August is the month when people from all over the globe gather in Trinidad and Tobago to celebrate the biggest Tarpon tournament in Central America, the Trinidad Tarpon Thunder. This year I had the pleasure to be invited by a very good friend, Roger Ames, he is actually living in England but he was born in T and T making inevitable his visit every year. Luckily Roger and all his friends had the experience of being several times in this friendly tournament before.
It was the August 12th when I departed from Bariloche, my hometown. After one day traveling I arrived to Trinidad, a country that I would have never thought to be before Roger sent me this invitation. I didn’t know what to expect about it and after staying almost nine days it looked like a very organized and diverse country, which I liked very much. The island is covered on deep green jungle, it holds more than 400 species of birds and many different terrestrial fauna; like Red Brocket deer, ocelot, nine-banded armadillo and endless kind of lizards. On the other hand, diverse species and all sort of life conforms the rich ocean ecosystem where we had the pleasure to fish. There is no doubt that the nature is very well preserved in the island thanks the effort of people.
After arriving to Port Spain (capital city), jumped into a taxi and hit the road to the marina, where “Jumbie”–our boat-and his captain named Nick was waiting for us. We took all our tackle into the boat and headed to a nice house build in the water on a beautiful island, close to the main island of Trinidad. After organizing all our stuff and the house itself we headed to pick up the rest of the crew, Roger A., Roger J., Warren C. and Harry L. It didn`t take very long until I was talking and laughing with them as I knew them from before.
Next day, five in the morning, the tournament was about to start and all the crew was ready to go!
As the guys explained to me, there were some hot spots where the Tarpon were concentrated, the 1st Boca, the 2nd Boca, the 3rd Boca and the Main Boca and where we could actually see them rolling some times. All this Boca’s were big channels flowing between small islands where the food is abundant.
The first morning we headed to the 1st Boca, hooked 4 tarpon and could only get 2 by the boat. Warren fought a huge tarpon – at least 100 pounds, we think- for more than an hour, but unluckily a powerful jump caused an unexpected “long distance release”. After that exciting morning session, we kept on trying hard, but we didn’t have much luck on the following days. I can say we lost most of our chances; bended hooks and bad knots were the cause. Also there were not many places where we could get a Tarpon on the fly, actually, the best time to catch them was in the morning, when they were after the baitfish close to the shore. One morning we decided to fly fish towards a small sandy beach, when suddenly, we saw some movement in the water surface, inmediatly casted to it and a fish took the fly!, After a few long runs towards the shore, I could slowly bring it in, it wasn’t a Tarpon but a good sized Jack Creballe.
After three days of fishing in Trinidad, and of course, without winning any price in the tournament, Warren, Roger A and I, arrange a flight to Tobago. After a 25 minutes flight we arrived to Tobago, we headed straight to Rogers place, a beautiful house just by the ocean. After a good sleep, Roger, a fishing ”loco” –as most of us- was willing to show us this beautiful island, and this time he was taking the huge responsibility to be our guide.
We spent the next 5 days fishing mangroves, flats, bays, inlets, rivers and many other different ocean structures. Fishing in Tobago was fantastic. We caught several fish species like Tarpon, snook, creballe, snapper, barracuda, bonefish and lady fish.
Beside the wonderful nature and the good fishing in Tobago, I had the pleasure to meet and spend good times with Roger friends and family who could never treat me in a better way. Unluckily time to go back to Argentina came by, I had to go.