And lastly, let us say that I don't actually manage to catch anything out of Dunedin Harbour, and that Sunshine Beach merely gives me sunshine, then where in the world (literally please) would you suggest I try next? Gary - you don't have to answer this since you have already done so, although you may want to change location given the following criteria: I'm looking for somewhere with large fish (or at least fish) that are easily seen, it's got to be warm, sunny, fishable from the shore (for starters), cheap and above all else, a place where there are lots of beautiful women (Cathy: is Barry allowed to answer this?) :-). and is there such a place?
Bruce: The best days of big fish sight fishing on foot, no boat, I've ever had were right here in Michigan, and I've fished a lot of places. Shallow, clear water, bright sunny warm June days, drive your car and park within site of the fish. On two occasions I've caught over 400 lb. of fish in a day, avg. weight ~25 lbs.(up to 40! lbs.). All on a 7 or 8 wt. and size 4 and 6 flies. The fish were carp, in Lake Michigan. The fishing is solitary, no one else around, beautiful setting, if I sent pictures you'd swear they were of a bonefish flat in the Bahamas or Belize. Big, beautifully conditioned, strong fish.
To be honest, I'd rather be fishing for bonefish/permit, etc. on a tropical flat in the Bahamas or Belize or somewhere, but this carp fishing is spectacular, and doesn't require the use of any vacation time or much money.
By the way, the best way to catch fish anywhere is to enlist some local expert help, but I'm sure you know that........
Tom: For your angling Valhalla, the Florida Keys fit the description. Marathon has cheap lodging and there are places to camp. MTV films in the summer and there are girls all over. Costa Rica, Mal Pais might work for you. Little Cayman, Grand Cayman, tons of places in the Bahamas, and maybe Baja might also work. If you find the angling nirvana that you described, please let me know, I might also want to go...but I will take my wife.
Brad: Well, that depends. It depends on what you want to fish for, and what you are looking to catch. Personally, I think that we could get into some nice Bones, Red Fish, Permit, and maybe even a Tarpon or two if you want to meet me in Florida next month! All in all, I think that for most of the species that you are looking for, Florida is hard to beat. You can catch everything that swims down there, and generally you can stay pretty cheep. The keys produce some of the biggest saltwater fish in the world, so that is the place to head if you are interested in size. I would go to Key West, Marathon, or Islamorada.
I also like the gulf coast and have caught everything that swims up near Sarasota and Tampa. This tends to have excellent Snook, Spanish Mackerel, Sea Trout (Spotted), and Red Fish. If you are looking for bones and very concerned with numbers, my money is on the Bahamas, they have more bones than anywhere, but they are smaller. Still it is one hell of a lot of fun. For big toothy critters, the kind that I really like, Barracuda can be had by the dozen in Saint Croix and Saint Thomas. For my money, this is some of the best Cudda action that I have ever had the pleasure to fish. Happy hunting!
And beautifully timed, as I am about to make this live, Barry gives me some sound advice :-)
Paul, Good to hear from you. Here goes: Our leader length depends on the environment and the species of fish that we're fishing for. For us, the fewer knots the better. For bonefish and permit (spooky fish) we generally use a 10 to 12 foot tapered leader, but for species like tarpon, barracuda, jacks, and even striped bass, a 9 foot leader works fine. A big fish place in the sun with beautiful women? (This is me, Barry, talking). Dream on!
The Yucatan coast of Mexico (I think we talked about this before) has plenty of cheap places to stay, there are some wadeable flats and shorelines that can be fished. Yucatan during the fall season has some big snook as well as an occasional tarpon. Bonefish and permit are always there. And we wouldn't want to overlook some great jack crevalle opportunities. Our largest so far is 27 pounds caught in the surf below Boca Paila. We're out of here for a month. Home the end of March. We'll talk again then. Barry
So Mexico it is then...