Tackle and Tactics
Rob's wonderful fishing in Tobago.
My e-pal Rob has been holidaying in Tobago for years and he loves the shore fishing over there just as much as I do myself. Not long ago he sent me the following account of his two most recent experiences early in 2015 and again in 2016. I've edited it a little to avoid crying into my keyboard at thought of the fish Rob caught - anyway you can look at the pictures. I can only hope that it is half as good if I manage another trip over there myself :-
Back from yet another amazing holiday in Tobago. I am sorry that I've never had a chance to get back to you with a report about our trip in 2015, so I decided to write about it alongside the account of our latest visit to show how different or similar fishing can be for certain species around the island right about the same time a year apart.
Bonefish 2015: The fishing was absolutely fantastic for the bones, surely the best so far, the biggest one I managed to land after a fierce, heart-stopping battle was a monster. After hammering my lure it made an insanely powerful initial run towards the open sea ,ripping 100 meters of line off the spool at sizzling speed in literally 10 seconds ... I guess I am the luckiest fisherman on earth(fish of a lifetime number 1). What makes the whole thing a bit more special for me is the fact that I caught this beauty on a rod I had built for myself just before the trip. I'd designed it specifically for my flats fishing and I even named it ''Bonemaster''.
Bonefish 2016: The bonefish seemed to be absent from the flats on most days during our first week, but luckily they began to appear in good numbers towards the end of our stay providing some excellent sport. The biggest bonefish of this fishing adventure was an 8 pounder (dwarfed by my fish of the previous year) which I "accidentally" hooked while casting into a school of large permit. To be honest I was a tiny bit ''disappointed'' as I thought I'd finally hooked into a good sized permit on the flats.
Snook, 2015: I only managed to catch one smallish snook throughout our entire holiday. What a downer. (in 2014 I'd caught 14 snook on the same spot).
Snook, 2016: I hooked and played 3 nice snook during the first week but none were landed. They all managed to throw the hook right before I was going to beach them. No more sessions for the snook during our second week as my regular snooky beach was unfishable due to large amount of seaweed brought in by the currents.
Jacks, 2015: Only two members of the jack family were hooked, played and landed, one of them was a hard fighting, unbelievably stubborn horse eye jack of 12lb caught on a shad, and the other one was a beautifully colored bar jack of 8lb caught on a mag popper.
Jacks, 2016: Only two jacks were marked on my scoreboard this year as well, both crevalle, the first fish must've weighed around 2 lb and the second one came just under 10 lb on the scale.
Barracuda, 2015: Beside the bonefish, the best fishing was for the barracuda , plenty of them were hooked, common catches were ranging from 5-10lb.
Barracuda, 2016: Out of 3 barracuda hook ups for the entire holiday I only managed to reel in one fish, which turned out to be the biggest fish I'd ever caught in Tobago from the shore (fish of a lifetime number 2). Despite its enormous size it hit the lure so deceptively softly that I thought I was dealing with something much much smaller.Then it suddenly took off for the horizon....I was really scared that my Shimano Tribal rod was going to snap as I'd never seen it bending like that before. I still can't believe my luck.
Tarpon, 2015-16: The tarpon were scarce , even the very few we spotted from the shore were just out of casting range....
Other species/bycatch, 2015-16:Large number of various kinds of snapper, houndfish, lizardfish, ladyfish etc were caught while fishing for the bigger ones. I love these so called "accidentals" as they often spice up a slow session.
Both holidays were truly fantastic!!! Can hardly wait to be back!!
All the best,
I have to agree with Rob - the fishing over there is out of this world. Remember that it's all from the shore, either standing on the beach or rocks or wading in warm water. Although, with experience, it's possible to predict what you might catch there are still lots of surprises and when you hook into a decent jack or bonefish the thrill is unbelievable. Fantastic Rob and thanks for all the extra info. Well done again mate! We must meet up some time.
If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you.'get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to - firstname.lastname@example.org
Nice bonefish Rob - you jammy so-and-so
...and a better one.
Beautiful bar jack.
... and a decent crevalle
A 'BIT' bigger barracuda - jeez Rob how can you do this to me?