Barely back from a fishing trip to St Barth, I left this time for the island of DOMINICA.
This island, named Wai’tu kubuli, which means “His body is large”, by the Indians “Kalinago” (first inhabitants of the island) is located south of Les Saintes and is a mixture of Creole, Anglo-Saxon and Native American.
Being with my girlfriend, this trip was mainly the opportunity to discover the treasures of this island but I obviously hoped to take the opportunity to catch beautiful fish, even if I had little information on fishing in these waters. A week of travel is quite short, so I find myself in a position that may resemble the one you live before contacting me, the feeling that a guide who knows his business and who can save me time precious, is almost indispensable.
We heard about an island with simple and authentic charms, from its pleasant human encounters but also by its environment and its Caribbean landscapes formed by high mountains, covered with lush tropical forest, crossed by magnificent rivers, waterfalls and springs of warm waters. An air of Basse-Terre elsewhere perhaps …?
Barely out of the landing stage of Roseau, a city built on the ancient Indian village called Sairi, we let ourselves be captivated by the neighboring market with spices, music, Creole houses and a relaxed atmosphere!
Then head north, to a village by the sea. After a warm welcome to our accommodation, we spend half a day visiting the surroundings and strolling on the beach. It’s been a while since my eyes have been on the sea, certainly a slight professional distortion. A last view of our balcony, a last traditional ti-punch accompanied by a breathtaking sunset, and we are ready to tackle the next day … and dream of big fish!
We enthusiastically begin our 4X4 journey, hiking and fishing. The road offers us splendid landscapes of mountains falling into the sea, wild coasts bordered by creeks and river mouths. When you sink into the trails, you easily surrender to the idea of walking in the footsteps of shipwrecked and other reckless adventurers. A scent of “Pirates of the Caribbean”, a sensation of rubbing shoulders with “Jack Sparrow” and his cronies, invades us!
The essential question for me, passionate, remains however… AND FISHING! ??? Yes, what about this island with a reputation for unspoiled nature, certainly fished for dozens of generations by the different peoples who live there.
My research upstream helped me understand that the fishing would certainly be different from the one I enjoy in Guadeloupe. Indeed, the archipelago has 2 main islands with different reliefs: one rather volcanic while the other is limestone. This geological variation giving rise to lagoons, areas of flats and mangroves of substantial sizes. This offers the possibility of fishing by wading, shore and kayak, in a depth varying between 40 cm and 10 meters maximum, over almost the entire territory.
On the other hand, in Dominica, the coastal plateaux fall for the most part, only a few tens of meters from the edge. Much of the coast is constantly exposed to swell and wind. I imagine it may be difficult for me to take my favorite sport fish (tarpon, snook, trevally) from the shore.
There was only one day intended entirely for fishing, so I had to develop an action plan and this is what came out:
I estimated the fishery value of the spots thanks to my experience and knowledge of fishing in Guadeloupe. I attack by painting 3 spots with lures for half a day, without the slightest touch. Arriving on the 4th, I see small hunts, some forage fish spring up, followed by eddies. No fin pierces the surface. The area and the type of hunting lets me imagine the presence of snooks. I mount my cane, I make less than 10 throws and the first touch, unfortunately without result, is felt. I change the lure, I make 2 throws and there, bim, big touch, sanctioned as usual with a powerful shoeing! The fish is at the end, he takes the wire and makes his first jump, then I see a 6-7 pound snook leaping from the water! I manage the fight by dodging the obstacles and ended up landing this beautiful specimen with the yellowish dress. My first Dominican snook! A small photo and I give him freedom. I am satisfied with this take which gives me even more hope for the end of this day.
At that moment, I therefore prospected all the spots that had seemed interesting to fish during my previous walks. After that event, I then reappraised all the spots that had seemed interesting, specially the remote waters.
I choose option number 2, which, for me, amateur explorer, remains the most exciting!
And here I am again, going for miles on the odometer, walking across the savannah with my only ally a map and a little sense of direction.
Followed by 2 new finds, and several fish to the key. I thus make a small hippo trevally, take down a snook estimated at 60 centimeters and take one of 6 pounds. I am also being broken in good and due form by a specimen that I find it difficult to identify, over 22 pounds !
This week’s review:
It is not always easy to combine fishing and tourist travel, especially on an island so difficult to fish. Especially since I encountered many obstacles to my prospecting. Among others, many routes leading to areas, sometimes impenetrable or simply without any real fishery value. The most important thing is that I approached this day not according to the weather forecast, but according to the program that we had set for ourselves. However, this is often an element determining the success of a session. Indeed, the weather conditions were more favorable at the end of the stay and I am convinced that the fishing would have been better at that time. My fishing guide expertise was essential to make these few fish. So I will have to come back longer to hope for better catches.
The fact remains that in these mysterious lands, the omnipresent atmosphere is that of an era almost gone, where the beauty of the landscapes really lends itself to lovers of beautiful shots.
See you next time for other fishing adventures. A dan dot soley (have a good day) !