If you were to pick the top ten bonefish destinations in the world, you would probably start with the Bahamas and then quickly add Belize and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula to your list. You would probably put French Polynesia somewhere in there, but not until after you had added the Seychelles, Christmas Island and Cuba. But be advised, there is one easy-to-reach spot in the southern Caribbean that may have escaped your, and many experienced anglers', attention...
When selecting the top ten spots, you would not only be looking for the obvious essentials like numbers, size of fish and composition of the flats (i.e. hard-bottomed or soft, limited or extensive), but you would also be looking at the intangibles. The beauty of the area's flats, the depth of water at which fish are found, the friendliness of the locals and the ease at which the fish tail all help to determine whether a destination is worthy of a top ten designation. By these criteria, we nominate Los Roques to the top ten list... and most experienced anglers concur! In fact, Los Roques makes it onto many well-traveled anglers' top five lists!
The 350 enchanting islas that make up the Los Roques Archipelago lie just 90 miles off the coast of Venezuela, but far away from the urban hustle and bustle of Caracas. Los Roques enjoys national park status and its main island, El Gran Roque serves as park headquarters and is the only populated, albeit sparsely, island in the archipelago. On El Gran Roque, development and tourism have been strictly controlled. The few inhabitants, mostly fishermen, live in pastel-hued homes and lead unhurried lives consistent with this tranquil seaside setting.
For visiting anglers, there is great variety to the beautiful flats of this archipelago. Comparisons are often drawn to Christmas Island for almost all the bonefishing is done while wading and many of the flats are white, hardpacked sand. Fishermen find singles and small pods on these tidally influenced shallow expanses often tailing and often big (8-10lbs.) with the average size being 3-5 lbs. There are also "pancake" flats adjacent to reefs and small islas that are not as tidally influenced as the shallow white flats. Generally these flats are deeper and hold fish on more stages of the tide. In addition, bonefish often cruise the beaches as in the Seychelles. They sometimes prowl the water's edge with their backs virtually out of the water or hang offshore in 2-4 feet of light blue Caribbean water waiting for an opportunity to raid the prolific schools of baitfish that line the shore. Los Roques is primarily a bonefishery, but opportunities for snook, baby tarpon and permit are good during certain times of the year.
Since most of the angling in Los Roques is done while wading, our guides use 28' pangas equipped with new 90 horsepower Yamaha outboards to safely and quickly reach the flats. Only 12 anglers are scheduled per week. These well-seasoned fellows are able to analyze the critical variables of temperature, tides, wind and time of year to put you at the right place at the right time.
Accommodations are provided by Posada Acuarela. This beautiful, small lodge has tile floors, comfortable, air-conditioned rooms, a full bar, wonderful food and lovely verandas and gardens.
Nominated and seconded by many anglers in the know... Los Roques should be on any experienced angler's list of the top ten world class bonefish destinations.
Los Roques Details
An identified person will be waiting for you after immigration. They will help you with your luggage. There will be a A/C van ready for transfer to your hotel where you will overnight before your flight to Los Roques the next morning. It is 10 minutes from the International/National Airport to your hotel in La Guaira. As an option, you can choose a hotel in Caracas, which is 45 minutes from the airport (without traffic).
You will fly to Los Roques aboard Aerotuy (Linea Turistica Aerotuy LTA). LTA is a Venezuelan corporation that owns airlines and hotels in all main tourist destinations in Venezuela. It departs from the National Airport (located at La Guaira) to Los Roques every day. It is a 35-minute flight on a DASH 7. There are two morning flights to Los Roques. The estimated hours are 6:00 and 8:00 A.M. for flights from Caracas to Los Roques. The return flight from Los Roques to Caracas has an ETD at 5:30 P.M.
Visiting anglers will have one experienced guide and one captain per boat. You will need to bring all your own fishing gear. A cooler with drinks (sodas, beers, water) is on the boat at all times.
Breakfast is buffet style at an open restaurant in front of the beach. Usually eggs, pancakes, bread, marmalade, cheese, cereal, fruits, coffee and orange juice are available. Dinners includesfish, chicken, meat, pasta, vegetables, salads, potatoes, rice, platanos,juices, coffee, and dessert which are served beachside each night. Lunch is usually sandwiches (turkey, roast beef, chicken) salads, pasta, soft drinks, juice and dessert.It is taken around 12:00-1:30 P. M. usually between casts.