There are many reasons to come to Los Roques! But for some reason I can remember only one. And that reason has fins.
Los Roques is full of fish. Some say it is the world best destination for bonefish. This could be true and maybe it is. First, you have the potential for big fish. All fish are good there and even the small ones are big compared to other destinations, averaging 4-5 pounds. A fish bigger than 4 pound is more likely than a fish below. But there are many fish in the high one digit pound range and regular fish in the two digit range. Second, you can target bonefish in the most interesting way with the fly. There are tailing bones on every flat, there are many shallow flats that the fish love to push on at high tides and they feed aggressively. Third, the variety of bonefish terrain, and all wade fishing. You have the muddy flats, sand flats, turtle grass flats, coral flats and pancake flats and almost everything in between that makes bone fishing diverse. And since you are wading you are very much independent on the wind and sun position. You can always position you for the perfect cast. Very often even with a mangrove belt blocking the wind.
Los Roques is a coral atoll with a hundreds of islands in sizes from 1 yard to 1 mile and even bigger. Some flats measure many miles in length and some hundred meters in width. You have to come here to see that. Some ankle deep, some knee deep and some waist deep. The depth of the flat is the key to your desired fish. Till knee-deep waters you can have a fantastic bonefish fishery and everything deeper than that opens up the possibilities of doing targeted fishing for permit, tarpon or trigger fish to mention only the most prominent ones. And the best of all, there are spots where you get everything one one spot. 10 yards left you see tailing bones while 10 yards to the right you have excellent opportunities for permit or triggers.
There is no prime season on Los Roques. You can fish here all year around but the characteristics are changing. The summer seasons starting with April have much lower tides with less water on the flats. The bones love this conditions and you will love it even more when your main target are the bones. The winter season starting with October offer a complete diverse fishery compared to the summer fishing. There is a much more water on the flats allowing also the bigger fish to feed on the typically shallow flats, now having high tide all day long, 2-3 feet of water. In addition there will be billions of small minnows everywhere which attracts all kind of bigger species. This is the prime season for tarpon, horse-eye jacks, little tunas and many more.
|Bonefish||Good all year around||April through June when water levels are low|
|Permit||All year around||November and December when water levels are higher on the pancake flats|
|Tarpon||All year around for baby tarpon||November and December when minnows are coming into the lagoons|
|Lemon shark||All year around||November and December similar to permit|
|Triggerfish||All year around||November and December similar to permit|
|Horse-eye Jack||Partially good during the year||November and December is best with lots of minnows|
There are many possibilities to fish on your own on Los Roques. But almost none of the locations don’t offer superb fishing. Please don’t get me wrong, you have no problem to catch 10 or maybe even 20 bones a day on some islands that are accessible without a guide but the fishery is very much limited to the typical and very much promoted gummy minnow fishery. First they have limited flat area where you can find tailing bones and second they are very much over fished with fish spooky as hell. Islands such as Madrizqui, Francsiqui, Espenqui or Crasqui might attract you if you want to fish on your own. Madrizqui and Francsiqui offer the best possibilities for a sight cast bonefish fishery.
A typical day on the flats
If you decide to fish with a guide, I strongly recommend, a typical fishing day looks as the following. The fishing starts roughly at 8 in the morning and ends usually 8-9 hours later. When fishing with a guide there is always a captain included who steers the boat and pick up you and the guide once you have fished a flat from one side to the other. This is a big adventure and saves a lot of time. Since Los Roques is very big you have to choose destinations wisely. Riding from one side of the archipelago to the other you have to count with at least an hour. Just agree with your guide up-front the species you want to fish and your guide will select the locations for you. The boats you are riding out are outboard powered panga boats that offer more or less good comfort. Your posada will support you with a daily lunch package and beverages.
One more word to guided fishing. Gran Roque, the main island on Los Roques, is not very big but it offers home for currently 23 guides. That’s a lot for a town that is 500 yards long. What I want to say is that you don’t have to search long for finding a guide. Although there are disproportionately many guides available not all of them are prime. I was fishing with two of them during my monthly stay and a guide that I can recommend with quiet conscience is Javier VALERIO. He is really a crazy chap but he has the correct attitude to the fishing and to his profession. I really really liked him as a friend and as a guide. He always aims for having a successful day and hardly you will have days not catching the fish out of the thousands.
To be continued with some nice fishies.