Originally Posted by jjs89yj
I realize it's almost 10 years after your initial post haha, but i figure its worth a shot. We make it down to aruba about once a year and stay at the marriott surf club. Are the flats out by the ship wreck any good? What do you recommend for flies, leaders, and rod wt?
Jeremy (I know I'm a bit late here), I've been fishing with Laurenz since before he was guiding. I'm heading down to the Surf Club on Sunday, and I'll be out at those flats by the wreck pretty much every day--sometimes multiple times per day. I also have Laurenz booked for a few days.
If I land more than one fish in my two weeks (excluding the days with Laurenz), I'll be happy. Between the kite boards, constant 20+ mph wind, clouds intermittently blocking the sun, and waves, even seeing a fish is a challenge. But when you do, it will likely be big. And if you hook it, it will probably break you off--there is a ton of coral around those flats.
The most important gear item is flats boots. You will destroy your feet without them. I fish an 8 weight or a 9 weight. The wind is brutal. I generally fish 20 lb fluorocarbon tippet. Basic flies work. A medium sized Crazy Charlie or Gotcha will do the trick. If your reel doesn't have a serious drag, you probably don't stand a chance. Switching from an Orvis Battenkill LA to a Hatch Finatic 7+ made a huge difference--instead of getting broken off within seconds on the initial, it would be minutes and on the 2nd or 3rd run.
The fish generally aren't that difficult to feed. Getting into a situation where you can present the fly to them is the hard part. I find this type of fishing very rewarding, but it's not for everyone.
The fishing tends to be much easier in the early morning or near sundown. The fish come in close and the wind usually isn't blowing as hard. But your spotting range decreases drastically, so you have to focus on a much smaller area. I've also found that the morning/evening fishing is more sporadic. Sometimes the fish show up, and sometimes they don't.
The tides in Aruba are very strange. You can see here
that sometimes you have one tide a day, and sometimes you have two. I haven't figured out the best tides, but generally more water is better as the fish will come in closer.
If you really want to catch a bonefish on Aruba, your best bet is probably to blind fish at Arashi beach. The water is deeper, but there are big schools of small fish (I've seen them when snorkeling, but never fished to them). Not really my thing, but it's another option.