Guadeloupe – 2019
To get to Guadeloupe a several hours flight is necessary. It took us over 18 hours from Munich. Guadeloupe is a French overseas territory located in the south of the Caribbean. The small country resembles a butterfly. Not surprisingly, the island is also known as Butterfly Island. Among the locals the island is also called “Gwada”.
Our journey begins, as already mentioned, at Munich airport. From there, we first head to Paris. Guadeloupe is served by only three airports (Paris, Toulouse and Montreal), which is why a stopover in the capital of France is necessary. From there, after a short two-hour flight, we continue towards Pointe-à-Pitre – the airport on our destination island. As a small advice from us: When choosing a flight, pay attention not only to travel time and price, but also to the service offered. Our flight was more like an ordeal.
But our hardships are compensated shortly after landing. After our flight strains, we immediately go into a state of rapture after leaving the plane, because the air is pleasantly warm and the climate tropical: Guadeloupe! After we picked up our rented car, we went to our accommodation in Sainte-Anne. Sainte-Anne is about an hour from the airport.
The next day we first explored the island. From our accommodation we drove to the next beach to Saint-Anne. There we saw the first “flats”. Encouraged by the sighting of the first tropical fish, we could not help but grab our fly rods. You could call it jungle fever! Immediately we put on our boots and head towards the flats. For the inexperienced ocean angler, flats feel like a mixture of sand and algae as you walk across them. Heavenly!
Overwhelmed by the first impressions and perhaps also due to lack of saltwater experience, we began to throw shrimp imitations at the fish swimming by. Relatively quickly we were successful, catching beautifully colored fish that have their home in the tropics. Wonderful! However, this did not satisfy our hunger for big fish.
Am nächsten Tag wachen wir ca. um 5.30 Uhr auf. Dank des Jetlags ist das kein Problem, wir frühstücken schnell und begeben uns zu unserem ersten Spot auf der Karte. An dem Spot gehen wir am Hotelstrand vorbei und über einen Steg auf die Flats. Wenn das Wasser durch die Gezeiten weniger wird, sah man die Schwanzflossen der Fische. Von dem Anblick beflügelt verschreckten wir sie jedoch beim ersten Versuch sie zu Fangen. Sehr schreckhaft diese tropischen Biester! Das Spektakel geht zirka 30 Minuten dann waren sie so schnell weg wie sie gekommen sind. Das nächste Fenster tat sich erst wieder abends auf. Deshalb ab an den Strand und erstmal erholen. Am Abend probieren wir unser Glück noch einmal, aber die Fische sind sehr wählerisch was die Köder angeht. Wir vermuten dass unsere Köder zu groß sind und unsere Technik noch nicht ausgereift ist.
The hunt is on: target Tarpon!
To get our hands on the target fish we need the expertise of our guide Cyril. We meet with Cyril at the harbor and load everything on the boat. We see the first tarpon breathing air right at the harbor. Tarpons are fish that can also breathe air. The fly of our choice is the so called “Tarpon-Frog” or medium to large streamers, similar to our home waters for pike. We use a floating line. It is important that the line has properties that can withstand the tropical conditions. As a leader for Tarpon we use a one millimeter thick flurocarbon, which is also used in Norway for deep sea fishing. After an unsuccessful harbor session we moved on.
At our new spot we actually spotted bonefish. We immediately got our bonefish setup and tried to catch them. However, the schools were always only 5 to 6 specimens large, which is why they are very skittish. Unfortunately, we were unlucky and the hunt for tarpon continued. Our guide, who knows the mangrove forests like his backyard, guided us skillfully through the thicket of the tropical forests. Without him, we probably would have gotten lost.
And suddenly we see Tarpons and Snook chasing baitfish in the murky water. We quickly take our rods and cast our streamers in the direction of the fish. After just two casts, Franz has the first tarpon on. Just as I’m about to reel in my line to help Franz, a fish takes my fly!
Even after landing them, the tarpon continue to hunt diligently. As everyone knows: When one tarpon takes the fly the hunt is on! Franz has already hooked on his other t Tarpon. A few seconds later, Patrick follows suit and one of the fish wriggles on his flyline. Those of you who have ever drilled a saltwater fish know that you need a lot of space. The runs often go into the backing. Still, everything goes well for us and we are standing on the boat with two fish on the end of our rods. It could not have gone better.
Double - Take
The next days we continued catching a bonefish. Unfortunately, the weather conditions weren’t really suitable and therefore we did not manage to hook into one of these beautiful fish. Here you have to pay attention to the tide, here is a link to it that you always have in view: Tide Guadeloupe
On the island we looked for an apartment through Air B&B near Sainte – Anne. Our apartment is adequate for our needs. The owner of the house is also very friendly. With its own saltwater pool, you can also spend a day at the pool if the conditions do not allow to go fishing on the flats.
Conclusion: the trip to Guadeloupe was very worthwhile. The overall trip turned out very inexpensive in contrast to other pelagic fishing destinations. Even though we didn’t catch any bonefish we had a lot of fun, got to know new cultures and very friendly people. Definitely worth a trip! Tight Lines – Your Flyfishing Crew Bavaria.