: Where would you go?
11-26-2007, 10:23 AM
Trying to plan a trip for April for 4 guys. Looking to do three days of guided fishing for bones, tarpon, permit, etc. Looking to do if fairly inexpensively. Knowing we are going for 4 nights, 3 days, trying to keep travel time to a minimum, and keeping it less than $2k per guy(not including air fare), where would you go. Species wouldn't dictate the location, we're happy to fish for any of the big three, but wouldn't want to go to a place where you would predominanty be casting to small bones.
Thanks for any advice you might have.
11-26-2007, 11:48 AM
I will assume you are in the North East... here are some ideas I have.
01) The Florida Keys... fly into MIA then rent a car and drive to Islamorada area and get a couple of hotel rooms and do guided for 3 days... I think your budget would handle it... I don't know what the fishing is like in April in the Keys..
. I think I remember that May is the breakout month but consult others on this.
02) Cancun.... fly there if you can get a fairly direct flight and get cheap hotel rooms right in the city... I think there are guide services that pick you up at the city hotels and drive/boat you to the various flats fishing north of the city. And there are guides that fish the big lagoon right in the city!
03) Puerto Rico - frequent flights right to SJU and then you could do Tarpon fishing in the lagoons near the airport in San Juan...
Hope this helps a bit... with a short trip time it can be tough..
11-26-2007, 04:19 PM
Vieques is actually one of our options. We went last year and had a great time but the fishing was very slow. With that said, we went in Feb and I think April would be much better.
I like the Islamorada idea, I'll look into that.
Cancun was another optioin but a lot of travel for three days fishing.
11-27-2007, 01:17 PM
So I found a place in Andros called "Big Charlies Lodge". Sounds and looks good, but not having any experience fishing there, I don't know the reputation. Has anyone fished with Charlie Neymour or stayed at Nottages Cottages?
11-27-2007, 01:40 PM
Isn't Charlie Neymour kind of a living legend? :)
11-27-2007, 02:07 PM
I don't know, I'm new to the bonefish game. If he is, that's good!
Checkout "In Search of a Rising Tide." That video by Howard Films has Charlie Neymour in it. You're right, a living legend.
11-27-2007, 02:43 PM
For any of the out of the US altnernatives why not give YellowDog or Frontiers a call and give them your criteria. I have heard pretty good things about YellowDog but no personal experience.
11-27-2007, 03:58 PM
Forgot to mention, I fished Cozumel for a day last spring (May). While there were a few larger bones (4-6lbs) on the beach the majority up in mangrooves were definitely on the small side. Not sure if Cancun would be much different.
11-27-2007, 05:02 PM
grand bahama island has great bonefishing and the fish are BIIIIG! flights are frequent and accomodations can be had quite inexpensively. i've been going for a few years with a bunch of guys. we stay at at a luxury 5 star time share resort that we rent. the 2 bedroom units sleep 6 easily and are very spacious and the cost well below $400 per person for 7 nights. pm me if you would like any further info. neal
11-27-2007, 07:25 PM
I have a place that I can get you in touch with that you will LOVE. 4 nights, 3 days guided fishing. Food is plentiful and good, rooms are very clean and pretty new. Guides are outstanding and very laid back. $900 per person (dbl). All wading, bones average about 4lbs. PM me and I can get you the details. Been going for 4 years now and have never been disappointed. I get no money or any other benefit from refering you to this place. Just have been very satisfied on every trip.
How important is the tarpon / permit? Most of the suggestions, however good they are (I'd like to try them all) are primarily bonefish or tarpon destinations.
The desire to find all three together usually means either smaller bones or baby tarpon. You can find baby tarpon galore on many island lagoons but the bonefishing is often poor. Or giant tarpon in Puerto Rico or SW Florida but again the bonefishing can't compare to the Bahamas. The extensive flats of the Bahamas scream bonefish but compared to some places in Mexico are less prone to attracting permit, etc.
If you are new to bones, I think you'd have your hands full (not to mention your mind). Hard to beat the Bahamas for beauty, pureness of the experience and you could spend a week in pristine Acklins easily within that budget. Send a PM to Felton (member on this site) who is an Acklins native for information.
But having some shots at tarpon or permit would put any bonefish trip over the top I agree.
Keep in mind some destinations offer shots at wahoo and other bluewater species within easy reach by boat. To me a chance to dive for lobster is just as exciting as tarpon (which I have fished for a lot) especially at dinner time :)
enjoy your trip, take lots of pics
11-28-2007, 07:59 AM
I would suggest that in the Bahamas, one books a guide first and then looks for lodges. Since 911, there's been a large decline in bonefishers, and a resultant oversupply of guides. Lodges compensated by dropping daily guide salaries. They can now get a passable guide for $60/day or often less. Many good guides responded by going independent, relying on their reputation and client base. Since a top guide demands in excess of $200/day to guide for a lodge, lodge arithmetic is pretty clear.
Many of the reputable lodges on Andros will, albeit grudgingly, provide a named guide, although be prepared for a few typically Bahamian last-minute excuses. My advice would be to contact a guide first and follow their lead in picking accomodations.
All that said, I think Nottages' is a nice and very friendly place, and it will bring you closer to the locals than most other lodges. It's well situated with reasonably short skiff runs to great bonefishing. It's also locally owned, which to me is a plus.
11-28-2007, 01:17 PM
I have fished with Charlie several times and have stayed at Nottages Cottages when Daisy Nottage owned and operated it. The facilities are nice and comfortable. The food was awful when Daisy was there, but that has undoubtedly improved. Charlie is a terrific guide and a joy to have in the boat. His dad (uncle?) Ivan, was really one of the legendary guides that got the whole bonefish thing going on Andros. Charlie Smith, Rupert Leadon, Errold Braynen, and Rudi Bell are the other first generation legends in that area. Unfortunately, Errold and Rudi have both passed away recently. I haven't been there since Charlie took it over so things have probably changed quite a bit, likely for the better. You sure won't regret fishing with Charlie. Talk to Ian at Yellow Dog to get another perspective.
12-02-2007, 01:25 PM
Thanks for all the feedback gents. I think we've narrowed it down to either Ascension Bay or Vieques. Both are about the same travel wise and price wise. My preference was to go to Abaco but one of the guys can't pull off a Bahamas trip without the wife.
12-02-2007, 03:42 PM
Will be in Ascension next week so will provide some feedback when I return.
12-03-2007, 04:01 PM
That would be great! Thanks!!
12-11-2007, 06:56 AM
I have just got back from 2 of my 3 favourite places. Seychelles and Cuba. My favourite is still Los Roques.
01-10-2008, 11:20 AM
Fished a week with Charlie. I caught a 12.6 lb bone. Charlie spent time with me on the dock a couple of nights to help me with my casting. I can now throw all the fly line, that's 100 ft. Great food, good accomidations. PM me if you need more info.