Puerto Rico 10 Months In....
Been living in Puerto Rico for ten months now, and to say that the fishing here is not what I expected would be an understatement. If you would have told me a year ago that I would be fishing in Salt only 10% of the time I would have said you were nuts.
When I arrived I thought that Tarpon fishing was primarily a Saltwater game Ė but I was most definitely wrong on this point. While this Island is indeed packed with saltwater Tarpon, virtually every body of water (including drainage ditches) is loaded with Baby Tarpon I live in a neighborhood that has Tarpon in just about every Golf course pond, and as you get to the larger ponds Ė the definition of a Baby Tarpon is up to 60 pounds. Fishing for them is simple Ė up every Saturday and Sunday @ 5 am, jump in the Golf Cart and fish until 7:15 when the first Golfers hit the course, then fall back to the Lagoon and fish till 9. Average morning is usually 4 fish jumped, and 2 landed. I then take a break during the day and head back in the evening to fish until sunset where I can usually land another fish or two. Itís absolutely unbelievable.
As mentioned earlier the Tarpon are not limited just to my area. I have had success in the Golf course and canal at the Ponce Hilton, The Lagoonís in the Reserve by the El Conquistador , and the Humacao area has several Lagoons and Canals that can all be fished by foot - and all have Tarpon. I have read repeatedly where a boat is required to fish the Island Ė but itís simply not true. Virtually Every river, canal, and Lagoon that I have fished has held Tarpon.
The fishing is a mixed bag of casting to rolling Tarpon (low percentage shot), to sight fishing the fish as they work up and down the Hydrilla lines. If you see a dorsal fin and a tail at the same time, and can get a fly in front of them they usually eat. The other option is to work the lee side of the pond or lagoon and look for wakes Ė the two latter options are high percentage shots.
As far as Saltwater - I have fished several times but to be honest itís somewhat disappointing . This is not due to the fact that itís unproductive - as it most definitely is not . To date I have fished Pargera, Boqueron Bay, and the San Juan Area but for the most part itís a deeper water game. The guides I have been with have generally looked for birds, and/or surface activity, and then positioned the boat to allow you to blind cast into the general area. Usually once you get to the boil you will hook into either a Jack, Albie, or Tarpon. Itís very productive Ė but I still prefer seeing the fish and watching it tear into the fly.
Bottom line itís good enough that I still have not been tempted to head over to Anegada, Culebra, or Vieques to take a shot at my first love Ė Bonefish. If your in Puerto Rico Ė and have a desire to fish for land based tarpon feel free to reach out Ė Itís always nice to hang with other Gringoís!