Honduras

If you are looking to branch out of the typical bonefish lodge, and add some adventure to your next trip, then Honduras could be your answer. We would also add, if you want to save money and eat fresh wahoo and crabs for next to nothing, eat like a king, then this is your place. Just getting to the flats of Honduras is a trip. We travelled through the San Salvador airport in El Salvador to San Pedro Sula, Honduras (neither of these airports would I call “organized”), then we got on a plane to Roatan, and from there took a flight in a 6 seat Cessna to Guanaja. The service light came on about every 2 minutes of the flight and the pilot just kept turning it off as if he were hitting the snooze on his alarm clock. When we arrived at the grass roofed airport in Guanaja, we learned that the actual town of Guanaja is entirely built on stilts, and is entirely built for fishing; perfect. Although you can get nice flats fishing out of Roatan as well, and don’t have to go to Guanaja, if you want to be off the beaten path you may want to travel past Roatan.

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Surprisingly, Honduras offers an amazing variety of fishing. In our experience, the bonefish are much larger, actually consistently the largest bonefish we have ever fished to. There are really good numbers of permit, and there are quite a few tarpon as well. Here’s where the adventure part comes in though, since the flats aren’t as expansive as Belize and Mexico, the permit can disappear in to deep water and be harder to find. The tarpon are hard to find because the guides in the area are fairly new in comparison to more popular destinations. So while we believe the fishing is every bit as good, maybe better, it is newer and less explored. Due to all the coral in the area, there is an amazing amount of triggerfish on the flats tailing all day long and we caught a number of them. The triggerfish, while often not a destination fish, was incredibly fun hoping flat to flat in the kayaks. You also have the option to go blue water for wahoo and dorado.
The lodges that are currently available in Guanaja are on the flats, so if you don’t mind paddling a kayak, and you already know how to wade and sight tailing fish, then DIY trips are most certainly an option. However we recommend mixing your DIY trip with at least a few guide days because the fish on the flats near the lodges get extremely (like unfishable) spooky. The guides get to a lot of flats you can’t touch with a kayak and drastically increase your odds of catching a Honduran permit.
Rods – 6-8 weight rods for bonefish. 8-9 weight rods for permit, baby tarpon, and snook. 10-12 weight rods rigged and ready for larger tarpon, wahoo, and dorado

Line – We have really never needed anything more than a weight forward floating saltwater line that matches the rod well. However, if you do plan to go blue water for dorado or wahoo with a fly I would definitely recommend bringing an intermediate or sinking line. You are generally trolling for those fish and the weighted line keeps the fly in the water column much better.

Reels – sealed drag reels with strong drags, machined is preferred as they are stronger and hold up during travel.

Leaders – There is a lot of coral, we recommend using fluorocarbon on everything here to allow yourself to go up in breaking strength and still have a stealthy enough leader. For bonefish stay in the 14-16lb range with a 9 foot tapered leader. Permit leaders are generally 9 foot tapered leaders with 20-25 lb line and usually those are fluorocarbon due to the skepticism of the species. For the tarpon, dorado, and wahoo the shock tippet needs to be 100lb class.

Flies – For bonefish flies make sure to have a large selection of different sizes and weights, the coral is easy to get caught up in so make sure you have unweighted flies. When the tide is out you will be fishing in 6 inches of water and coral with tails everywhere and it is intense! Bonefish flies in sizes 4-8. For deeper water it is important to have some with lead eyes as well. The hot flies are always changing so email us for the most in vogue patterns. Of course Gotchas, Crazy Charlies, Shrimp Cocktails, Bunny Gotchas (Bonefish Bugs), Skampis, and Bonefish Bitters are all required. The triggerfish eat the same thing the bonefish eat and they eat in the same areas on the flats.

For Permit, right now it is a bring everything game. This is a relatively new area, however, we highly recommend bringing a big selection of crabs in sizes 2-4, patterns like Del’s, Bauer’s Flats Crabs, Permit Crabs, EP Crabs, etc. Also make sure to have spawning shrimp patterns like EP spawning shrimp, shrimp cocktails, and Epoxy shrimp in size 4’s.

For tarpon, generally the guides down there are most familiar with the most familiar patterns like the Cockroach, Red Death, different kinds of Tarpon Toads, Gurglers, and even Poppers.

Other Stuff – Other things we would not forget would be neoprene socks and wading boots. We did a ton of wading on the flats, and there is so much coral, so make sure to bring a good pair of wading boots, not the little bootie style ones, those will get tore up. It’s actually not bad at all to wade on with the right footwear, but without it, it is not so much fun. If you are DIY, you will mostly likely be using a kayak so keep that in mind. A soft sided cooler, sun protection, and some dry bags would be very handy on this trip.

Honduras
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