In this month's Traveling Angler, we ask the experts.
October 24, 2013
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Larry Dahlberg (star of Larry Dahlberg’s Hunt for Big Fish and famed lure designer)
Diego Garcia. Why? “Giant trevally, bonefish, tuna, blue marlin and sailfish. Strategically, this Indian Ocean island is one of the best places on Earth and hasn’t been touched for 50 years or more due to its importance as a military installation. If I weren’t so old, I’d enlist to get myself stationed there!”
Julien Lajournade (editor in chief of the fabulous French fishing-travel magazine, Voyages de Pêche)
the coast of Kerry County in southwest Ireland or in Wexford on Ireland’s southeast coast. Why? “For European sea bass. In early October, the last three days before the biggest tides would be perfect. I’d fish from shore with surface and subsurface lures hoping for a 12-pounder.”
Dave Lewis (global fishing outfitter at davelewisfishing.com and SF contributor)
Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. Why? “September/October is prime tarpon season, with the action just a 10-minute run from Rio Indio Lodge. Snook, rainbow bass (guapote) and other species that prowl jungle rivers add variety.”
George Large (general manager of Yo-Zuri America)
Venice, Louisiana. Why? “I prefer to fish lures versus bait, casting rather than trolling. Venice at that time of year offers giant redfish in standing grass and over oyster bars, providing heart-stopping blow-ups!”
Montauk: Bass Blitz – “You Could Walk on their Backs!”
The Montauk blitz should be on — as it was last fall. Last October, Northeast fly- and light-tackle enthusiast Dave Bard of Long Branch, New Jersey, fished Montauk with Capt. John McMurray (nycflyfishing.com). “Holy cow!” Bard says of the experience. “It was epic! I’ve never seen anything like it before. The guides I talked to agreed that it was as good as it gets — off the charts. We saw bass blitzes like I’ve only read about.” Bard cites McMurray dipping up (and releasing) three bass — nearly 3-footers — at once in his landing net (which broke it). “They were so thick, you could have walked on their backs!”
Turks and Caicos: New Full-Service Marina
The Turks and Caicos has a new marina. As of June, the Blue Haven Marina is up and running, on the leeward side (northeastern tip) of Providenciales. The marina can accommodate boats to 22 feet with no beam limitations. Guests can take advantage of a 34-condominium facility, and those moored here will find free Wi-Fi, showers, work stations and more. For information, visit bluehaventci.com.
Virginia: September Is for Billfish Lovers
That’s been especially true in fall. “We’re having another great billfish season off Virginia,” wrote Ken Neill, an IGFA rep, fishing fanatic and state–resident angler, in an email last September. “In addition to the white marlin and blue marlin bite, we’ve had good numbers of sailfish — I believe this is our second-best year for sails since we’ve been keeping records.” And that meant more grand-slam catches as well; Neill says on a good day, several boats would report grand slams. Add a swordfish and make it a royal (slam): Last fall also produced some of the best broadbill action anglers had seen, including a new state-record fish weighing 446 pounds. “September is a fantastic billfish month off Virginia,” Neill says. “Get out there if you can!”
Puerto Rico: Massive Lagoon-Cleanup Effort, Part Two
A second Mega Limpieza (mega cleanup) is scheduled for Oct. 26 in the tarpon-and-snook-filled estuarial lagoons around San Juan. In the first event, sparked by a Sport Fishing editorial and held this past spring, hundreds of concerned citizens collected nearly 15 tons of junk. Organizer Israel Umpierre, who oversaw the first effort, points out that his group — Pesca, Playa y Ambiente (find them on Facebook) — is now a nonprofit organization working closely with the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. For more information or to volunteer, email email@example.com. (The group lacks funds to set up a website so far, but is looking for sponsors.) “We are working hard to make sure the sport-fishing -community continues to recognize Puerto Rico as one of the world’s top destinations,” Umpierre says.
Azores: Ubiquitous Blues
If the action for big blues in the Azores this September matches that of last fall, you won’t hear Les Ghallagher with Brasilia Fishing Charters complain. He cites Sept. 4, 2012, when seven boats reported 51 marlin strikes and released 26 fish. Estimated weights ran from 250 to 800 pounds. For more -information, visit azores-fishing.com.
Samoa: Mahi En Masse and More
“With just two charter boats and so much water to explore, the opportunities are endless!” So trumpets Australian -videographer/fishing personality and SF contributor Al McGlashan (almcglashan.com) when telling the IR about his recent trip to the Pacific island nation of Samoa. McGlashan and fishing pals rented a private home in a small village. He cites mahi of 20 to 40 pounds so abundant that “at times we tried to get away from them.” Wahoo and yellowfin also proved thick, with plenty of marlin but mostly smaller fish. Besides the wide-open action, McGlashan cites Samoa for being safe, clean and friendly. “It’s one of the few Pacific islands that’s always been politically stable, and best of all, it’s not overrun with overpriced resorts.” Also, he says, the beer is great and it’s cheap. What more could a guy ask? Some useful websites: fishsamoa.com, samoa.traveland fishinggetaways.com.au.
Puerto Rico: Junior Angler Scores Triple Grand Slam
In what Capt. Juan Carlos Torruella calls a first for the San Juan estuary system in Puerto Rico, 13-year-old Danny Riddle of Tomball, Texas, recently caught a triple inshore grand slam. Fishing La Torrecilla Lagoon with his aunt, Jill Pagels, on the Extremist skippered by Torruella, he caught five tarpon, three snook and three bonefish to score the first triple slam ever here. Torruella, an IGFA representative, says the catches will be submitted for the IGFA’s Grand Slam Club.
Oman: Friendly Folk, Belligerent Trevally
If you’re into the form of self-flagellation known as giant trevally fishing, Oman remains a top spot in the world to get a hurtin’ for certain from fish well over the 100-pound mark. No Boundaries Oman fishes pristine islands just off the coast. Of course there are many other species of game fish as well and, like GT, most will hit poppers with nerve-shattering -explosive force. The optimal season (September through April) is just starting. Oman, says No Boundaries’ Ed Nicholas, is an amazingly safe and friendly place to visit. The operation also offers the Middle East’s first tag-and-release program for GT, hoping to improve knowledge of the species and its conservation. During the 2011-12 season, more than 300 GT were tagged, most of them at least 65 pounds. For more -information, visit noboundariesoman.com.