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Big fish / Adventure fishing on a budget!


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Well. OK if you fish freshwater paylakes, but if you fish big continental rivers, you need a boat and possibly a local guide who knows the river. We have taken boats out on our own in various parts of the world, but not advisable on (say) the Amazon, Xingu or Okavanga.

 

As for the sea, fishing for blue-water gamefish is never going to be cheap. The cost of a charter boat geared for marlin out of, say. Madeira is about double that of a typical British boat going after (say) wreck cod and pollack.

 

That said, places like Seychelles, Mauritius, Costa Rica, Mexico and Madagascar offer very much cheaper charters than Hawaii, USA, Canaries, or New Zealand.

 

Remember most (check before booking !) big-game boats provide all the gear, so you don't have to buy marlin rods and big fancy multipliers (and put up with the hassle of travelling with them). By contrast, it is quite expensive to fish for skate and porbeagle in the UK because you do have to provide your own gear !

 

However, I have never grudged the cost of fishing around the world - some people spend their money on watching football, fancy clothes,antiques, up-to-the minute cars, laptops,television PCs etc - that's fine, but I just like to spend my money on fishing, even if I can see my feet through the bottoms of my shoes !

I Agee with what Dave has written. I am lucky to do quiet a lot of travel but never consider that I go on fishing holidays even if it involves a number of days fishing. I just see what is available and decide whether I think it is reasonably priced or expensive and make my choice on whether I feel it is worth paying or could my time and money be better used doing something else. I have been to Madeira but never fished as I decided it over priced but I have fished in Mexico, Mauritius and Costa Rica as Dave pointed out you get so much more for your buck.

 

I guess I am lucky that my partner will fish and enjoys wildlife. I am off to Costa Rica in a few months and so will do a few days again after Roosters and a inshore charter will most likely cost 550-700$. I will likely do a day deep sea as my partner likes all the wildlife we will see and this will be a few hundred more. Not so bad for some wild fishing. To put it into context I paid 750$ for a deep sea trip in Costa Rica a few years back for around 9 hours and saw loads of Dolphins including a super pod plus loads of turtles, mantas jumping and bird life. The hotel we stayed at was selling dolphin watching tours ar 150$ a person for 2 hour trip on a packed boat. We had no one else on the boat other then the captain and mate. Almost everyone we met at the hotel thought it odd we did not do the dolphin trip as it was the highlight of their holiday and some of them even saw groups of a dozen or so Dolphins. I may be an accountant but anyone can do the maths. Sometimes oversea fishing trips seem expensive but you need to consider how much excursions and other trips can cost. What is the cost of a boat cruise excursion with a tonne of other holiday makers in most destinations?

 

I have done plenty of Mexico flats and mangrove charters for 400$ for 8 hours. Great fun for small Tarpon and Cuda. Offshore can be done for a few hundred more. I enjoy predator fishing and so my choice would tend to be for these species for more of an adventure style fishing and because of the spots you fish.

 

My advice would be go someplace for a family holiday that you know the Mrs will like and then see what is available that interests you and you are willing to pay. Obviously picking a destination you have researched before makes sense but I rather enjoy the research after we have booked a holiday. One thing I would recommend is always pack a small bit of kit, it's amazing the amount of free fishing you can find on your travels. Not always big fish but good fun and often for new species. However, saying that I have had plenty of blanks of the beach or on rivers near the hotel.

Stephen

 

Species Caught 2014

Zander, Pike, Bream, Roach, Tench, Perch, Rudd, Common Carp, Mirror Carp, Eel, Grayling, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout

Species Caught 2013

Pike, Zander, Bream, Roach, Eel, Tench, Rudd, Perch, Common Carp, Koi Carp, Brown Goldfish, Grayling, Brown Trout, Chub, Roosterfish, Dorado, Black Grouper, Barracuda, Mangrove Snapper, Mutton Snapper, Jack Crevalle, Tarpon, Red Snapper

Species Caught 2012
Zander, Pike, Perch, Chub, Ruff, Gudgeon, Dace, Minnow, Wels Catfish, Common Carp, Mirror Carp, Ghost Carp, Roach, Bream, Eel, Rudd, Tench, Arapaima, Mekong Catfish, Sawai Catfish, Marbled Tiger Catfish, Amazon Redtail Catfish, Thai Redtail Catfish, Batrachian Walking Catfish, Siamese Carp, Rohu, Julliens Golden Prize Carp, Giant Gourami, Java Barb, Red Tailed Tin Foil Barb, Nile Tilapia, Black Pacu, Red Bellied Pacu, Alligator Gar
Species Caught 2011
Zander, Tench, Bream, Chub, Barbel, Roach, Rudd, Grayling, Brown Trout, Salmon Parr, Minnow, Pike, Eel, Common Carp, Mirror Carp, Ghost Carp, Koi Carp, Crucian Carp, F1 Carp, Blue Orfe, Ide, Goldfish, Brown Goldfish, Comet Goldfish, Golden Tench, Golden Rudd, Perch, Gudgeon, Ruff, Bleak, Dace, Sergeant Major, French Grunt, Yellow Tail Snapper, Tom Tate Grunt, Clown Wrasse, Slippery Dick Wrasse, Doctor Fish, Graysby, Dusky Squirrel Fish, Longspine Squirrel Fish, Stripped Croaker, Leather Jack, Emerald Parrot Fish, Red Tail Parrot Fish, White Grunt, Bone Fish
Species Caught 2010
Zander, Pike, Perch, Eel, Tench, Bream, Roach, Rudd, Mirror Carp, Common Carp, Crucian Carp, Siamese Carp, Asian Redtail Catfish, Sawai Catfish, Rohu, Amazon Redtail Catfish, Pacu, Long Tom, Moon Wrasse, Sergeant Major, Green Damsel, Tomtate Grunt, Sea Chub, Yellowtail Surgeon, Black Damsel, Blue Dot Grouper, Checkered Sea Perch, Java Rabbitfish, One Spot Snapper, Snubnose Rudderfish
Species Caught 2009
Barramundi, Spotted Sorubim Catfish, Wallago Leeri Catfish, Wallago Attu Catfish, Amazon Redtail Catfish, Mrigul, Siamese Carp, Java Barb, Tarpon, Wahoo, Barracuda, Skipjack Tuna, Bonito, Yellow Eye Rockfish, Red Snapper, Mangrove Snapper, Black Fin Snapper, Dog Snapper, Yellow Tail Snapper, Marble Grouper, Black Fin Tuna, Spanish Mackerel, Mutton Snapper, Redhind Grouper, Saddle Grouper, Schoolmaster, Coral Trout, Bar Jack, Pike, Zander, Perch, Tench, Bream, Roach, Rudd, Common Carp, Golden Tench, Wels Catfish
Species Caught 2008
Dorado, Wahoo, Barracuda, Bonito, Black Fin Tuna, Long Tom, Sergeant Major, Red Snapper, Black Damsel, Queen Trigga Fish, Red Grouper, Redhind Grouper, Rainbow Wrasse, Grey Trigger Fish, Ehrenbergs Snapper, Malabar Grouper, Lunar Fusiler, Two Tone Wrasse, Starry Dragonet, Convict Surgeonfish, Moonbeam Dwarf Angelfish,Bridled Monocle Bream, Redlined Triggerfish, Cero Mackeral, Rainbow Runner
Species Caught 2007
Arapaima, Alligator Gar, Mekong Catfish, Spotted Sorubim Catfish, Pacu, Siamese Carp, Barracuda, Black Fin Tuna, Queen Trigger Fish, Red Snapper, Yellow Tail Snapper, Honeycomb Grouper, Red Grouper, Schoolmaster, Cubera Snapper, Black Grouper, Albacore, Ballyhoo, Coney, Yellowfin Goatfish, Lattice Spinecheek

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Dales, if you are in Costa Rica, I recommend Bobby McGuiness out of Golfito. if he is still around (we were last there in late 2003)

 

Despite his name he is a Costa Rican, but speaks good English EXCEPT when a big fish strikes

 

then he is reduced to three phrases

 

Go go go = strike

Let's go = cast a fish bait to a sailfish that has had a wipe at the lures.

Let go = Don't strike yet.

 

You soon learn :)

 

Out of Golfito we had lots of sails and a marlin or two, but as an alternative the roosterfish are good, as are the snappers (Pacific dogtooth snapper are strong)

 

Madeira is expensive, and the fish are few - BUT - it is a place where you are in with a chance of a "grander" We gave it a shot three years running - no grander, but an Atlantic Blue Marlin of , as the skipper (the late Ron Cowley) put it. "a GOOD 900 pounds" Fish of a lifetime. Needless to say, it came during Norma's turn for strike .........

 

It merited, IMHO, a celebratory lobster and champagne dinner, so yes, Madeira can be expensive.

 

PS Have never fished the Mexican flats, but have fly-fished the Belize flats for tarpon, bonefish and permit. All three fight like demons.

Edited by Vagabond
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RNLI Governor

 

World species 471 : UK species 105 : English species 95 .

Certhia's world species - 215

Eclectic "husband and wife combined" world species 501

 

"Nothing matters very much, few things matter at all" - Plato

...only things like fresh bait and cold beer...

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Cheers for the tip on Costa Rica.

 

PS Have never fished the Mexican flats, but have fly-fished the Belize flats for tarpon, bonefish and permit. All three fight like demons.

 

I have had plenty of Tarpon and Bones on the flats but so far the Permit and Snook have always managed to get away. Flats fishing with what ever method that takes your fancy would certainly be my recommendation for anyone who has not fished more exotic destinations but wants an exciting days fishing. It might not tick the BIG fish box but a nice way to have a bit of an adventure with out ruffing it in the jungle.

Stephen

 

Species Caught 2014

Zander, Pike, Bream, Roach, Tench, Perch, Rudd, Common Carp, Mirror Carp, Eel, Grayling, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout

Species Caught 2013

Pike, Zander, Bream, Roach, Eel, Tench, Rudd, Perch, Common Carp, Koi Carp, Brown Goldfish, Grayling, Brown Trout, Chub, Roosterfish, Dorado, Black Grouper, Barracuda, Mangrove Snapper, Mutton Snapper, Jack Crevalle, Tarpon, Red Snapper

Species Caught 2012
Zander, Pike, Perch, Chub, Ruff, Gudgeon, Dace, Minnow, Wels Catfish, Common Carp, Mirror Carp, Ghost Carp, Roach, Bream, Eel, Rudd, Tench, Arapaima, Mekong Catfish, Sawai Catfish, Marbled Tiger Catfish, Amazon Redtail Catfish, Thai Redtail Catfish, Batrachian Walking Catfish, Siamese Carp, Rohu, Julliens Golden Prize Carp, Giant Gourami, Java Barb, Red Tailed Tin Foil Barb, Nile Tilapia, Black Pacu, Red Bellied Pacu, Alligator Gar
Species Caught 2011
Zander, Tench, Bream, Chub, Barbel, Roach, Rudd, Grayling, Brown Trout, Salmon Parr, Minnow, Pike, Eel, Common Carp, Mirror Carp, Ghost Carp, Koi Carp, Crucian Carp, F1 Carp, Blue Orfe, Ide, Goldfish, Brown Goldfish, Comet Goldfish, Golden Tench, Golden Rudd, Perch, Gudgeon, Ruff, Bleak, Dace, Sergeant Major, French Grunt, Yellow Tail Snapper, Tom Tate Grunt, Clown Wrasse, Slippery Dick Wrasse, Doctor Fish, Graysby, Dusky Squirrel Fish, Longspine Squirrel Fish, Stripped Croaker, Leather Jack, Emerald Parrot Fish, Red Tail Parrot Fish, White Grunt, Bone Fish
Species Caught 2010
Zander, Pike, Perch, Eel, Tench, Bream, Roach, Rudd, Mirror Carp, Common Carp, Crucian Carp, Siamese Carp, Asian Redtail Catfish, Sawai Catfish, Rohu, Amazon Redtail Catfish, Pacu, Long Tom, Moon Wrasse, Sergeant Major, Green Damsel, Tomtate Grunt, Sea Chub, Yellowtail Surgeon, Black Damsel, Blue Dot Grouper, Checkered Sea Perch, Java Rabbitfish, One Spot Snapper, Snubnose Rudderfish
Species Caught 2009
Barramundi, Spotted Sorubim Catfish, Wallago Leeri Catfish, Wallago Attu Catfish, Amazon Redtail Catfish, Mrigul, Siamese Carp, Java Barb, Tarpon, Wahoo, Barracuda, Skipjack Tuna, Bonito, Yellow Eye Rockfish, Red Snapper, Mangrove Snapper, Black Fin Snapper, Dog Snapper, Yellow Tail Snapper, Marble Grouper, Black Fin Tuna, Spanish Mackerel, Mutton Snapper, Redhind Grouper, Saddle Grouper, Schoolmaster, Coral Trout, Bar Jack, Pike, Zander, Perch, Tench, Bream, Roach, Rudd, Common Carp, Golden Tench, Wels Catfish
Species Caught 2008
Dorado, Wahoo, Barracuda, Bonito, Black Fin Tuna, Long Tom, Sergeant Major, Red Snapper, Black Damsel, Queen Trigga Fish, Red Grouper, Redhind Grouper, Rainbow Wrasse, Grey Trigger Fish, Ehrenbergs Snapper, Malabar Grouper, Lunar Fusiler, Two Tone Wrasse, Starry Dragonet, Convict Surgeonfish, Moonbeam Dwarf Angelfish,Bridled Monocle Bream, Redlined Triggerfish, Cero Mackeral, Rainbow Runner
Species Caught 2007
Arapaima, Alligator Gar, Mekong Catfish, Spotted Sorubim Catfish, Pacu, Siamese Carp, Barracuda, Black Fin Tuna, Queen Trigger Fish, Red Snapper, Yellow Tail Snapper, Honeycomb Grouper, Red Grouper, Schoolmaster, Cubera Snapper, Black Grouper, Albacore, Ballyhoo, Coney, Yellowfin Goatfish, Lattice Spinecheek

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My total experience of fishing outside the UK is a single day on a charter boat off tenerife (While on my honeymoon!) So something with a little bit of guidance or outside organisation probably wouldn't hurt for a first serious attemt at foreign fishing before going completely off in the wilds like Vagabond!

 

And the other half will 100% not be going with me, she hates outdoor pursuits and will not go more than a few miles away from comfy beds hot/cold running water and a TV showing soap operas . . . . .

 

 

Got to admit I'm liking the sound of the Thai fishing parks, just wondering if I'd cope with the climate, I struggle in the UK on the hottest days when humidity is high . . .

 

Mat

Mat

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I would recommend Cuba it has all the attraction of Mexico and Costa Rica, but with the advantage of being much cheaper (stay away from Avalon though, unless you have inherited a fortune).

You can do Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo as a package tour so that keeps costs down and from there you can choose, Flats fishing for Bones Tarpon and the elusive Permit, Deep sea trolling for Sailfish, Wahoo, Dorado, King Mackerel, Yellow Tail and a chance of Marlin, or fish poppers in the mangrove channels for Cuda, Snapper, Jacks etc. and costs are reasonable. Also you can still DIY fish the islands.

The beaches and Spas are superb so a non fishing partner will still find plenty to occupy them.

Disadvantages is that you will need to bring most of your own gear, (the deep sea boats have their own but it is generally old and well used) and Kite surfing is a major problem on the Cayo Guillermo flats which used to be very good for Bones.

 

Tony

Tony

 

After a certain age, if you don't wake up aching in every joint, you are probably dead.

 

 

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...and that's an "adventure" ? (See thread title)

Well, finding it was - but I didn't feel compelled to go back.

Species caught in 2020: Barbel. European Eel. Bleak. Perch. Pike.

Species caught in 2019: Pike. Bream. Tench. Chub. Common Carp. European Eel. Barbel. Bleak. Dace.

Species caught in 2018: Perch. Bream. Rainbow Trout. Brown Trout. Chub. Roach. Carp. European Eel.

Species caught in 2017: Siamese carp. Striped catfish. Rohu. Mekong catfish. Amazon red tail catfish. Arapaima. Black Minnow Shark. Perch. Chub. Brown Trout. Pike. Bream. Roach. Rudd. Bleak. Common Carp.

Species caught in 2016: Siamese carp. Jullien's golden carp. Striped catfish. Mekong catfish. Amazon red tail catfish. Arapaima. Alligator gar. Rohu. Black Minnow Shark. Roach, Bream, Perch, Ballan Wrasse. Rudd. Common Carp. Pike. Zander. Chub. Bleak.

Species caught in 2015: Brown Trout. Roach. Bream. Terrapin. Eel. Barbel. Pike. Chub.

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If you want to read about fishing in the Cuban Cayos then Fallon's Angler issue 2 has a great article about fishing from the hotel Hobbie Cat.

Tony

 

After a certain age, if you don't wake up aching in every joint, you are probably dead.

 

 

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