Tarpon fishing at Actklins [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Tarpon fishing at Actklins

12-02-2006, 08:30 AM
Saw a post where there a few tarpon on Actklins. So how is this fishery?

12-02-2006, 11:51 AM
It's very hard to leave the spectacular Acklins bonefishing behind even for Katie Hanna's wonderful home-cooked dinners never mind for another fish species... but as Bob B points out they are definitely there and we'll include a poon hunt as well as permit day next trip I suspect.

Certainly Turtle Sound has them; and years ago Gil Berke found some 100# class fish on the Relief Bay side while prospecting for the Williamsons.

I don't think I would go to Acklins specifically for tarpon, but I have a hard time going anywhere else for an invigorating bonefishing experience that suits my tastes to a tee.

Tarpon are way up there on my list as well and much the focus of exploits I am planning for the near future.

Bob Bergquist
12-02-2006, 01:34 PM
As Juro said there are resident fish up to 100 lbs or so, and babies to 20 or so in an impounded spot we found that is allways good for a few fish. There are some on the ocean flats around the pilchard schools as well. I saw two decent fish last month in Delectable Bay. Not many folks have fished Acklins in the summer when the migratory fish are around, but Shakey from Crooked tells me September is the best month. Don't go there for the tarpon though.

As for numbers of Tarpon in the Bahamas, Andros is best.

Trevor B
12-02-2006, 04:06 PM
I can only try to imagine a 20# "Baby" on the end of a fly rod, WOW !
Do you fish these with a floating line the same as bonefish ?

Bob Bergquist
12-02-2006, 06:50 PM
Hey Trevor,

Yes an 8 wt with a floating bonefish line is perfect. I just tie on 4 ft of 40lb as a leader/shock tippet. The fish are in thigh deep water, and jump all over when hooked. We'll walk in there in March if the conditions are right (not flooded out).


Trevor B
12-02-2006, 10:06 PM
Just the chance of a shot at a Tarpon Sounds good to me :)
Is there much of a chance at getting a crack at a Barracuda on Acklins with the fly ?
If so what kind of set up and flies would you need for these ?
Really looking forward to this !

12-02-2006, 11:27 PM

Bone fish make great barricuda flys...............................but the hook up time is kinda short!

We tend to stick with poppers (striped as fast as you can strip them) because the top water action is a hoot. Clousers work well too, and I'm sure crease flys would probably work. Your opportunity for cudas is only limited by the amount of time you're willing to give up from bone fishing!

12-03-2006, 03:52 AM

Bone fish make great barricuda flys...............................but the hook up time is kinda short!

Typical Acklins barracuda/bonefish encounter (2 yrs ago). 4 lb bonefish.

12-03-2006, 08:42 AM
I like the idea of fishing for baby tarpon. So this is an added plus as to why to go to Actklins. Yes, I would go for the Bonefish but a chance at a small Tarpon would be icing on the cake. FishHawk

12-03-2006, 09:15 AM
Typical Acklins barracuda/bonefish encounter (2 yrs ago). 4 lb bonefish.

I would take that cuda over the bone in a heartbeat. I had some good takes in Abaco with a needlefish fly tied very sparse with chartreuse and polar bear super hair. I did not have trailer hooks on them which definitely accounted for some missed hook ups. As you can see from that picture the cuda tend to strike like a bluefish in my (albeit limited) experience; hitting the mid section to the rear of the fish.


Trevor B
12-03-2006, 11:08 AM
If you were going to target a few Cudas then , what should you have for a line/leader setup and what would be a good selection, let's say 4 or 5 flies to have in your box and what size should they be ?
thanks Trev

Bob Bergquist
12-03-2006, 03:01 PM

I like to pre-rig a couple poppers and Clousers on a foot of wire with a small swivel
which I keep in a baggy in my front shirt pocket. When a big cuda shows up a quick change and we're in.

At low tide when the bones bunch up on the coral points, the cudas surround the school and wreak havoc with hooked fish.

I landed one that was 25lbs on the Boga in two feet of water last year, and Terry nailed a big one that had just eaten a bone fish on the same flat. Most of them are smaller, 10 pounds or so. One spot at Fish Cay has a slight drop off and is loaded with 3-5 pounders that eat Clousers and Gummys.

We also troll poppers when the tide is off the flats and hook some monsters in deeper water. Some truley huge ones are outside the reef around Castle Island. We had a 20 pounder on that was eaten in half by a larger one that he did not hook.


Bob Bergquist
12-03-2006, 03:12 PM
I should add, keep a crab handy as well.

Last month Terry left the bones to chase a big cuda. He tied on a popper and was sneaking along when he heard fish behind him, which turned out to be a bunch of tailing permit. He quick changed to a crab and had a good shot refused. Later he went out into waist deep water and was casting a clouser when he saw some flashing fish in deeper water. He cast the clouser, and had a permit peel out and chase it down before refusing.

So as quickly as opportunies are presented , being able to change rigs in a hurry is a huge plus.

Trevor B
12-03-2006, 03:33 PM
what size/color are the clousers and poppers that you would use ?

12-03-2006, 04:09 PM
In one of the notes above you said something about 4 ft leader/shock tippet... do you mean that you use 4ft of 40# as a shock tippet at the end of your leader system ? Just curious about your setup...thanks

Much as I love Bonefishing....nirvana would be a spot with Bonefish AND baby Tarpon...!!! I have never caught Tarpon on a flat which would be amazing..but even catching them in the open waters or salt ponds is great fun. I actually like catching the baby Tarpon more.... the big ones are too much like work!

Bob Bergquist
12-03-2006, 04:14 PM
We like white or blue/mylar poppers about 4 inches long. Clousers in Chartruse/white from two to five inches will cover the jacks up to the big cudas.
The best Cuda fly I have found for the flats is a Puglsi style bait fish in white and grey with black bars to represent the local "shad", as they don't need to be stripped at light speed like a needle fish pattern.

Trevor B
12-03-2006, 05:14 PM
I have never even seen a Tarpon, baby or otherwise, I have seen a cuda caught but never had the chance at one, and only have a couple of very small bones to my name ,not caught on fly either. so it's all very exciting to me and will be a real learning experience I'm sure. Many thnaks to this site for all the great info and opinions , it all helps with the learning curve I think.
Keep up the good work everyone! :)

Bob Bergquist
12-03-2006, 06:44 PM
The 4 ft of 40lb is the whole leader that I use for the baby tarpon. Just looped to the butt section. I use a regular tarpon leader with a 70 lb shock tippet for larger ones.

12-04-2006, 07:09 AM
Bob thanks for the reply...

sorry about all the questions..... but why do you use such a long shock tippet?

Have only read about a short shock in a leader system...

I have some ideas why you use the longer one but wanted to hear yours....

thanks again..

12-04-2006, 05:43 PM
It's more of a short simple leader. With the 20 pound fish I am not worried about breaking the flyline, so I just go with the 40#. If a tarpon scuffs up the tippet, you can just cut it back and tie the fly back on.

12-04-2006, 06:17 PM
Thanks for taking the time to reply and I agree the simplest solution is the best..