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Pemba Island, known as “The Green Island” in Arabic, is an island forming part of the Zanzibar Archipelago, lying within the Swahili Coast in the Indian Ocean. Pemba lies 31 miles east of mainland Tanzania, across the Pemba Channel. Together with Mafia Island (south of Zanzibar), these islands form The Spice Islands. Fishing in Pemba island, be it Reef Fishing or Blue Water fishing is truly an unforgettable experience.

Most of the island, which is hillier and more fertile than Zanzibar (Unguja), is dominated by small scale farming. Additionally there is also large scale farming of cash crops such as cloves.

Pemba Island is separated from Zanzibar by the famous Pemba Channel where sheer drop-offs reach in excess of 800 meters. Surrounded by numerous small islands Pemba offers some of the best Sport Fishing opportunities in East Africa.

Towns on Pemba

The most important towns in Pemba are Chake Chake (the Capital), Mkoani and Wete, which is the largest city. Furthermore, the centrally located Chake-Chake is perched on a mound with a view to the west, over a stunning bay and the tiny island of Mesali.

Big Game Species around Pemba

The big game fishing in Pemba and the Pemba Channel is as good as it gets! There are no less than 6 varieties of Billfish in the Pemba Channel. These include Black Marlin, Blue Marlin, Striped Marlin, Broadbill Swordfish, Sailfish and Spearfish! Furthermore, there are huge sharks including Mako, Tiger, Thresher and Hammerhead to name a few. Added to this, big game fish species such as Yellowfin Tuna, large Wahoo, King Mackerel, Dorado, Barracuda, Giant Trevally, Dogtooth Tuna plus many others abound in these waters.

In peak Marlin season, the billfish and tunas move right up to the coastline making Pemba very interesting for fishing enthusiasts. Additionally, close to shore along the West coast and immediately off Pemba’s beaches, regular catches of lesser Game Fish species can be caught which include Rainbow Runner, Bonito and Skipjack Tuna, King Mackerel, Barracuda and Wahoo.

Fishing Spots in Pemba

  • Pemba Channel
  • Sea Mount north east of Pemba Island
  • Light tackle fishing in the lagoons and mangroves of the west coast of Pemba.
  • South east of Pemba – Ras Upembe
Documentary on Pemba Island