Lost my outboard end of last month..didn’t owe me anything,14 years and 2800 hrs, but middle of high season is the wrong time to hustle up a new outboard. Got it done with a little sticker shock, so cheapest guide in the Caribbean just changed his moniker..yup rates are going up! Hardest part was losing week of Charters ...hard to disappoint especially people who had been looking forward to fishing all winter.
Bonefish have been doing their winter thing, staying on the darker bottom in deeper water ...not technically sight fishing but almost always productive if you put the time in moving around. Tarpon on the beaches are still making a showing as are a few on bait in mangrove back bays.
Offshore has been crippled by weather. Our calm December and January has given way to the fierce trades of March. Schools of Cero and small Sierra available on certain tides in calm water, always fun on light Tackle. Looking forward to a month of big Bonefish as often happens this time of year..be checking back soon..enjoy the video with Bob Hirshe, Eric, Justin, Kathy, Bill and others....
....when the weather is good the fishing reflects the weather. January was great weather for a normally windy month and most of February so far has had good conditions. Most of the Bonefish caught this month have been on spin tackle in non wadable areas poling from my skiff in 2 to 5 feet of water. I just haven’t had a lot of Fly anglers but that changes next month with almost all fly trips booked for the next two months. Fish post hurricane are very transient and rarely stay in the same areas for very long requiring a lot of searching but to me the hunt is the “game”..
Offshore trips continue to produce mostly Kingfish (Sierra) and big ones! Plenty of “smokers” up to 40 lbs..Had a great bunch of anglers this month old and new and look forward to returnees and first timers coming up in March
Lots of sargasso weed has made trolling nearly impossible on the North Drops but when we can go clear lots of fish still around both Blackfin and Kings. When tides are right lots of medium Salma (mutton Snapper) in my Snapper holes great for eating and just making the rod bend...my continued research with ultra light spin and fresh water technologies has yielded incredible results on Bonefish and Jacks..we’ve come a long way
Kurt Hoepig and his Dad crushed fish on North Coast Beaches(pictures in the video) including a monster #25 Cubera Snapper. Kurt uses Musky techniques from the mid west and has got our fishery wired using his methods..More reports soon..check out the video...!
....Great talent in Drew Shane from the West Coast and Abbie Shuster and Justin Painter of Kismet Outfitters, Martha’s Vinyard, East Coast ....These folks made my job super easy. Bones were scarse but Tarpon of all sizes in clean water made for some memorable takes.
Fishing for the Dinghy Dock with my partner Max one to two days a week or when schedule allows. Last trip we ran out of ice in 2 1/2 hrs with a mix of 12 Blackfin and Yellowfin Tuna, several king Mackerel or Sierra and assorted Bonito, Ceros and others. In the current video is a shot of our friend Aldo with one of the largest Rainbow Runners I’ve seen in these waters.
I was Santa at our local Colmado “Milkas” Christmas Eve. Thank you Hector and family for your generosity to the community of Culebra. Feliz Navidad a Todo....
....Have had a few good days sight fishing for Tarpon, mostly small 10 to 30 lbs around bait balls all fly fishing so far but light Tackle opportunity’s are countless if anyone wants to go that way. Good numbers of fish over a fairly large area...Most if not all of my Bone fishers have caught at least one fish a morning with multiple shots when conditions are right. Stocks are way down and will probably take years to recover if ever. We are not catching a lot but the most are big. Had shots at two different double digits last week both totally ignored us..Enjoy the video!
....Bonefish populations on Culebra took a hit from Maria. We have been catching fish this fall but having to work a bit in out of the way places. The main flat on the West end of the
island is full of sharks and big Barracuda and the few fish left are spooky and gun shy. Bigger populations have showed up in other places but are constantly moving around making it tough to get dialed in.
The good news is there are massive bait balls around and Tarpon and other fish making for some epic fly fishing when conditions are right. Hopefully this will hold up for a few months. Videos and more reports soon....
...A good month of Bone fishing ...all my clients caught fish which is normal for March fishing. Some caught just one others caught as many as five in one day depending on angler skill levels, weather, and of course luck. Barracudas and Ospreys joined in but nobody told them this was a catch and release fishery. There are two Ospreys wintering in Culebra and they are having a very successful winter killing Macaco.
The flats have changed here since the hurricanes dramatically. Some of the flats I have fished successfully in years past have silted over and are now barren desserts. The biggest casualty of the storms has been the turtle and manatee grasses which provide refuge for most of the creatures that Bone fish feed on...No food, no fish unfortunately. Other flats have fish where it used to be hard to find any...never boring because things are constantly changing when you work on the water and see it everyday..See you in April
.. just cleaning out the video drawer..Feb.14 2018
Things are back to normal, typical winter trades are blowing 25kts everyday putting a slow down to our Offshore fishery for the time being . When we can get out the fishing for Blackfin Tuna, King Mackerel, Wahoo and Mahi has been as good as I can ever remember. Inshore the Bonefishing has started to pick up when the weather cooperates with some anglers releasing as many as five fish a morning. Recent anglers include Luis Galarza, Ponchollo Carbonel and Fernando Monllor , all catching Bones up to 7llbs. The video this month is one I took of Fernando presenting, fighting and releasing a Bonefish in a maze of rocks and coral. This had to be one of the most epic battles on the flats of Culebra I have ever witnessed. His line was snagged countless times on Coral heads yet with incredible agility one of Puerto Rico’s finest anglers managed to run through a minefield and save and safely release his fish.
Busy this month but lots of open days in March. Get out of the cold and and come throw some line!
...2018 starts tomorrow and my Offshore partner Max made a solo recon to the North and in just about two hours ran out of ice filling the box and putting fish on deck. Big Blackfin Tuna, medium Kings (Sierra) and a 50# Peto or Wahoo. On the flats I have made just one trip a few weeks ago and have been waiting on parts ever since for my Etec. I saw a fair number of Bones and a few Permit. I will be up and running again in just a few days.
I am offering packages this season to help our tourism to get back up and running here in Culebra. Casa Romero is right in town on the water. 2 bedrooms, bathroom full kitchen and decks. $900 includes 3 nights stay and 2 and1/2days guided fishing for up to 2 people. 3 people can stay in the apartment
...A few nicer Bone fish this month and generally a good spring despite the recent down turn of fish population on the East End..
A request to those who fish here on your own..enjoy yourself but please respect the resource and fish barbless. I keep hearing stories about so and so hooked and broke off this many fish...If you are breaking that many off you are making some basic mistakes, not my problem but something you need advice about obviously..regardless , with a barbless hook a Bone fish can rid himself of the hook far more easily when he rubs his jaw on the bottom to get rid of the hook. Just stay tight during the fight and you will never drop the fish.
While fishing here and you witness a gill netting incident on the flats report it just for the record. Nobody will do anything about it but the more complaints the more likelyhood of something being done down the road. Don't interfere yourself there are some bad dudes out there.
Enjoy the resources that this wonderful Island has to offer. If you need assistance to make your fishing experience more enjoyable during your visit feel free to email me. Don't call or text thank you...
....Always my favorite month as fish start to move around on to flats they avoid during cold January Water and short days...Nothing really big being caught but some solid 4 and 5 lb fish with some cast to double digits but no takes. Chris Jensen, MIchael Wightman, Dorian Crouch all had either first or second Bonefish. Veteran Eric Asnis caught multiples.
Luis Galarza came to Culebra with Tarpon guide Pochy Rosario and Luis scored his first release on a really big Bonefish that looked to be about 8lbs that he caught on his own. Had the pleasure of fishing the second day with both gentlemen and we all had a nice non stressful day of fishing and great company. No open days left this season as we ride it out towards Samana Santa
....March is always the first of the good Bone fishing and they are back like clock work. Most of the bigger fish this Island was famous for for so many years are scarce now but being replaced by decent schools of 2 lb fish. One Bay I used to fish 20 years ago but not much since is home to several big schools of these smaller fish. My client today went 2 for 5 hook ups for the morning and had never Bone fished before. Weather has become an issue and a lot of the places I would like to fish now I can't always get to or at least work.
Haven't been offshore in at least 10 days and will have to cancel offshore bookings this week. Barracuda and Yellowtail have been providing the inshore light tackle anglers with some bondage. Wind lets up it will be lights out! Saludos
...I have had a lot of anglers and wanted to thank and congratulate them on their mostly successes and some failures ..regardless it has been rewarding and interesting as always and at least I had fun!
Darren Laughlin had two thirds of a slam missing out by a hook spit Tarpon to almost complete it. Bob Hirche was back with me again to catch a Bone fish as well as Jack Erler, my client for 20 years, releasing his fly caught Bone..the list goes on..Block Island Jamie with some giant Kings and edible Black fins...and the best fly fishers in PR, the Ponce Posse, released good numbers on the flats as usual..Congrats to all. No body has enjoyed it more than me!
...Looking back at old logs...10 years ago today one of my better fly anglers released 7 bone fish on a morning tide. Fish ranged from 3 lbs to about 8 lbs (27" fork length). We were poling in 2 to 3 foot of water on the flats of Las Pelas on the East end of Culebra. This was not all that uncommon 10 to 15 years ago although 2 releases was considered a good morning.
Those days are gone forever on the East End where there are now just a scattering of Bone fish left. Chinchorros and habitat degradation have contributed to the demise of what was at one time considered to be one of the great fisheries of the Caribbean basin.
We enjoyed a good January of catching Bones on the Western end of the island both on fly and conventional gear. Light tackle anglers are having great days when tide and weather cooperate. Good offshore fishing continues with some Blackfin Tuna finally making a good showing. Weather is the key as always....
...The offshore fishing around our Island continues to be some of the best we have witnessed in years. Poor showings of Tuna but world class Sierra(king Mackerel) catching with most fish averaging 10 to 20lbs and plenty bigger up to 35lbs. Mixed in is the occasional Wahoo, sailfish and Mahi. Both fish and humans are eating well this season.
Continue to see a poor showing of Bonefish except on the popular well publicized flat where individual fish have names and behave like trick dogs with no manners. Regardless my anglers have with a lot of work been able to score on a regular basis in the lesser popular areas when conditions are right. Granted I have had some excellent anglers this season which always makes my job easier.
Inshore light tackle fishing has been steady. Lots of Jacks, Cero Mackerel . March is pretty well booked up with only a few open days but I still have some time in February to fish when you are ready..Call or email DON'T TEXT...