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Bonefish, Tarpon, and other Obsessions Turquoise water, silver demons on the fly

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  #16  
Old 10-27-2004, 05:16 PM
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Adrian Adrian is offline
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For inshore / beach fishing you will be well equiped with a selection of inshore bait immitations - things that look like shrimps, crabs, small baitfish etc. Maybe some larger baitfish/needlefish patterns and a few poppers for bigger jacks and cuda's. Your 8wt outfit will be fine unless the wind is really blowing.

Some wire is a good idea for Cuda's unless you want to donate a lot of flies If you search back through the Bonefish flies archive you'll find a lot of great patterns to try.
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  #17  
Old 11-25-2004, 06:21 AM
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Bon bini!

Hi arubaman,

i'm goig to visit "the happy island" for christmas ,too. In the last years i've fished all the mentioned spots on Aruba (more or less successfull...). We are staying in the Amsterdam Manor (15.12.-02.01.2005). If you are interrested to fish with me send a pm.

Tight lines!

bone
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  #18  
Old 11-25-2004, 07:54 AM
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juro juro is offline
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Arubaman, bone - this marks a real milestone for the Aruba Bonefish Club... an international Aruba Clave!

I found the Aruba bonefish, with all due respect, to be 'easy' to hook but very hard to find. Once you find them my experience was any gotcha or crazy charlie will do the trick. The problem is that in such an undefined island structure as Aruba is (no real flats structures to speak of) the fish seem to wander around constantly and don't seem to abide by any defined patterns. Perhaps I should say with so little time logged I don't know of any such patterns. This is why it's important that all Aruba Bonefish Club members share their experiences on the forum so we can reach a point where these things are understood.

There are cuda and tarpon in the lagoons and true albacore, wahoo just offshore if you decide to go on a charter out of Orangestaad. Our friend Brian Casey is down there now, I can imagine he's wahoo'ed once or twice by now! Also jacks patrol the shoreline if the wind ever lays down, and I saw bait exploding from the water in the gravel area near the lighthouse.

From Amsterdam Manor the wreck at Malmok is just a short drive to the north and this seems to be the hotspot for bonefish so far. I think you could walk across the street in early morning or late evening and look for tailers along the shore if you don't have a car.
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  #19  
Old 11-25-2004, 08:54 AM
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Arruba!

Hi Juro,

thank's for the information. You are absolutely right, it doesn't matter what pattern you choose. You just have to find the fish. My favourite Spot was the Bay between the airport and Oranjestad harbour. The water is quite muddy, but it is the only place where i found fish nearly every visit. The best time was early in the morning, before the Bay is crowded. My second favourite spot is the flat near the Balshi-Brewery. This year i'll try some shorefishing at Eagle Beach, there must be some Jacks!

A good spot is the little harbour at the High Rise Hotels, too. Especially when the Sun dawning. There you can hire the 'Melina'( a 28 Foot Bertram) for a reasonable
price. Each time, when i visit the island i go out with Cpt.Peter 2 or 3 times to fish for Wahoos, mainly with trolling Gear. But I always carry a Fly Rod with me, because on the way to the Bluewater after the Light House, you always have a good chance to spot a swarm of Jacks!


Have you caught Tarpon on Aruba?

bone
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  #20  
Old 11-25-2004, 09:23 AM
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I have not - but briefly headed to the lagoons in search of. I met a local angler with a Dutch accent fishing spin gear who spoke of their frequent appearance around the bridge at Spanish Lagoon so I went to take a look. It's not fly-fishable without a boat, but looked real fishy. The area is an inlet across (north) from the DePalm Reef resort. There is a public park at the southeast corner with a deep and rocky shore. Might spot some tarpon coming in/out of the inlet there, possibly.

Frankly, I used all but a few minutes of my precious spare time seeking bones while there, and all from shore. I was lucky to land some nice fat bones in Malmok, some colorful snappers and a good jack on the fly in the bay north of Baby Beach.

I was very close to flying to Los Roques ($200 or so round trip from Orangestaad) on my day off from the family routine but decided to bounce around in the rental car instead.
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  #21  
Old 11-25-2004, 09:38 AM
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Arruba!

HI Juro,

do You mean the old bridge parallel to the Main Road from Oranjestad to San Nicholas? Ther I have spotted a lot of Tarpons, I even hooked some with spin gear, but lost all fish and broke my rod!

I've been to Los Roques twice and I love that Archipelago! I hope i can convince my wife to fly with me. Is there a direct connection from Aruba to Los Roques?

bone
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  #22  
Old 12-08-2004, 04:30 PM
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Hi everybody,
was not around for a while, been diving in Egypt (no, no rods with me so donīt ask about fishing there). Bone, I think Iīll be in town around the 16th of December. I wonīt be able to fish everyday, but with some planning we can go out together to check out the sites.
It will be my first time flyfishing in tropical waters and/or in windy surroundings. I am still working to get some gear ready. my 8wt rod broke and is now on itīs way back from US to holland (redington guarantee). Further I just bought a 10 wt RS2, but still need to get some reel and line to fish it. Hope my scholarship will be in time for that. I am also thinking on bringing some spinning gear along. If you want some real lessons in handline fishing, thatīs stuff I still have back home at my parents place.
I know the island very well, so I sugest teaming up could be fun as you are far more experienced in flyfishing. I could play local guide and we could cruise around to look up some places mentioned above. Car wonīt be a problem, my dad still has no boat, thatīs a small minor. The lagoon with tarpons, we had a member of the sailing club catching one once on a handline (we troll behind our sunfishes with ballihoo as bait on a handline) We can go there and have a look, maybe with spinning gear, maybe a flyline from the bridge when there is no traffic passing by.
Anyways, weīll discuss everything back home, it is handy to bring along some type of shoe material. Myself I am going to wear my dive booties, because not everywhere there is the same nice and sandy bottom.
If you send me a mail (grotesmurf@hotmail.com) I can give you my parents home/private number. If you donīt have the time or canīt remember the number later on, remember one thing. My parents are called Van der Wal, they are involved with all the nesting of turtles on the beaches. Every hotel has flyers about the foundation, in front of amsterdam manor or la Cabana there is even a bigger poster of them in the busstop. Ask anybody on the island to give you the turtlehotline number. if you call that number itīs either my mom or my dad on the otherside of the line most of the time. ask them for their son and Iīll get in touch.
Canīt wait to cast my first fly in my own waters!
And for all the people of the Aruba Bonefish Club, Iīll do my best to make a nice report (in english with my dutch accent )
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  #23  
Old 12-19-2004, 10:07 AM
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ok, he's on the Island.
I am here now for like 4 days, been fishing and searching everyday. The first day I only went fishing in the afternoon, and when the sun set, there was activity. As my father likes fishing too, the old man was out htere with me, he's got no clue about fly-fishing, doesn't fish with a rod, most of the times when we are fishing we either send out some baitfish with a balloon or we troll ballyhoo's on a handline behind our sunfishes. If we catch something (most of the time it's barracuda) we take it home for diner.
So I came back home from the Netherlands and told my father I was going to search Warashi's (that's what bonefish are called here) and trie to hook one on a fly. He looked at me as if I was gone mad, the fish is not eatable, we never see them snorkeling and the only time we saw some was like 20 years ago when we used to drag around a net in the shoreline just for fun to see what's in it. In the meanwhile the area where we used to drag the net is built full with hotels

So we discussed some stuff and he decided to go with me like I was telling before. When there came some activity, we were trying to figure out what it was. Me and the internet, I learned a lot, my father and his wisdom and knowledge of the sea. So the discussion started, I was sure it was bonefish. I even got more sure when I saw a tail and a fin, and not much later I saw one back. But the sun was setting and it was getting dark. Too dark. so we went back home, Blank!
The next day I was at the same spot, early in the morning, when the sun was rising. Dad didn't join, he had to go to work. I am sure I spotted one or two bonefish again, but these fish are spooky and shy. Also they are roaming solitary, not in groups. Got home at 10, blanked again.

That afternoon when dad came home from work, offcourse the plan was to go out there again. But, as we still had the discussion, me swearing I've seen them, my dad who didn't believe it, we made a deal. If there was activity and I wouldn't manage too get anything, we would take out the old net (been lying in the closet for two decades) and see if we could close something in and determine wether it was bone or fish.

And again, as the sun started sinking behind the horizon, there was some activity going on. I changed flies like crazy, every 3 casts or so. Finally!!!!
At a sudden moment I felt something on the other end of my fly-line. I set the hook like I am used too, just as I do with roaches and other whitefish in the Netherlands...... I felt something on the otherside, it felt like some weed that is moving in the current. And all of a sudden... The water broke, my line cut through it and a big wave where the fish exploded. Very nice to see and a lot of power started to work on my rod. But inexperienced as I am (only been casting fly-lines for about a year now) and only used to whitefish in the fresh waters of the Lowlands.... I didn't here my drag, I looked at it and the line came out of the reel and made a nice loop around the fighting butt before going up towards the rod. The fish past by and trottled into second gear and before I realized what was going on the leader broke!!!
DAMN DAMN DAMN, could this have been a bonefish?

I was feeling shitty about it and my dad who didn't see this happening came up to the shoreline, maybe to suggest it was getting dark and it would be time to get the net out.
I asked for some little more time as there was some new activity coming up. My last clouser of that size and color, damn I lost the flie I only had two off...
Casting like crazy and searching for that strike. And just as you think you won't get nothing no more.....
Another of those bounces on the line, it feels like fishy and heavy, but no speed. And again all of a sudden the water tears apart. But this time I hear the beautifull rattling of my reel. I trie to break it with my hand, never had a fish taking out more then my fly line before... So a wise lesson, break it on the side, never put your fingers on top, because the handle hits quite hard. Adrenaline rushing through my body, I feel something connected to me by a fishingline and it's making the calm water into one chaotic puddle. I guess it took out quite a lot of backing untill I managed to stop it and start pulling the fish in. When I finally get to the fly line the fish feels like he's getting way to close to me and takes of all over again. And I repeat the ritual by trieing to break the speed and getting it back towards me.
Dad is cheering, big fun!
After a couple of minutes, it seemed like for ever, but it wasn't (I wish it could be). I finally landed my fish. Can anyone guess? It was my first ever, it was the goal I've been fishing for, for 2 days and it was something I almost had dreams about.
Here are the pictures and I see this post as an official apllication to become the first local member of the Aruba Bonefish Club.....


Hooked on, what will it be?


The fish, sorry for the eyes, I tend to close them for flashes


goodbye and farewell


ps. been here four days now, any other tips how to spot them, where to spot them, how to strip in the flie. Where at malmok are they, I saw 2 seperate ones but couldn't reach it close to shore in front of the wreck at malmok yesterday morning. Low or high tide?
pps. Bone, haven't heard from you yet, call me?
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  #24  
Old 12-19-2004, 10:52 AM
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Arubaman!

Welcome to the Aruba Bonefish Club!
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  #25  
Old 12-19-2004, 11:45 AM
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Hey Arubaman...

Now you've done it...you'll forever be hooked on the obsession of catching bonefish on the fly. Be aware that you are now comitted to venturing forth into the nether regions of our planet in search of screeming silver...you may one day be sorry for your enthusiasum. Congratulations on proving your pa pa wrong by catching your first bone. Whitefish and other species you catch at home will never hold quite the facination as bonefish for you now. You've done it and there's no turning back...Ah!!!...ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz z
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  #26  
Old 12-23-2004, 09:38 PM
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some more advise?

Ok folks, I am about to get a bit of clue's down here. I figured out the tide (with the help of a good website) and I spot an average of 2 or 3 bones tailing per day (2 fishing sessions of 2 or 3 hours). I still am not the best caster, so sometimes I spot a tailing bone and can just not get my fly in the neighbourhood.
Also after a week I managed to land one (see above) and had 3 other ones on the otherside of my line, but all three times the tippet broke. I am using Orvis tippet/leader material, 0X which should be up to 7kg. Is it a bad score for Aruba compared to what others have experienced?
I am now going out every earlie morning and in the evening, but I only spot the bones right after sunrise and just before or during sunset. This makes the effective time to try and catch something not more then 30-40 minutes a day. What are experiences and where during the day? When it's still dark or becoming dark I know they should be there, because when it's light they're not there and in the dawn or dusk I'll see them. So any recommendations on where to go or what to do if I want to have more luck during the day?
Anyway, the mystery is unraffling? I hope and maybe some day we'll know exactly what kind of tide for which spot and what time to go out there.
All suggestions will be taken seriously and I hope a lot of you react to help my perspective get better on the bones of my happy Island.
Ciao, Sander
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  #27  
Old 12-25-2004, 10:59 AM
arubaman arubaman is offline
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Merry Christmas everybody.
Mine is good, I am starting to figure out more and more about fishing on Aruba. Turns out there are bones everywhere. The only thing still difficult is to catch them ( DUH ) but I am getting to the good places. I don't see them that often, but I have eyecontact with them almost every day. Today for instance, bones tailing all over, but they just seem to spook much easier in the upcoming sunlight. Maybe they see me better and I think it's because of the long shadows you create. When the sun gets higher out I spotted three and later on one cruising and they don't seem so spooky as in the early rising sun. The only problem is when you see one coming towards you to get the presentation correct and in time, before he spots you.
Anyway, I managed to land my second bone this holiday. I now have landed 2 out of 5 bones which I got on the end of my line. The other three broke the tippet of.





So once again, best wishes and I'll keep posting my findings, at the end of my vacation I think I'll write an entire report on the sites I went to and what my experiences are.
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  #28  
Old 12-26-2004, 05:04 PM
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Talking

Thanks for the updates Arubaman!!

We'll be back in Aruba for almost 3 weeks in January and this time will come prepared to try our luck at these elusive little guys.

The place we stayed for the second half of our stay is right in front of the wreck and we'll be there the entire time this year (save for a 3 day side trip to Curacao), so it'll be easy access to at least one of their haunts.

Never caught one and honestly don't know much about trying for them ... but I'm gathering some info and piecing together some appropriate tackle for them.

Be fun to catch one or two, but I think I'll have fun just trying in 80+ degree weather and not standing waist deep in a half-frozen river

Will be looking forward to any info you can pass along
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  #29  
Old 12-26-2004, 09:54 PM
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As flyfishermen amongst each other I can guarantee you I'll let you know where to go, what to look for and what sites are hot in my experience.
I also figured out a tide tabel on the internet which could be worth of printing (it has prospects for about a year long) Some places are better with high or rising tide some places even not fishable at all with low tide.
So keep watching the forum, I'll keep in touch. For now, make enough flies, crazy charlies and clousers. Best ones I fished till now are with white and brown, white and black, white and olive shouyld be good for malmok I guess, with a little bit of flash in it. And the dark side must be the back/upper part of your flie, remember de hook stands up. 8wt rod, a lot of backing and some steel wire for accidental barracuda's.

One question in general I came up with today, can you fish for bones with a stealwire? today I lost 4 or 5 flies on Cuda's, then decided to put some wire on my tippet, but is it then still good for bones?

Bye for now.
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  #30  
Old 01-04-2005, 02:53 AM
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Aruba

Congratulations Arubaman!

I just came back home from your wonderfull island. Unfortunately i forgot to take your phonenumber to Aruba and couldn't find the TortugaInformationstand! However it was great again. I caught 4 Bones ( 3 on the small flat next to the Aruba Grand and 1 at the wreck). Best fishing was in the early morning or at sunset at Half moon, later on with a full moon the Tide was much higher, the winddirection changed, and fishing slowed down. Have you been fishing at the wreck( blue Columbia shirt?)

It was a fantastic vacation again and i look forward to be on Aruba next christmas!

bone
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