Hitting the tarpon / pilchard run right [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Hitting the tarpon / pilchard run right

09-07-2010, 02:00 PM
For years I've been wanting to hit the Carribean tarpon runs when they're feasting on pilchards.

Walker's recent posts and images only got me that much more crazed. What does the collective wisdom have to offer toward achieving this end?

Dates? Destinations? Contacts on locale (no links)?

09-07-2010, 08:18 PM
The run here is normally October-November. I have never seen the pilchard this thick this early in the year. It began in late June, and was consistent until hurricane Earl. I have not seen any in the last week (since Earl passed last Monday), but we still have above normal seas and the water is still very sandy.

I have been too busy helping others out with hurricane repairs to go fish - and I would feel downright guilty if I were out there right now fishing while everyone else is busting their ass to get repairs done.

Earl pics of Anegada at http://bvipirate.com/Earl

A video of Earl is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt8DWyxC_I0

09-07-2010, 09:41 PM
Walker -

Thanks for the response. I wish you and your neighbors the best in recovery and I hope we can contribute by bringing our business there during the tarpon season.


09-08-2010, 11:48 AM

I'll be there with my charter boat January 11 for a few days. If there is still repair work going on I'll be happy to pitch in.


09-08-2010, 12:21 PM
Walker - what is the flight arrangement like from Boston / connections / overnights en route etc? I am very serious about the visit. Do you recommend San Juan PR as the connection point?

09-08-2010, 03:58 PM
From Boston - don't know - but I know we get a lot of visitors from that area.

We have little choice flying to/from Houston - it is American Airlines - normally Houston-Miami-San Juan-Tortola (IAH-MIA-SJU-EIS).

Continental has a codeshare arrangement with Cape Air to Tortola that may work for you.

Getting to Anegada in one day from the U.S. is difficult, unless you book a charter flight from San Juan direct to Anegada. May people do that. It is very expensive.

Our normal journey is Houston to Tortola, then overnight there so that we can shop for groceries before we come over. We take the afternoon ferry from Tortola to Anegada, which leaves Tortola at 3:30PM, gets here about 4:45PM. It only runs 3 days a week - Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Each of those days they do 2 round trips from Tortola - the early one leaves Tortola at 6:45AM.

Marty: I expect that most all repair work will be complete by the beginning of November. This is the off-season and there is nothing going on except repair work. We should be here January 11 - look us up.

09-08-2010, 08:05 PM

I go there every year from Boston. Fly to San Jaun on American. Not sure if there are commercial flights from SJ to Anegada but you can get a puddle jumper to Tortola then hop a boat or charter a flight over.


09-09-2010, 06:57 AM
Been awhile since I have been to Anegada but from Raleigh/Durham you would fly to San Juan then to Beef Island/Tortola. We would overnight at the Beef Island Guest House at Trellis Bay and then fly to Anegada. There is ferry dock in Trellis Bay that is an easy walk from Beef Island Guest house but I do not know if they ferry to Anegada/
I have also found bonefish in Trellis Bay and there is another spot to fish bones on Beef Island if you have time to kill. Also a lagoon that I have seen Tarpon rolling in.

09-09-2010, 07:10 AM
So in summary Anegada may not be the best choice for targeting the pilchard blitz from a travel perspective but we have a Forum member on locale which may make the layover well worth it.

09-09-2010, 07:15 AM
There is one other option that could get you to Anegada in one day. We got a charter boat from Speedy's one year from Beef Island to Virgin Gorda. For 11 of us it was cheaper than the ferry. You could give Speedy a call and see what a charter would be from Beef Island to Anegada.

09-09-2010, 07:31 AM
I have a good friend that is building a house on Virgin Gorda and is there often. I will check with him today about flights. If the house is finished, perhaps the group can stay there for one night and hop the ferry over.


09-09-2010, 09:39 AM
Boston to St. Thomas..........Tortola..........Fast Ferry. Or.......San Juan and and a hopper.


09-09-2010, 10:04 AM
Bottom line is that Anegada is not easy to get to. That's what keeps it the way that it is.

09-09-2010, 10:16 AM
One other thing that I should mention: I would probably not plan a trip to Anegada solely for tarpon. I think that encountering them is very iffy. We have been quite lucky the past couple of months, but we also go for long periods of seeing none at all. October/November has been the most consistent but, even then, it is far from a sure thing.

09-09-2010, 01:47 PM

I've seen plenty even in January at Taboo's dock at night as they wait for chicken bones from the restaurant. Hooking one of them is probably the quickest way to lose a leader and fly.

Same with with the pier at Anegada, right?


09-09-2010, 05:24 PM
The dock at Neptune's Treasure or at the Anegada Reef Hotel always has the "house tarpon" putting on a show between 4 and 5 pm - lobster cleaning time.

09-09-2010, 06:59 PM
Also I have hooked into a couple at night on the Government dock under the lights.

09-09-2010, 07:32 PM
I have also hooked into tarpon at the government dock.

My wife and I occasionally go to the government dock at night to fish for blacktip shark. I have a couple of submersible green fluorescent lights that I put into the water under the dock. After about 30 minutes, you can see the tarpon circling in the outer fringe of the light. Occasionally, one will come into the brighter area.

I do not cast flies there, though. Fish very often run under the dock, and the barnacles on the pilings would quickly destroy a fly line. I use soft plastic swim baits on light spin tackle for the tarpon there.

09-10-2010, 03:30 PM
Walker, remarkable video of hurricane and pics of aftermath. Hope your property was relatively undamaged and you and your wife can get back to a quasi 'normal' routine. How is the recovery coming?

Pete Readel

09-11-2010, 07:35 PM
The island is recovering very quickly. The real tourist season begins the first of November, and I believe most businesses will be back to 100% by then. Luckily, there was very little damage to homes. The damage at our house - amazingly - was a couple of sections of gutter blown from the roof. Found the gutter, but the clips, connectors, etc are gone.

We left yesterday, will be in Houston for three weeks before returning in early October. Will pack gutter parts down with me.

All of the boats that washed up on the beach have been cleared.

The major work remaining is construction of new dinghy docks. At the moment, there are none. Even that will happen quickly.

I just added some new pics that I shot yesterday to my Earl (http://nwmangum.com/Earl/index.html) photo web page.