Hunting Poisonous Fish in Trinidad and Tobago!

My time in Tobago continued with one of the most fun and unique experiences I’ve ever had while traveling. Come with me as I enjoy Tobago seafood after hunting poisonous fish in the Caribbean Sea!

My friend Chef Jason Peru and I started our day in Pigeon Point on the Caribbean side of the island. We headed out from Pigeon Point Heritage Park and would head out on a boat and go spearfishing underwater!

Spearfishing for Poisonous Fish in the Caribbean Sea

David Hoffmann shows off a lionfish he speared in the waters off the island of Tobago | Davidsbeenhere

There’s a stand on the beach where the vendor sells beautiful conch shells of all different sizes. I bought three of them for my daughters and my niece for 120 TTD.

From there, we met up with our friends David from Foodie Run TT and Dave. I couldn’t wait to get out on the boat and get in the water. I hadn’t gone spearfishing since I was a teenager!

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They taught me how to load and use the speargun before we hopped on our boat, Frontier 1. Even though it was the morning, the sun was intense. Always wear sunscreen when you’re outside, even if the sun doesn’t feel that harsh!

Then, they served us some pigtail and cow heel soup. The cow heels are gelatinous and super tasty. It also contained large chunks of pumpkin and was almost like a gumbo. I loved it!

After eating, I put on my snorkel mask and hopped into the water and catching a lionfish! We got two poisonous fish as well as a third fish and then enjoyed some breadfruit chips back on the boat.

Arriving at No Man’s Land

No Man's Land, a deserted island near the habitat of the poisonous fish, lionfish | Davidsbeenhere

Then, we headed over to No Man’s Land, an uninhabited island that features gorgeous beaches, sparkling blue waters, and vibrant foliage. We could see people windsurfing. They also hold jazz music and fashion events there!

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No Man’s Land is beautiful. It’s an empty island with a hut where they were barbecuing some chicken and corn, and also had some Trinidad and Tobago sweets including coconut fudge, peanut fudge, nut brittle, preserved red mango, tamarind balls, and more!

We bought some tamarind balls, peanut fudge, and nut brittle. Each cost 10 TTD, or roughly $1.50 USD per item. The peanut fudge was like a dense bar of peanut butter, while the tamarind balls were tart and very sugary!

Meanwhile, the nut brittle had some amazing cinnamon, ginger, and coconut in it. It was also full of nuts. I was loving the sweets in Tobago! Elsewhere, they were preparing some pineapple salsa.

A guy pulled down a young coconut, which was still bitter, but they told me it’s really good for you. I tried some fresh and juicy pineapple before we dove into some barbecued chicken.

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The drumstick was coated in a sweet barbecue sauce. The meat fell right off the bone! Then, I watched our friend Dave clean and butcher the lionfish. He easily removed the scales of the poisonous fish using the back of a knife. He had to be careful because of the poisonous spines. From my previous experience with Tobago’s seafood, I knew it would be amazing!

Eating Poisonous Fish in Tobago

Barbecued lionfish (an invasive poisonous fish), barbecued breadfruit, and pineapple chow on a leaf in Tobago | Davidsbeenhere

Lionfish are invasive poisonous fish in the waters around Tobago, so it’s allowed and encouraged to hunt them. He filleted one lionfish and left the other whole so we could grill it whole. We’d eat the filets raw with some lime!

It was just like sashimi! It was fresh but a little tough. I liked it a lot! Then, Jason began slicing a breadfruit and put some garlic and thyme inside the slits before placing it on the fire to roast.

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He dipped the fish into the sea to salt it and then placed it on the grill. Then, they cut filets from the squirrel fish we’d caught. Jason and I ate everything on a large leaf!

The lionfish was so fresh! I loved the chives and lemon. The charred pieces were incredible and so buttery! The pineapple tomato chow was almost like a fruit ceviche, and I liked the flavors in the roasted breadfruit! They were better than fries!

We left just as more tourists were visiting. Jason, Candice, and I had to dive back into the water! What an adventure hunting poisonous fish in Tobago!

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