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Stephen Mull
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you had the choice of any tropical saltwater flats fishing destination, where would you go purely based on fishing opportunity? I'm looking to plan a trip to fish for bones, permit, tarpon, and snook and want help with thoughts from others' travels. My list right now includes the following: belize, ascension bay, roatan, los roques, bahamas, etc. I know the Keys are a great option too, but I don't think they're an option for this trip. Any thoughts on those or other destinations are appreciated.

-Stephen
 

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how about all of the above! I think it depends on the time of year and the species you want to target. Belize is great for Permit, perhaps no better place. You find bones there too and baby tarpon. You can also find in shore areas for snook. Probably the best for all of the species. Andros Island Bahamas would be a good spot for frequent shots at larger bone fish.
 

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first, which species is MOST important to'yah? second, just how experienced are you with this type of fishing? (lots of patience, one or two big fish/day is ok.....) third, pick your poison.
 

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I've done short 2 day excursions in Belize and Ascension Bay and had more opportunities in Ascension Bay but as you hear every day is different. Have also fished the Tampa Bay and the Keys for Redfish and it was more challenging. I would next want to try a week somewhere and have always wanted to go to Christmas Island, but would also look at the Bahamas, or return to Ascension Bay again.
 

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bahamas will provide shots at a few bones, some of epic proportions, but it will be tough, monotonous with rewards few and hard earned. xmass island (you might want to check the thread on this one) will provide, literally, hundreds of shots at bones every day. if you catch on to spotting these fish, you can hire your own guide and truck, for not very much money, and take on the lee side. IGFA sized bones and trevally inhabit this reef along with monster sized gray reef sharks. challenging hunting with some rewarding fish. trouble with belize is the wind. if its up you can blow an entire week without a chance to sight fish, or it could be perfect and you hook up on every cast, a crap shoot. have never fished ascension but have heard from friends about baby tarpon, permit and small bones all in the same day. the keys are still a great place for sight fishing tarpon but it is crowded and lots less appealing than it was 20 or 30 years ago. however, if you have not done this one, i wouldn't take it off of your list, late may-early june. you can also combine this with a flight over to the bahamas for a twofer. i have done this a couple of times and it was easy and broke up the trip quite nicely.

have fun whatever you choose. for me, i will be returning to the osa pennisula of CR. off shore for bills, inshore for snook and roosters. fantastic people and locale combined with knowledgable skippers stirred with wonderful local beer and rum........
 

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I'm about to head to the Bahamas for the 7th time in 4 years. I'll let the fact that I keep going back speak for itself. You can find all your desired species there, and you can find them in jumbo sizes.

I know you didn't mention anything about cost, however, it's hard to ignore how cheap a Bahamas trip can be in comparison to some of the other destinations listed. You can fly to Nassau from Seattle for under 500$ usually. I've found that day of guided bonefishing can cost as little as 150$. Tough to beat that.
 

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Stephen Mull
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks a lot guys. Some great thoughts here. I wanted to leave it pretty open, but I'll add a bit more context. Permit and bones are my main target, and size is more important than numbers. Getting shot(s) at 10+lbs bonefish or 20+lbs permit would be much appreciated. I also love the diversity that somewhere like the Seychelles offers. Florida has been ruled out, because I'll be going with someone who's only somewhat into fishing and is more interested in going to experience other cultures. I'll be making a seperate FL trip in 2010, so don't be too upset ;).

How do the bonefish and permit of A-bay compare size wise to say the Bahamas or Keys?

I'm surprised no one mentioned Honduras or Venezuela. Anyone with experience in these countries? I've read good stuff, but I haven't heard anything first hand.

Thanks again, guys.
 

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Fished Honduras (Roatan) a couple years ago. Had shots at several Permit, but they weren't eating - at least not my crab offering. They swam right over the top of my fly on 4 consecutive casts and barely looked at it! Frustrating - but exhilarating! Bones are larger than in Ascension though. The flats are not nearly as extensive either, and I didn't see any tarpon while there, although they do exist.
Ascension had a lot more bones than Roatan, although somewhat smaller. Also lost two tarpon, each on about the 5th jump. I'll be there again in January to try again.
Fished Eleuthera (Bahamas) and found lots of bones, mostly 2-3 lbs., but some 4 to about 7 lbs. too. Beautiful white sand flats stand out in my memory relative to the other two destinations I've fished the flats.
Have fun wherever you go!
 

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bahamas will provide shots at a few bones, some of epic proportions, but it will be tough, monotonous with rewards few and hard earned. xmass island (you might want to check the thread on this one) will provide, literally, hundreds of shots at bones every day. if you catch on to spotting these fish, you can hire your own guide and truck, for not very much money, and take on the lee side. IGFA sized bones and trevally inhabit this reef along with monster sized gray reef sharks. challenging hunting with some rewarding fish. trouble with belize is the wind. if its up you can blow an entire week without a chance to sight fish, or it could be perfect and you hook up on every cast, a crap shoot. have never fished ascension but have heard from friends about baby tarpon, permit and small bones all in the same day. the keys are still a great place for sight fishing tarpon but it is crowded and lots less appealing than it was 20 or 30 years ago. however, if you have not done this one, i wouldn't take it off of your list, late may-early june. you can also combine this with a flight over to the bahamas for a twofer. i have done this a couple of times and it was easy and broke up the trip quite nicely.

have fun whatever you choose. for me, i will be returning to the osa pennisula of CR. off shore for bills, inshore for snook and roosters. fantastic people and locale combined with knowledgable skippers stirred with wonderful local beer and rum........
This topic is almost as tasty and every bit as regular in it's timing as the arrival of seasonal holiday ales. Love it.

When you get down to the Keys/Bahamas don't forget to throw in the Everglades for Snook/Tarpon/Reds and amazing scenery. Largest mangrove forest in the world, everyone should experience it while it's still there.

JR
 
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