of Vietnam where there are many highlands has less number of rivers than in the Red River Delta and Mekong Delta. The three biggest rivers in Vietnam are the Red River, Tien River, and Hau River. At these rivers, you can have a leisure time catching freshwater fish.
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.
Traditional fishing equipment carried out by local fishermen are mainly handmade. Local tackle shops will have all of 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.
Let us know in the comments if you would like to inquire about tackle shops in a specific city. We are happy to help.
How to go fishing and Fishes to catch. When you want to catch saltwater fish, you can charter a boat to go offshore or find deepwater areas along the beach to throw your fishing line. When you go deep sea, you would be able to catch barracudas, mackerels, snappers, squid, and even marlins, while on the shore and near the rapids, depends on the sea level, you can catch drums, porgies, bass, grouper, humphead red snapper, discus, and mackerels.
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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 - VND 950,000 (depends 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 gears, but if you don’t, you can ask to rent one. 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, it is advisable to take seasick medicine 30 minutes to 1 hour before getting on the boat. And follow the prescription if you are planning to stay on the boat for a long time.
Heatstroke and sunburn could also be other problems when you want to go for saltwater fishing. Remember to get waterproof sun cream, wear a long-sleeved shirt and a hat, and go to the shade after a long time exposing to the sun. 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 during your trip.
Fishing on the rapids or rocky shores could also bring an amount of danger when there are high waves and algae grown on the rocks making them slippery. You may get caught by the waves, so make sure to wear a life vest, slip-resistant shoes, and bring a long rope tie it around your waist so that you won’t be washed far away. We are not joking about this one!
For adventurous fishing trips, make sure to buy travel insurance
How to go fishing and Fishes to catch. At rivers, lakes or small channels in the delta, you can fish on a small boat or at the banks. 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 torrent. When figuring out their hidden places, you can put your hand in there or lure them out and try to catch them. Be careful when trying to find the fish bare-handed because there are some species of fish 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, eeltail catfish, shark catfish, climbing perch, giant gourami, snakehead, soleidae, goby, tonguefish, eel, barramundi, and shrimp.
Maddy enjoying a day out fishing at Can Gio, 1.5-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City
Where to fish. 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 fishes in canals in Ho Chi Minh City. And as far as we know, most of the Vietnamese fishers keep their catch, regardless of the fish size.
Barramundi caught on a Rooster Tail spinning lure at Can Gio (see address below)
This recreational fishing pond at Can Gio is located at 908/90 Duong Rung Sac, Ap An Nghia, Xa An Thoi Dong, Huyen Can Gio (it is about 1.5-hour drive Southwest of Ho Chi Minh City passing the Binh Khanh ferry crossing). The place is called My Thanh Van in Vietnamese. They are open from 7 AM - 5 PM all week except for Wednesdays and Thursdays. 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 5kg+). Their phone number is 079 227 6351 (Vietnamese speaking).
If you need more information, feel free to let us know in the comments below.
My Thanh Van recreational fishing pond at Can Gio
Besides, there are various recreational spots offering fishing activities in Ho Chi Minh City like at 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 to fishing at these places is that the fishes are fed human food so often that you will likely need to buy baits at these places. You will have to pay for the service by the hour and extra charge based on the weight of the fish you catch if you want to keep. 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 of these places will rent you the fishing gear, so you don’t have to bring one yourself. If you use spinners, you should bring your own lures.
Fishing lures are not common in Vietnam, so buy fishing lures online to get the particular type that you want.
It would depend on the types of fish you want to catch, but generally, if you wanted to do saltwater fishing, avoid fishing in the stormy and raining seasons from April to November because there could be strong winds, monsoons, tidal waves, and unexpected rain.
For freshwater on the other hand, from August to November is the best time because there are high tides which could bring a lot of fish. This is also the time when there are more foods for the fish, and thus they grow big.
When fishing in Vietnam, you can challenge yourself, have fun, catch big fishes and different species in Vietnam's water, or just spend a leisure time patiently fishing for smaller fishes at rivers and lakes. Another fun way of fishing in Vietnam, which involves a bit of physical movements, is to catch fish using your hand. Each type of fishing will leave you unique experience and memory, but remember to bring medication and safety tools to take care of your health when taking part in this exciting sport. Ready? Now let's go fishing!
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There are a few fishing services in Vung Tau and Nha Trang but most of the boat drivers are not English speakers
We provide kayak fishing tours for river running barramundi, cod, mangrove jacks and tarpons in natural mangrove surrounding 1 hour South of No Chi Minh. Any groups up to 6 people on single paddle fishing Kayaks.