Oct 26th, 2017
One of the most enjoyable aspects of fishing the saltwater is the wide range of species available. Here is a list of our favorite locations where you may encounter any range of amazing fishing on any given day.
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Located on the northern tip of a private island in the heart of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve at the southern end of Ascension Bay, Casa Blanca is considered the region’s premier Yucatan fly fishing destination. The fishery focuses on sight fishing for bonefish, permit, and tarpon, but snook, snapper, jacks and barracuda are also present. The majority of the fly fishing is done from 16 foot Dolphin Skiffs. Wade fishing is also possible in some areas. If you want to wade be sure to tell your guide and they will help make this happen as much as possible. Catch and release fly fishing is practiced for all of the primary species. Casa Blanca provides the region’s most experienced fly fishing guides who are well suited to helping both beginning and expert anglers alike.
At Playa Blanca you have access to one of saltwater fly fishing’s most spectacular frontiers, Espiritu Santo Bay. Playa Blanca guides can lay claim to the fact that they were the first to regularly fly fish, explore and learn this bay. Espirtiu Santo Bay is loaded with bonefish, permit and tarpon. Some other species anglers might try their skill with are snook, jacks, snapper, triggerfish and BIG barracuda. Laguna Santa Rosa is famous for its’ year-round juvenile tarpon population as well as some excellent bonefishing and occasionally some great snook fishing. The Caribbean surf offers up a variety of fly fishing opportunities, best of which might be fishing for GIANT barracuda. How big is a GIANT barracuda? We think 50+ inch Barracuda would qualify.
Jardines de la Reina is a remote archipelago of islands lying some 50 miles off the southern coast of the Cuban mainland. This is a protected marine area with a limited number of catch and release anglers, divers and eco-tourists allowed to visit annually. The habitat here is pristine and untouched, enabling bonefish, permit, tarpon, barracuda, jacks and snapper to flourish. With a total fishing area greater than the Florida Keys, anglers are given a large area per skiff to fish, ensuring that they rarely see other fishermen. In fact, Avalon only allows a maximum of 15 skiffs fishing JDR at any one time. Fishing is consistent throughout the entire year. While tarpon under 30 pounds are always available, the truly giant fish arrive in April and stay through the end of June, and sometimes into July. September is generally a month reserved for boat maintenance and guide vacations due to hurricane season.
The Zapata Peninsula is located on the south-central coast of Cuba. Most of the peninsula is a national park and makes up the largest protected wildlife area in the entire Caribbean. Noted as one of the best bird-watching destinations in the world, it is home to 175 bird species, 900 species of plants, and 31 reptile species including the Cuban Crocodile. The landscape of this area is very similar to Everglades National Park in Florida.
The expansive flats that extend from this huge mangrove swamp provide an amazing saltwater fishery, particularly for bonefish. With most of the flats being hard sand or coral, plenty of wading is available or anglers can cast from skiffs while stalking bonefish that average between 3 and 5lbs. There are also permit here, particularly on the outer edges of these vast flat expanses. Resident tarpon are found here as well in the slightly deeper water of the channels and lagoons. Migratory tarpon arrive in the spring months and can be targeted through the end of June. Also available is a massive system of flats called San Lazaro.
At El Pescador you can achieve the fly anglers’ ultimate dream – a Grand Slam of bonefish, tarpon and permit. Belize’s shallow water contains the only classic tarpon flats outside South Florida. Their flats are world renowned for offering the opportunity to sight cast to tarpon 12 months a year.
All El Pescador guides were born and raised on the island. The lodge prides itself on having some of the most experienced saltwater fly fishing guides in Belize. Many of their guides have been at this Belize fly fishing lodge for over 20 years, and now the second generation of El Pescador guides is in full swing! Most of them have been trained by their fathers and uncles with whom they typically spend several years learning the craft before captaining their own flats boat. El Pescador guides are excellent technical fly fishermen and will be happy to provide instruction during your fishing day.
For years Turneffe Flats has been known as one of the Caribbean’s premier saltwater fly fishing destinations. The diversity of their saltwater flats fishing sets them apart from other destinations and the opportunity to catch bonefish, permit and tarpon on a given day makes Turneffe Flats one of the rare spots to pursue a “Flats Grand Slam,” the landing of all three species in a single day.
At Turneffe Flats, you will be guided by experienced, knowledgeable, English-speaking guides. With an average of more than 20 years guiding on the flats, their fly fishing guides are some of the most experienced and dedicated flats guides in the Caribbean.
Luckily for us, there are a lot of places in the world to chase bonefish with a fly. However, some destinations particularly excel at aspects like an abundance of larger fish or great wading options. Still others feature fantastic food and accommodations or fantastic guides. Here is a list of some of our favorite locales in the world to chase the silver bullet.
Fly fishing for bonefish is a year-round pursuit in Belize. Belize’s bonefish tend to be smaller than in other countries, however, they can be very plentiful at times. Bonefish within this ecosystem vary from 2 to 6 pounds, with the majority being approximately 2 – 3 pounds. The explosive snook, saltwater’s bass, can be found in sizes of 5 to 25 pounds. Snook fly fishing is also good year-round, however, low tides make casting to these fish easier, so November through February are the more optimal months if you only want to fly fish for snook.
Tarpon, the silver king, is one of the most acrobatic fish sought by saltwater anglers. Tarpon at Belize River Lodge are categorized in two categories, juvenile tarpon and large tarpon. Belize has a resident population of large tarpon, however in the spring and summer migrating tarpon visit these waters as well, making for larger numbers of these big fish. While you can fly fish for large tarpon year-round, the bigger tarpon are primarily found in the months of May through early August. Tarpon from 5 to 80 pounds are found along the mangrove cays, along the flats and in the rivers. The tarpon areas of Central Belize are diverse making for very good tarpon fly fishing and a year-round fishery.
Christmas Island is one of the most reasonably priced, biggest adventure locales in the world for an angler to chase bonefish. If fancy accommodations and meals aren’t your thing and you value, above all else, fantastic bonefishing then consider a trip to Christmas. Christmas Island arguably offers the very best wading in the world to chase to chase bonefishing. If you love to get out of the boat and hunt them from your feet, this is the place for you.
The fact that virtually every flats fishing angler in North America has heard of Christmas Island is far from coincidence. Amidst the vast inventory of the world’s saltwater flats destinations, Christmas Island is a unique and natural masterpiece that magically combines all the elements critical to fly fishing success. Endless hard sand flats fishing, remarkable numbers of cruising bonefish and trevally, and consistent year-round weather await all who visit this unique atoll. Fly fishing guides at Christmas Island Outfitters have been handpicked by head guide Bita Kairoi for their overall level of experience, skill, calmness under pressure, and instructional abilities. Each day anglers will depart via truck or catamaran for the day’s flats fishing. Virtually all fly fishing entails sight casting to fish while wading in shallow waters. Christmas Island’s plentiful bonefish average two to three pounds, although on any given week opportunities for larger bonefish in the five to ten pound class may be available. The fly fishing guides at Christmas Island Outfitters are also among the atoll’s most skilled and passionate trevally hunters and love nothing more than to share with their guests the thrill of hooking these monsters. Excellent blue water fishing for tuna, wahoo, and trevally is also available. Although accommodations and meals at Crystal Beach Lodge are simple and rustic, the lodge is located on a stunningly beautiful coral beach overlooking the mighty Pacific Ocean. Whether you are an experienced saltwater angler or a novice keen on honing your flats fishing skills, Christmas Island Outfitters at Crystal Beach Lodge offers an intimate and thrilling angling experience unlike anything else in the world.