Charter boat captain Loren Monterroso was born and raised on Roatan Island. He got his first boat when he was six years old. And he has been plying the pristine waters of the Caribbean Sea ever since. That’s 26 years of living the life most other anglers can only dream of. And when it comes to the “reel” life on Roatan, he sums it all up in a single sentence: “You name ‘em, we catch ‘em.”
And that’s no exaggeration. Roatan offers anglers the fishing thrills of a lifetime … and a lifetime of fishing thrills – from the flats to the reefs to the fertile depths of the deep blue sea. But that’s just the beginning – because unlike other fishing venues where it can take endless hours just to reach a hot spot, on Roatan Island, you’re within 15 minutes of deep sea fishing the moment you set off from the shore!
“Bottom line,” Captain Loren says, “is that we have everything close by. In just ten to 15 minutes, we can skirt the flats, sweep by the reef, and be deep sea fishing in 2,000 feet of water brimming with some of the finest game fish on the face of the earth.” And as president of The Island’s fishing association, AHPESCAR, he knows of what he speaks.
It’s all a matter of where you want to go, the captain explains. And where you want to go depends on what you want to catch. On Roatan Island, you have three fun-(and fish)-filled choices:
•Flats fishing – Climb in a flat boat, set off from shore, and within a matter of minutes, you will be ready to reel in your choice (as well as your limit) of shallow water game fish. That includes: permit, bonefish, tarpon, snook, jacks, and barracuda. And don’t be surprised if you lure in a lunker – 35-pound permit and 12-pound bonefish are not at all unusual in the untapped waters around Roatan!
•Reef fishing – Roatan Island is surrounded by the second largest barrier reef in the world. So, when it comes to reef fishing, you’ll find nothing better this side of the Down Under. The Roatan reef is teeming with snapper, kingfish, grouper, jacks, and mackerel. But, be sure to bring along a strong line – because the groupers have been known to reach a whopping 250 pounds, and 70 to 80 pound snappers are waiting to give you the fight of your life!
•Deep sea fishing – Imagine casting off from the dock and finding yourself wrestling a trophy billfish barely after you can bait the hook. Well, on Roatan Island, that’s the norm. In 15 minutes, you’re at 2,000 feet – with wahoo, tuna, mahi mahi, sailfish, and record-setting marlin awaiting your cast. Central America’s blue marlin record, by the way, was set by Roatan’s own George McLaughlin. It weighed 708 pounds and took three hours to reel in. So, there’s something to set your sights on!
And here’s something else to set your sights on: the annual fall Roatan International Fishing Tournament is now registered with the International Game Fish Association. That means, if you catch a winning billfish, your bragging rights will be etched parchment. So, come on down to The Island now and start charting the waters.
Captain Loren can steer you in the right direction. You can reach him at www.EaryBirdFishingCharters.com. And he suggests that you bring along your kids or grand kids – because as the Captain knows from his own experience, on Roatan Island, it’s never too early to begin a lifetime of Caribbean-style fishing thrills.