Feb 1st, 2020
For many reasons, bonefish are the most universally appealing of the grand slam species. They are challenging in that they require accurate presentations, but are usually agreeable to most reasonable offerings. They pull hard and run fast, but don’t require excessively large or heavy tackle. While they can sometimes be hard to spot, they are numerous and they can also be stalked while on foot. To top it all off, they are found in gorgeous, tropical locations where the weather and waters are comfortable. Indeed, they are the quintessential saltwater flats sightfishing species. Bonefish can be found in a number of destinations worldwide and the following are a selection of our favorites.
Located in the settlement of Kemp’s Bay on the southeastern shore of Andros Island, Andros South Lodge fly fishes some of the most diverse, productive and least traveled waters in all of the Bahamas. Variety is most definitely the spice of life on South Andros. If you like the thought of miles of easy to wade, white sand flats, hidden and unspoiled mangrove creeks, remote inland lakes and numerous locations that offer shelter from the wind, Andros South is ideal. Add to that remote, rarely visited cays that are home to schools of bonefish numbering in the thousands and expansive ocean-side flats that attract bruisers from the deep, and you will begin to see why this operation is confident in showing you a unique, quality saltwater fly fishing experience every day of your trip.
Christmas Island is the world’s largest coral atoll and a virtual paradise for stalking bonefish. Having almost single-handedly brought the sport of fly-fishing for bonefish into the public consciousness, Christmas Island remains one of the best destinations in the world for both beginning and advanced saltwater anglers alike.
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 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.
Mangrove Cay Club is one of the few destinations that brings all the crucial elements together – location, management, amenities, guides, equipment, cuisine and spectacular flats fishing. Headed by veteran lodge manager Liz Bain, Mangrove Cay has set the bar remarkably high for Bahamian bonefishing destinations. With characteristically short runs to some of the most famous trophy bonefish flats in the world, it is easy to make the case that this is the Bahamas’ premier flats fishing lodge.
Located 90 miles south of Cancun, Mexico near the small lobstering town of Punta Allen, Grand Slam Fly Fishing Lodge is a first class, boutique style resort created by fly anglers for fly anglers. Bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook and barracuda cruise an endless array of crystal clear flats, mangrove lagoons, channels and reefs within the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Preserve. Anglers fly fish two per panga under the watchful eye of both a senior and junior fly fishing guide, maximizing your chances from the boat and while wading.
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.
Please give us a call at 800.552.2729 or send us a message HERE if you’d like to chat more about any of the destinations above!
Tackle for bonefishing is straightforward, with the biggest variation being in the size of rod. Depending on conditions and angler preference, rod weights of 6 to 9 are employed, with an 8-weight being the most common and most versatile. Typically fast action rods are used, to help cut through the wind and turn over the weighted flies. Match this rod with a weight forward, floating fly line with a tropical water coating and an appropriately-sized, reliable, adjustable drag reel, and you are good to go. For leaders, tapered leaders of 9 to 12′ are great and a section of fluorocarbon on the end will complete the setup. Working together with our friends at Sage and RIO Products, we’ve put together this customized setup to ensure your success.
• Rod: 9′ 8-weight Sage SALT HD (890-4)
• Reel: Sage SPECTRUM MAX 7/8
• Line: RIO Products DirectCore Bonefish WF8F
• Leader: RIO Products Bonefish Leader, 10′ 12lb
• Tippet: RIO Products Saltwater Fluoroflex, 8 – 12 lb
Fish Globally and Shop Locally – Find Your Local Fly Shop
Fly Water Travel encourages our clients to support their local fly shop. To find a shop near you, click the link below or give us a call for a recommendation at (800) 552-2729.