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raidergrad 03-03-2010 09:15 PM

Best DIY...
for bones and tarpon? Where should I start? What should I expect it to cost?

juro 03-04-2010 10:01 AM

Best is relative! For me, multiple daily shots at double digit bones (even if that means two) and 25-50# tarpon (hook a couple a day and see more) is all I need to get me smiling at the cabana for the after-dinner rum drink and cigar. I also value the quality of scenery, the freedom to explore adventurously and find things that are off the beaten path; meeting interesting indigenous people and other adventurous travelers in a tropical setting away from a northeastern US winter.

My experience has been that DIY gets better the more times you go to a particular area, as the knowledge you pay for in a guide takes some time to acquire on your own.

Cost = flight + jeep rental + food + lodging; the rest is up to you...

I'm still exploring but tarpon DIY is going to be best during the pilchard migration in the Virgin Isles, Carribean - and bones are going to be best in the Bahamian out islands where there is no private enterprise activity to contend with not only in terms of competition, educated fish but harassment from guide businesses (e.g. Exuma).

However we'll keep searching won't we :)

raidergrad 03-04-2010 05:25 PM

Do you know anything about Spanish Wells, Bahamas? It is right off the northern coast of eleuthera. What is the commercial activity like in that area?

Swalt 03-04-2010 07:16 PM

I suggest you download Google Earth and you can look at it and other islands yourself. It will give you a good idea of how crowded an island is. Looking at Spanish Wells it is densely populated compared to most areas on the out islands. Commercially they have a commercial fishing fleet there and probably a good bit of tourism for an out island. There does appear to be nice flats for bonefishing around the island but they could be fished pretty hard which means spooky fish and the creek running along the south side could hold tarpon.

juro 03-04-2010 08:21 PM

Check this out:

White Sands of Freedom

one of our own member stories @ Spanish Wells

LeeG 03-05-2010 09:16 AM

If you start with location, I would think Mexico and Belize would be 2 great spots. I've never been to Mexico and the only time I was in Belize I was at Glover's Reef which would not be a good, consisitent tarpon spot.

Good luck searching!

raidergrad 03-05-2010 01:12 PM

So on you guys personal DIY trips, how do you usually go about finding your place to stay? I have looked at and some other sites. Looked a lot at which has some really killer deals right now ($350-$500) for airfare and 5 days at a resort to Puerto Rico, and several Bahamian locations.

My other question is, I read a couple of reports where it sounded like some of you actually rent boats while there. How does a guy go about finding boat rentals? I have seen rentals for kayaks but not boats.

n1gdo 03-05-2010 01:47 PM

My thoughts
I have done a lot of DIY in the Bahamas and Caribbean. (and the Keys too).

Sometimes with success, most times not so much! A lot has to do with the fact that I am not that great a flyfisherman and also with the factor of luck.

For instance, I once found a spot where I was catching baby Tarpon and Snook
so I booked another trip and never saw a fish! Same week .... different year!
Also tried different weeks but never duplicated the first trip.

I think the best way to cut costs and have success is to join a group going to a particular spot like the Acklins group going from this site.

Like you I would prefer to find a spot with both small Tarpon and Bonefish but I have found you would be better off choosing one fish to key in on and find a place to hunt for those.

Don't want to discourage you but it is pretty tough to hit all conditions correctly and have success then again win or lose I always keep trying.

Good luck!

arubaman 03-09-2010 05:27 PM

As stated before: get deep down into google earth or other sattelite maps. they give you a nice idea of shallows and mangroves.

Lodging... the cheapest places are true backpack huts. for example we had a room in nicaragua starting at 12 dollars a night (3 guys, one slept on the floor) for the room.

The cheaper the ride, the more DIY and chances are great it turns out to be totally different from what you wished for. But that doesn't mean it sucks. it can be awesome just exploring, sipping rum, talking to backpackers, drinking beer, eating local food (and getting it out of your body in all liquid forms, from every exit/entrance your body has), boozing rum from the bottle and even meeting true hippies. Oh yeah, and I caught some fish too:tongue:

Last year we had a very nice time in nicaragua, but the fishing was not what we hoped for. That's the game of DIY.

One piece of advise...: If you're totally new to fishing/spotting/recognizing potential area's, than it could be usefull to spend more money the first trips to get out there with someone who knows (and probably wants you to pay for the knowledge).


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