Fishing

Los Roques is bonefishing Paradise
The weather and the lack of crowds make this destination among the best bonefishing waters in the world

 

El Parque Nacional Archipelago Los Roques is bonefishing paradise. The weather, the local people, and the lack of crowds make this national park among the best bonefishing destinations in the world. Experienced anglers can usually land and release ten or more bonefish in a single day. Most Los Roques bonefish, or “pez ratón” as the locals call them, average three to six pounds, although anglers can expect shots at larger fish in the double-digit range! The majority of the flats in the archipelago have hard bottoms, which make the area perfect for wading; much of the fishing in these areas is done on foot. Since many of the areas in the archipelago are either closed or carefully regulated as part of the national park, many of the area flats rarely see fishermen or flies. Each day on Los Roques you will have the option of fishing a variety of different areas. You can choose to wade the large ―classic-style‖ bonefish flats, the area‘s famous pancake flats, or miles of white sand beaches, where large bonefish coral schools of minnows and baitfish, eating with a reckless abandon seldom associated with bonefish!

 

Los Roques is truly a year round fishery. Lying the furthest south of any Caribbean destination, the island group is unaffected by the hurricanes which blow between August and October, curtailing the season further north. A great attraction of Los Roques is that the flats provide a wealth of opportunity for wading and stalking bonefish, the ultimate challenge in clear water. Nursery tarpon are ever present in the many channels and in the shadows of the mangrove roots systems which offer protection from larger predators. The larger fish tend to be taken in deeper water, primarily in the cooler months of the year between October and March. Permit are increasingly caught on the flats and protection of the marine ecosystem leads to an increase in the numbers of fish landed. Here there is a real chance of landing a grand slam in every month.

 

With good numbers of bonefish found and a wide range of other species to go for, with firm sandy flats on which wading is positively encouraged, coupled with the ability to fish here in every month of the year, Los Roques is a fishery that should be considered by any and every saltwater angler.

 

The waters over the surrounding coral gardens are crystal clear, providing fantastic snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities.

 

Los Roques is not only a fishery but also is home to several PADI certified dive shops, which can arrange superb diving for both the beginner and the expert. Several wreck dives and a wonderful array of coral reefs offer a wonderfully colourful diving experience that has to be seen to be believed. Snorkelling is also excellent and the family friendly beaches are clean and unspoilt, offering a day of undiluted relaxation. First and foremost a destination for the serious saltwater angler, it also offers non fishing guests the chance for a fantastic holiday in great comfort.

 

BONEFISH
Albula Vulpes
also called, phantom, silver ghost
Occurs worldwide in shallow tropical and subtropical waters around flats and intertidal areas. Bonefish are basically schooling fish. The smaller ones can be seen in large schools on the flats. The larger ones tend to form smaller schools or groups. They feed on crabs, shrimp, clams, sea worms, sea urchins, and small fish that inhabit the sandy flats and intertidal areas. They are often seen rooting in the sand, their tails breaking the surface of the shallow water; an action commonly known as “trailing”. At other times they will plough the bottom stirring up silt and marl, known as “mudding”. They are powerful and run very fast and hard when hooked. Fishing methods include plug, fly or spin casting from a skiff or while wading on tidal flats, using shrimp, crabs or similar baits.

 

TARPON
Megalops atlanticus
also called silver king
Occurs in warm temperate tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean. This coastal fish can be found both inshore and offshore.
The body is compressed and covered with very large scales. The back is greenish or bluish varying in darkness from silvery to almost black. The sides and belly are brilliant silver. Inland, brackish water tarpons frequently have a golden or brownish color because of tannic acid.
Fishing methods are still fishing with live mullet, pinfish, crabs, shrimp, etc., or casting or trolling with spoons, plugs, or other artificial lures.

 

PERMIT
Trachinotus falcatus
also called round pompano, great pompano

Occurs in the western Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts, USA to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the West Indies. The greatest concentrations are off south Florida and it is there that the biggest specimens are taken. Permit are essentially shallow water, schooling fish occurring over sandy flats and reefs
In overall appearance it is a silvery fish with dusky fins, though the back is usually bluish or grayish. The ventral fins and the anterior margin of the anal fin may be orange in some specimens. Often there is a triangular yellow patch before the anal fin.
It is a tough fighter on light tackle.Fishing methods include casting to fish sighted in shallow water, bottom fishing, fishing over inshore wrecks, and jigging from boats or while wading. Baits and lures include crabs, shrimp, streamer flies, bonefish jigs, weighted bucktails, and plugs.

 

BARRACUDA
Sphyraena barracuda
also called cuda
Occurs in all tropical seas except the East Pacific. Found offshore and inshore around reefs, piers, wrecks, sandy and grassy flats, and wherever smaller fish congregate.
Fishing methods include trolling with plugs, spoons, and prepared baits; live bait fishing with small fishes; casting and retrieving live and strip baits as well as plugs and spoons. The cast should not land too near the barracuda, but should be retrieved past it at a fast, erratic speed.

 

JACK, HORSE-EYE
Caranx latus
also called goggle eye
Occurs throughout the Atlantic Ocean; New Jersey on the U.S. coast to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, including Bermuda, the Bahamas and West Indies in the western Atlantic and off the coast of Africa in the eastern Atlantic.
It occurs in small schools around off shore islands and reefs, deep bluewater holes, channels adjacent to flats, and in shore along sandy beaches. It is also known in brackish water and, occasionally, in freshwater coastal rivers and streams.
It feeds primarily on fish, but also on shrimp, crabs, and other invertebrates. It is a good light tackle game fish that can be taken with live baits such as mullet, pinfish, or other small fishes, as well as with plugs, jigs, spoons and flies. Lures should be retrieved at a fast pace without slowing or stopping.

 

BONITO, ATLANTIC
Sarda sarda
also called common bonito
Occurs in tropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic Ocean from Argentina to Nova Scotia and from South Africa to Norway. The back is steel blue or blue green. The lower flanks and belly are silvery.
This species is pelagic, schooling and migratory and feeds on smaller fishes and squids usually at or near the surface 15 20 miles offshore. A strong, fast swimmer, it is known to skip or leap on the surface when in pursuit of prey. Best fishing methods include trolling at or near the surface, casting, jigging, or live bait fishing. Baits include small pelagic schooling fishes and squid as well as cut fish, strip baits, or any of a variety of artificial lures.

 

MACKEREL, CERO
Scomberomorus regalis
also called cero, sierra, pintada

While known from New England to Brazil, cero are primarily fish of the tropical and sub tropical reefs. They are common throughout the Florida Keys, West Indies, and Cuba. It is the most common Scomberomorus species in the West Indies.
Fishing methods are identical for cero and Spanish mackerel. As with any mackerel fishing, fast trolling while looking for baitfish is a good way to find ceros. Common lures include small silver spoons and white jigs. They also hit surface swimming plugs, chuggers, and shallow running plugs. They have sharp teeth so a wire leader is essential.

 

TUNA, BLACKFIN
Thunnus atlanticus
also called blackfinned albacore
Occurs in tropical and warm temperate waters of the western Atlantic Ocean including the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.
This is a pelagic, schooling fish that generally feeds near the surface. Its diet consists of small fishes, squid, crustaceans, and plankton. An excellent light tackle species, it can be taken by trolling or casting small baits or lures, including ballyhoo, mullet and other small fishes as well as strip baits, spoons, feathers, jigs, or plugs; or by live bait fishing from boats at the surface of deep waters one to two miles offshore.

 

WAHOO
Acanthocybium solandri
also called oahu fish, Pacific kingfish
Worldwide in tropical and warm temperate seas. Pelagic and seasonally migratory. There are indications of seasonal concentrations off the Pacific coasts of Panama, Costa Rica and Baja California
The back is a brilliant, deep, blue sometimes described as metallic or electric blue. Bright blue vertical bands, or “tiger stripes”, flow down the sides onto the silver and sometimes join into pairs on the belly.
It is reputed to be one of the fastest fish in the sea, attaining speeds of 50 mph (80 km) and more. Fishing methods include trolling with whole, rigged baits as well as with strip baits or artificial lures