The choice of fishing gear and catching strategy should be taken into consideration in the management of fish stocks. Here, paired fishing trials in a pelagic recreational fishery compared the catch composition, catch rate and size selectivity between handline and trolling fishing methods in Iranian coastal waters of the Gulf of Oman. Total catch rate was 1.06 fish hr–1 vs 0.88 fish hr–1 for handline and trolling, respectively, a 17% difference which was significant (p<0.05). Generally, the handline method captured more fish than trolling for most species, but size selectivity tended to be species-specific per gear type. The handline fishing method captured larger talang queenfish (Scomberoides commersonnianus), while trolling captured larger narrow-barred Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus commerson), pickhandle barracuda (Sphyraena jello) and Indian threadfish (Alectis indicus). Technical measures, such as gear restrictions, could be applied to recreational pelagic fisheries management in the Gulf of Oman. Such measures could improve species-specific exploitation patterns.