Hi - has anyone got any info on the fly opportunities in Barbados? I guessing bones, tarpon, jacks etc, but I'm struggling to find much online.
Has anyone fished down there?
06-02-2006, 11:04 AM
I honeymooned on Barbados a few years back. I didn't bring my fly rod but my guess is you could get in a few morning/evening casts at your resort beach. Other than that there are many locals willing to take you for a panga ride. I don't think you will find Bones. Barbados is a volcanic island with deep water just a few hundred yards off the beach. Nearshore tuna, wahoo etc... are the more likely exotic candidates in my opinion. I also could not find much on the internet before my trip.
Hi Sean, just found this on another forum - I'll drop the guy an email and see what he has to say.
I am from Barbados and have fished the island extensively for years , both from land and boat and with conventional and fly rod. The island is quit small and has no "flats" fishing like Florida, but all the major fly caught fish are there: Bones, Tarpon and a host of other pelagisīs. There are no fly-fishing guides on the island. The best fishing is from land and wading the coast. Your best bet is early morning or evening just walking the cost in search of bait fish pods that have been pushed close to land (Frey-Silversides or Rain fish, not sure what you call them or schools of sprats). If you find this situation, you are bound to find the pelagic working them. Watch out for your back cast, the locals haven't seen someone fly-fishing before and have a tendency to walk up behind you and watch. The whole cost line is fishy, with the exception of some areas of the North and East coast due to high cliffs.
I see a very fishy lagoon near Six Mens Bay (NE island) that I would be looking for morning cruising tarpon in for sure. Otherwise the island has a few bays that might provide calmer waters.
No flats or other structures to speak of but the advice from the other post is promising.
Actually just took a look before closing the app and found a VERY interesting structure 2.4 miles south/southeast of Collins. It looks like either an isolated lagoon (like the one I jumped 11 tarpon in 2 hours on St.Kitts) or a possible open lagoon, but dark and deep nonetheless and bound to have some tarpon population thriving in it.
The adjacent beach appears to be stark white and almost appears to have a sand bar system although it could be an odd cloud bank. In any case the shoreline must be better than the typical sharp ascent these islands are known for.
Just to the north there might be another lagoon, although the resolution is poor and only the lower lagoon is surely a body of water.
There is a sizeable bay to the north of Collins and the shoreline in google images appears to be very amenable to spotting cruising bonefish as well as jacks and other species.
Will you have wheels to explore?
Yes, I'll have wheels for sure - I'm planning on having a good look around. Thanks for your thoughts - I'll let you know if I can find anything else out.
My spidey sense says the three rivers in the Collins area are the places to find tarpon. As these rivers come to their mouth there are brackish lagoons I've seen in photos where locals are fishing with throw nets indicating a population of forage fish.
The shore is on the windward side and likely not fly-fishable except for in the bays, but the west side offers relief and some gentle shorelines (according to web recon). The bones that were referred to above might be best sought on the lee shore obviously.
Some of the hotels, like the Hilton, have built shallow beach and reef structures for their guests that look like bonefish magnets. If you an get on the property, whih should be easy... just walk in wearing a flowered shirt and the travel rod case, wave, get a free coffee and keep going out on to the beach during the very early hours. But take off the flowered shirt before you wade or you might spook the bones :)
If you find tarpon in the brackish zones of the three northeast rivers please report back - my curiousity has got me now.
G. Brown Coode was a biologist who was among the earliest to formally record the occurrence of tarpon in the sub-tropics and tropics and confirms the presence of tarpon in Barbados where the natives refer to them as "caffum".
Images of Long Pond have a striking resemblance to the lagoons on other islands in the chain that have tarpon populations like the one we've seen in the videos from Sint Maarten and the one I jumped 11 in 2 hours in St.Kitts.
I've just got off the phone to a guy from the Barbados Game Fishing board (sic). He tells me that there are not any specific fly fishing areas on the island, or many flats, but there are fly fishing opportunities.
There are some bonefish there, but not specific to any area, I guess it would be a case of putting in some legwork in some likely areas and seeing what's about.
Tarpon are confirmed, but not in any great numbers. These hang about the freshwater spring (stream mouths?) areas, of which there are a few. Early morning before the crowds turn up give the bast chance, but he didn't think I'd be jumping many - just one or two shots. Perfect for a tarpon virgin like myself :chuckle:
Jacks too, early mornings, find the bait first etc.
Offshore in Nov (when I'm planning on going) they're catching Tuna and whaoo in good numbers, maily chumming up on lives.
So overall possibly not a fly fishing destination in its own right, but enough to keep the holiday angler amused I'd have though - and a bit of a challenge too - which is the way we like it.
It's certainly not an angling destination by any stretch.
However I've got a strong vibe for those rivers and ponds on the northeast coast near Collins for tarpon. I have a feeling there is a good population, not just one or two. It doesn't make sense for a population to be small if the habitat is there, unless the locals are eating them.
06-26-2006, 11:58 PM
My family is from Barbados and I have been there a few times. There are bonefish, but very few flats. The flats areas also happen to be tourist beaches and there are lots of tourists. The lagoon Juro is eyeing up does contain Tarpon, but it also happens to be a protected area. Fishing is not permitted. I managed to find a local to take me on his boat. We hooked up with cudas while bucktailing streamers and I managed to get a dolphinfish (dorado) on a hightower's popper. The water was too murky due to the freshet of a river down in Brazil and the pelagics had moved far offshore, too far for the 17 footer we were on. There are Wahoo, Sails, etc but no captains that have any experience with flyfishers. In fact all the big charter companies refused to take me out even though I was willing to pay the $850 price tag. I hooked some Jacks and Cuda blind casting into the heavy surf in the Sam Lords Castle area. They were impossible to land as I was on a cliff 40 feet above the water. A spey rod would have made beach casting easier (the waves are big and heavy on the atlantic coast). All in all it was dissapointing and I sold the property I inherited there. It's a great place to vacation but not for flyfishing.