01-15-2007, 11:26 PM
I will be traveling down to St. Thomas in June and was hoping to do some inshore fishing. I know they have a pretty good bluewater fishery down there, but I have never been very interested in that. I am from the Pacific Northwest, so I don't know the first thing about tropical saltwater fishing. I was wondering if there is a decent guide anywhere on St. Thomas that specializes in fly fishing. Thanks for your help.
Doesn't look like you will find much in terms of flats but the shorelines should bring nice ocean bones to feed in the mornings and evenings and the lagoons hold tarpon according to reports if you can find access. The jack population seems promising, year round availability. There's nothing like a bar jack on a fly rod and gorgeous to look at. Certain to be cuda near shore too.
There are a few guides but mostly bluewater, a couple advertise flats but having scanned the island by aerial I am not sure about their definition of the term.
If you have the budget, maybe a bluewater flyfishing trip would be most exciting but if you are short on time and/or money I would explore some of the shallower beaches at first light and evening, possibly hire one of the guides for a wade trip and go back to it the rest of the week, etc.
good luck and please report back for future adventurers in that area
Just went out over Xmas with a guy who really specializes in more of the offshore stuff. He was pretty willing though to get me onto some fish with the fly and I ended up putting a few "bonito" (FA's to us in the northeast) on the boat. Very fun trip for a half day adventure. My dad and brother were into fish as well on really light spin tackle we had brought. His buddy boat had a double header on sails right next to us.
If you are interested, Double Header Charters in St. Thomas. Guide was Chris.
01-19-2007, 07:35 AM
I've fished in the VI for over 40 years and suggest the following:
St.Thomas - Very good offshore fishery. In June expect schools of a variety of tuna (bonita, skipjack, blackfin), cero mackeral, kingfish, a variety of jacks (including rainbow runners and blue runners which the locals call hardnose), and the end of the dolphin run. There's always the chance of finding dolphin, yellowfin tuna and wahoo all year round though they appear in larger concentrations at certain times of the year. Even the possiblity of sails and marlin. Double Header is my choice for hire. All the guys are great and really get into it whether it's trolling, live bait, fly or spin. Even a bad day (if that's possible) seems like a good day with these guys! They even will jump off and spear fish ( one trip speared two wahoo over 40 lbs). HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Inshore/flats fishing...all the beaches offer chances at a variety of jacks and the occasional 'cuda. The marine center at the Univ. of the VI, by the airport can hold tarpon and snook if there are an abundence of bait in the water. Worth checking. Magens Bay, on the northside, offers a chance at small tarpon and occasional bones EARLY in the morning, before the 'tourists' turn out in numbers. This is THE BEACH on STT. Mandahl Beach, also on the northside, can also be good IF there's bait in the water. Look for tarpon, some over 100 lbs, and snook. Lot's of jacks too. The area around the breakwater is best. Lindquist Beach, on the east end, has a small flat easily assessible by road. Early and late hours are best. Look for bones, palometta and the occasional permit. This beach is popular with locals and tourists so it may get crowded, especially on weekends. There's a great flat in the lagoons on the southeast end BUT it is a restricted area...No Fishn'. The stories I could tell about this area....anyway... Fisheries will patrol here so even though it looks great stay away! Neptune Fishing Supplies, located in Red Hook by the ferries to St. John, offers some (very limited) supplies (leaders, tippit, flies) but ask for Stuart (owner) or Dee. They will provide the best info on both off- and in shore fishing.
While on STT I suggest taking the ferry (out of Red Hook) to St. John(about twenty minutes and it's a beautiful trip). There are several decent flats with bones plus the usual variety of jacks, cuda, pup sharks, etc. Leinster Bay (by the Annaberg Ruins) and Johnson Bay (in Coral Bay) are my two favorite USVI flats. Easy to get to...even the local bus goes by these areas. Chocolate Hole, Rendezuous Bay, Fish Bay and Reef Bay (west side of Cruz Bay may also be good. Snook and lady fish off the dock at the Westin Hotel can be exciting.
There is a ferry that goes to St. Croix ($90). That's where I live now. In June the permit fishing is good. I've waded the southshore many times and have had multiple shots at these difficult fish. Out east by the yacht club is a flat that holds bones as well as in the Carlton area. Sandy Point can hold bones, permit, snook and tarpon on any single day but the weather (seas) highly effect this area and be careful where you park/walk.
The British Virgins are just a stone thow away and also deserve attention.
If you need more info send me a PM for more info, phone numbers, etc. Who knows, maybe we can meet up and explore together!
It's this kind of insight and generosity toward fellow anglers that makes the upkeep of this site not just worthwhile, but a pleasure.
Thanks all, and carry on...
We stayed in Chocolate hole while down there in Dec. Snorkeled around and saw lots of reef fish and turtles, but no major preditor fish. I did have one huge swipe at a plug one morning...
Reef Bay was ALIVE with bait, pelicans, and assorted fish. Ended up foregoing the rod for a snorkel and mask. I've never swam through bait like that before. It was amazing watching the pelicans hit it from above. I did get a bit spooked when out of the murky water (rougher surf on that side) a 4-5' barracuda slid through the bait turning it into lunch. Awesome hike down and back to the area as well.