Sporting Barbados caught up with Paul Hamel-Smith: President of the Barbados Game Fishing Association
(the “BGFA”) The BGFA’s aim is to encourage sport fishing, organise fishing tournaments and to promote the conservation of fish and other marine life. Paul gave us an idea of what’s happening in his favourite sport... 
Deep Sea Fishing is a major sport worldwide. Why should someone come to Barbados to do it? 
In October of 2021, Barbados’ Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy deployed several Fish Aggregating Devices (“FADs”) along the deep sea contour. FADs work by providing structure in an otherwise barren open ocean environment thereby attracting greater pelagic fish stocks in those areas. Since the deployment of these FADs, the fisherfolk in Barbados have experienced
a significant increase in their catches. In summary, the FADs have improved your odds of having a successful offshore fishing trip! 
Also, as a popular tourist destination
in its own right, Barbados appeals to fishermen who are travelling with friends or family members. For those who may be less interested in the fishing part of the trip, Barbados boasts a wide range of first class experiences both on and off the water. 
Are there any competitions that competitive fishermen can join in, with or without their own boat? 
Yes, visiting fishermen can participate in any of the BGFA’s tournaments, either onboard their own boat or by hiring a local charter vessel and crew during tournament days. 
You can stay up-to-date with tournament announcements and get regular catch reports by following “Barbados Game Fishing Association” on Facebook and on Instagram @ barbadosgamefishing. 
What about visitors who just want a day out? 
Barbados has a relatively large fishing charter fleet that can accommodate anglers of every skill level. Whether
it is close to the shoreline targeting barracuda, or out by the FADs fishing for large pelagics, anyone can experience Barbados’ offshore fishing. The majority of fishing charter operations are accessible via social media or private websites and are easily discovered by a quick web search. 
What’s the biggest tournament in the year’s Calendar? 
On November 4-6th 2022 the BGFA is hosting the Brian Manning Memorial Billfish Tournament, held in honour of a much loved past member of the fishing community and past president of the BGFA, Brian Manning. It is a billfish tournament (meaning that the eligible species are blue marlin, white marlin, sailfish and spearfish) and is 100% catch and release, with points awarded for each eligible species caught and safely released. 
Looking further ahead, the Sir Charles Williams Barbados International Fishing Tournament is scheduled for April 2023. Historically, this tournament has been the largest event run by the BGFA in terms of participation, entertainment and prizes!