Other Flats Species
While the bonefish gets top billing here on South Andros, there are many other fishing opportunities available on your trip. Here’s a brief overview of the other species you may encounter on your trip.
Reef structure, blue holes, mangrove creeks and the flats themselves offer shots at a variety of bonus species including barracuda, sharks, permit, tarpon and more. The bonefish is king here, but we’ve come to learn that these other species sure can pull and promise to add memorable highlights to any day on the water.
Photo: Ric Fogel/Sportfolio
Barracuda will be one of your constant companions here on South Andros. Sight casting on the flats and blind casting in creeks and blue holes can deliver numerous explosive strikes and aerial battles. Beyond the opportunistic shots you’ll find throughout each day, ‘cudas offer an excellent option for action on the flats when the rare cold front blows through.
Barracuda are primarily targeted with 9 or 10 weight rods and tropical floating or intermediate sink tip lines. Wire leaders are a must – these are toothy critters.
Poppers, Bangers, needlefish flies and large Deceivers are all very effective in antagonizing these aggressive fish into striking.
There’s plenty of food for sharks around South Andros, and that means…there are plenty of sharks. Lemons and blacktips are the species we see most of on the flats.
We frequently see sharks that are much too big to be landed with any reasonable fly tackle, but throwing big streamers at some of the smaller sharks is just flat-out fun. They’re aggressive, they’re fast, and they pull really, really hard.
Pre-made leaders rigged with wire braid can land some smaller sharks, be we prefer single-strand wire leaders. Sharks have a lot of very sharp teeth, and it’s not uncommon for them to bite through wire braid.
Big streamers are the ticket here, and red and orange seem to be the most effective colors.
We’ve recently spent some time discovering the best locations and tides for permit on South Andros. While we don’t have big numbers of permits on our flats, a day spent looking for them under the right conditions is likely to result in some shots.
There are specific locations, particularly the near shore cays on the Southwest side and some of the ocean flats, holding good populations. And, there are specific periods in the spring season where their inshore numbers increase significantly.
Permit here are generally in the 15 to 30 lb. range and are best targeted with a 10-weight with a tropical floating line.
Merkins, large mantis shrimp patterns and various yarn crab fly patterns will give you your best shot if you’re lucky enough to spot one. Your guide will let you know if you are visiting an area inhabited by permit so you’ll know to have a 10-weight rigged for the encounter.
The creek systems and the West side flats harbor populations of both resident and migratory tarpon. The tarpon fishery continues to develop but the habits and travel routes of South Andros’ silver kings have not yet been patterned to deliver highly consistent fishing. We’ll keep you posted as this fishery further develops.
Most of the resident tarpon range in the 40 to 100 lb. class and can be handled on a 10-weight with tropical floating or intermediate sink tip line.
Cockroaches, Bunny flies and Keys-style flies are all good bets if your guide takes you to an area that holds tarpon.