Having the right equipment will ensure a comfortable and successful fishing adventure. Anglers should bring three rods: one 6-8-weight for smaller flies and windless days, one 9-weight for windy conditions and larger flies, (perfect for permit), and one 10-weight for snook and tarpon. Extra rods are always a plus.
Guests typically bring their own fishing equipment, however if you break your rod or would prefer to rent, the lodge does have fully equipped rod outfits. We proudly offer Sage Xi3 rods and big game reels in weights 8,9, and 10.
Floating tropical fly lines are all that are necessary. Scientific Anglers/Rio has an excellent selection of saltwater lines. We recommend that you carry at least one extra spool/line in case you damage your line.
A tapered leader of nine feet or longer is recommended. The simplest solution is to buy pre-tied bonefish, permit, snook and tarpon leaders by Scientific Anglers, TroutHunter, or Rio and then use separate spools of 10-12lb, (bonefish) 15-20lb, (permit) 40-60lb (for jacks and tarpon) fluorocarbon tippet. We also recommend 15-30 lb. wire leader for barracuda and sharks.
Having the proper flies can make or break a fishing trip. Casa Blanca and Playa Blanca stocks a limited selection of the current hot bonefish, permit and tarpon flies, available for purchase at the lodge. For the rest of the flies in your box, read on for suggestions.
FLY SINK RATE
You should have flies with three sink rates in your box: un-weighted, slightly weighted, and heavy. Normally, un-weighted, eyeless patterns are used in the shallow water (less than 1 foot) over turtle grass: intermediate, small eyed flies, like Crazy Charlie with bead- chain eyes are used in one to two foot water; and heavy flies, like Clouser Minnows, are more effective in 2 to 4 feet water (or deeper).
Generally speaking, bonefish in this area are user-friendly specimens. For this reason basic shrimp patterns are preferred. Gotchas, Crazy Charlies, and Squimps should be all you need. A total of two-dozen will be what you need for the week.
- Crazy Charlie- sizes 4-6 (medium lead weighted eyes) in white/cream, pink, and light tan.
- Crazy Charlie- sizes 4-6 (bead chain eyes) in white/cream, pink and light tan.
- Flashy Charlie-sizes 4-6 (both medium lead eyes and bead chain eyes) in pink and pearl.
- Squimp- sizes 4-6 (both medium yellow lead eyes and bead chain eyes) in tan.
- Other Productive Patterns: Puff, Grass Shrimp, Bonefish Muddler, Snapping Shrimp, Baited Breath.
Although there is much debate over the leading permit pattern, the best advice is to listen to your guide. The guides are experts at reading fish behavior and will help determine when to change the fly.
Permit seem particularly fond of small crabs, so the majority of the productive patterns are crab imitators. The most productive patterns at Casa Blanca and Playa Blanca are the Casa Blanca Rag Head, Kung-Fu Crab, the McCrab and the Squimp. A dozen or so will work for the week.
- Casa Blanca Rag Head Crab – size 2 in tan (preferably with yellow lead eyes)
- Kung-Fu Crab – size 2 in tan and tan/olive
- McCrab – size 2 in natural
- Squimp – size 2 in tan (preferably with yellow lead eyes)
TARPON AND SNOOK FLIES
Color and size are the most important factors when choosing tarpon and snook flies. Hooks should be stout with large gape to ensure proper hook sets. We prefer pearl, red, purple, chartreuse, and natural colors. A week’s supply should be around a dozen.
- Puglisi Peanut Butter-size 2/0 in grey/white and black/purple.
- Tarpon Toad- size 2/0 in chartreuse, black, and white.
- Skok’s Mushmouth- size 2/0 in sand/white.
- Laid-Up Tarpon- size 2/0 in Tan. Qty.2
JACKS, BARRACUDA AND SHARKS
- Lefty’s Deceiver (red/white and blue/white) 2/0-3/0
- Streaker 2/0-3/0
- Gaines Saltwater Popper (red/white and blue/white) 2/0-3/0
- Shark Fly. 2/0 -3/0
JACKS AND BARRACUDA ON CONVENTIONAL TACKLE
Jacks and Barracuda cruise the beachfront at Casa Blanca and Playa Blanca. Big metal lures, top water plugs and tube lures are the most productive. Light colors are especially effective:
- Zara Spook (tarpon size)
- Tube Lures (neon green)
- Magnum Rapala (tarpon size),
- Bombers and Corky.