Heading to Aruba on the 26th [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Heading to Aruba on the 26th

12-19-2006, 09:26 PM
I've read all the posts on here about fly fishing on Aruba and they have been very inormative. Thanks everyone for the info. I gave it a go last year, and spotted a few fish but couldn't make good casts to them. My Dad gave me his 9 wt for the trip, except his 12 wt was in the 9 wt tube. Loading a 12 wt with a 9 wt line is quite difficult, especially with the wind in Aruba. I stayed at the Marriott (and will be staying there again this year) and walked towards the wreck at Malmok. Like I said, I saw some fish, but just botched my shots. In fact, as I was describing to my girlfriend what a tailing bonefish looks like... one appeared about 50 ft ahead no more than 2 ft from shore. Pretty cool, too bad my rod wasn't rigged up.

So I'm staying from Dec 26th until Jan 3rd and hoping to fish more than I did last year. I've got the flies and the right gear, and I'm a pretty experienced bonefisher, so hopefully I'll get lucky. I just wanted to see if there was any more recent information about the fishing, or if I had to undergo any rituals to join the Aruba Bonefish Club... or maybe I should catch a fish to gain entry.

Hope to hear that there are fish all over the place, no wind, and nobody fishing. :hihi:

12-22-2006, 06:44 AM
Fortunately the credentials for the ABC Aruba Bonefish Club are easy... just show up!

You are definitely in, but please do hook up and do us proud this visit :)

I found Aruba bonefish to be anything but shy, in fact downright aggressive. The key is to dial into the direction they are headed and have the fly there when they arrive.

If there is surf let it splash close they don't care at Malmok. However the coral will take most of your fish there. Sandy areas will improve your landing success but require gentle presentations even to these naive Aruba bones. I saw bones in the surf line mid-day but on the sandy shorelines only in the mornings and evenings. Probably due to beach traffic.

Bring both weighted and unweighted flies to match the conditions.

good luck!

12-28-2006, 06:55 AM
I am planning a trip to aruba in April. Let us know how you do over there.

01-08-2007, 11:02 AM
I believe I owe you guys a report. I fished a total of 6 or 7 days for anywhere from 1.5-3 hours while I was down there. I generally stayed around the wreck at Malmok. I only had shots at fish on 2 days, and saw fish on one additional day while I was casting to a boxfish and looked down to see two large bonefish heading the other way. The other days I saw absolutely nothing.

The first day I saw fish I saw one huge one coming towards me with no interest in my fly as I presented it perfectly to him. The next two fish I made a cast outwards towards them. One followed but did not seem interested and would not take. On another pass of the flats I somehow spooked one fish off from pretty far away, and then all of a sudden a school of 5 more took off behind him. I tried to chase them down to no avail.

The next day I blew shots at two singles and a double before making a solid, but not perfect cast at another pair. A wave came over, I stripped, and my line took off. It ended up catching on a coral head and I carefully waded out and got my line off the coral and resumed the fight as my girlfriend watched with the camera. The pictures didn't come out great, but it was quite a large fish. I've attached one photo for your enjoyment.

That was it for me, I tried very hard the next few days at different times and different tides, but could not even spot a fish the last few days. I think the full moon might have had something to do with it, but I'm really not sure what.

In total, I saw 17 bonefish - 15 of them in 2 days. The action was totally hit or miss. Other than bonefish, I saw a few boxfish and that was about it. I didn't explore too much, although I did go out to the wreck a few times with some other flies and no luck to be found. I think traffic is also a huge issue. There are so many windsurfers, kitesurfers, boats, and people that it really disturbs the environment and makes the fishing difficult.

Also, for the 2nd year in a row I caught something nasty in Aruba. Last year it was food poisoning, this year I'm not sure, but I've had up to a 103 fever since I got back. I'm hoping the antibiotics I got yesterday will really kick in soon.

So I am now a member of the Aruba Bonefish Club! It feels great, if I ever recover from my illness I will try to catch a few more next year.

01-08-2007, 04:24 PM
HOOOO HAA! Thats what I'm talking about. Nicely done! What flies were you using. That is a nice looking bone. Excellent job on getting your line off the coral head. Goes to show cooler head prevail. :smokin:

01-08-2007, 04:44 PM
Well done Willy!

You are not only a member... you get the smoking jacket patch as well :smokin:

01-10-2007, 09:52 AM
I got refused/ignored/no bite on a small tan gotcha and a bigger crab like fly. The one fish I caught was on an olive gotcha with deer hair as the hackle.

01-10-2007, 04:44 PM
Hi Willy,
feeling better allready? havenīt been online much past weeks, christmass, new years and the aftermath are busy in the veterinary world.
Nice to see it back here. Tip for all the other freaks who come to Aruba and bring along the flyrod...
As I heard from Willy and others Bones here are indeed a bit different. Sometimes you get lucky and have several sightings in one day, even several shots... My last trip the best I did was 4 hook ups in one morning. Fighting them most of the time is a matter of luck. Those corals are just so &%$%#%.
But the tip is about flies. My experience over the past times back home is that over all the malmok-site has some nice fish. The best flies all are matching the vegetation of the bottom (logic?) so I would recommend everybody to bring along darker flies then youīd use on sandy flats. For me ( as I also adviced you Willy) it will be crazy charlies and gotchaīs. All of them tied with olive or brownish colors. To ad some contrast black, white or yellow and maybe a bit of a sparkle. The only other fly I found that worked well there is a bonefish bitter, brownish with some grizzle hackles in it.

Anyways, nough said, nice report and next year youīll be hooked again! Thanks for sharing.

01-11-2007, 08:55 PM
So, I am booking a trip to Aruba. What fly lines are recommended, any other suggestions on:
rod weights
productive flies and sizes

01-12-2007, 07:53 PM
Take a 9 weight... you'll need something with power in the wind. You could put a 10 wt line on it if you want, but that's more a personal preference.

Go 16 lb on the leaders and bring 14 and 12 lb leaders and tippet. You could try something lighter too. The 16 lb held up great on the fish I caught.

Flies. Listen to Sander. Anything shrimpy in colors to match the bottom, greens, dark reds, browns, but bring along some more traditional colors too. Why not? I would says 2,4, and 6 are good sizes. The fish are big and hungry, and I don't think they'll shy away from a big meal.

Get at it man!

01-13-2007, 09:42 AM
My hunch is that the Aruba bones around Malmok are less fixated on one feed pattern, they act like bones I've stalked in wide open areas around the Bahamas and Keys. In other words there is no distinct entrypoint into a mangrove lagoon to mesmerize a shoal of bonefish into being in a certain spot at a certain time, the fish are roaming a much bigger circuit and there is a big element of chance in the encounter.

However it would take a long time to map out the circuit, and it's possible they circle the entire island. About the only thing we know is that they are not likely to go bluewater once past the drifting larval stages, they wouldn't last long out there.

Within the island's perimeter they will eventually cull down the travel routes to a promising circuit and work that "milk run" over and over depending on season, spawning cycle, waster temp preferences, and most likely even school mentality.

The easiest bones to find are those who are deeply set into a predictable cycle. I can name a few packs like this but won't :)

I've even found trophy bones in such a cycle BUT because of the circumstances it's extremely difficult to get a fly in front of them - they are feeding on large crabs living in the pock-marked holes in coral heads in fairly deep water and every foot step creates loud crunching noises that send them bolting away.

The Malmok bones are working a large circuit and are more oceanic in behavior (meaning like those you catch in surfside beaches) than the bight-side flats fish behavior. I had the exact same experience there.

I explored the Barcadera, lagoon areas to the south etc - potential there but Aruba is by no means a bonefishing destination, but if you are there it's a nice bonus.

Long live the Aruba bonefish club.

01-13-2007, 02:11 PM
I made pictures of Malmok when I was there in November. Also this time I focussed on just Malmok (so I did not fish much at Barcadera or other places). It was nice to notice that in about three weeks I learned a lot and figured out some stuff. This will probably not apply for the whole year round, but I guess my info and data helped Willy out to go a little more specific to the good places.

Itīs a lot of information and it should only be usefull as a small guideline, I will be the last to say it is the key to succes. I am quite busy with the job I finally got, but am working on it. When I finished all the information Iīll post it on this site for information to all the others.

To be honest I am proud of my island and the possibilities of fishing there, but as stated before itīs not a real Bone-destination. If you go there for vacation, donīt forget to bring your rods, I think the bones down there usually are hard fighting, fast swimming and most of them reach the 20 inches, so worthy fish.