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Fishing Puerto Rico: Go Big or Go Home!

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petespeak

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Just came back after a month of beach fishing on the western side of Puerto Rico. Beware I have a habit of speaking directly and some people do not like my take on things.

 

Long story short: 

BIG TIME EDIT: I left out the best part: I loved the vast majority of people in Puerto Rico. I'm a pretty chatty guy and once I reached out and made talked to people evryone was great. Just like every other place you go.within reason. I had the best beach hangout adventure for a month. The best part were the good people I met along the way. To put things in their proper perspective: I talked to more friendly people on my thirty day vacaction in Puerto Rico than I did living as a person "From Away" on Bailey Island for thirty years.

 

1) DIY recreational fishery inshore is a bust. Consistent catch two fish/day but limited to palm sized snappers. Think fishing for white perch and snapper blues with squid. Thats it.

 

2) Offshore game fishing is world class. Like everywhere else in the big money fishing world, you get what you pay for, and in PR the rewards can be great.

 

3)Racial tensions similiar to Hawaii, but more direct in PR. Political corruption, exploitive foreign investment and arrogant rich tourists have taken their toll on "public relations" in PR. If you are a white guy and want to know what it feels like to be a black guy in backwoods Florida go to Combate, the gateway to southern Puerto Rico. Blatant racism, two levels of service in restaurants. Seating was divided between white and brown in the biggest restarant in town and I was advised by a concerned clerk at my that people "like me" should stay off the streets after dark. And just like back home in the US, the further south you travel with the wrong color on your skin, the more "uncomfortable" it gets. 

 

4) Infrastructure is destroyed and nothing in the public sector is being restored. But places like this are perfect for me. I like to rough it DIY and always avoid tourist spots. I'm used to being unwelcome where I live: I moved from NJ to Bailey Island Maine....if you been there you know what I mean...haha...no matter where you go, there are angry, frightened, ignorant locals who blame outsiders for their misfortunes. Puerto Rico is no different, except that the white guys are in the minority and catch all the hate from the local angry, frightened, ignorant natives. Unfortunately skin color and language spoken will certainly effect the outcome of your vacation. But that is human nature at work It's not solely a Puerto Rican thing.. But reality does suck, and if you are different in PR, you will without question be treated differently. Just like home...but here, guys looking like me are on the outside looking in. 

 

PR is a great place for a cheap winter get-away, no passport needed, cheap flights. Just stay on the beaten path for a week or two and go home. Leave your light tackle in the garage. Snorkle like a tourist. Collect shells, get tanned, drink the worlds best rum. Go with your eyes open and a clear travel plan in place. Just don't do what i did and waste your time chasing inshore fish that aren't there. Get a Don Q fueled umbrella drink. Put on sun block. Sit in your folding beach chair for two weeks and plan your springtime fishing adventures.

 

The world is what it is. Embrace reality. Act accordingly. Easy peasy.

Edited by petespeak
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Posted (edited)
14 mins ago, John P said:

My son is there right now,I will be interested in his experience.

My daughter is in transit to PR for Spring Break as we speak...as an over-protective Dad I would have advised her against going. But I've found that the amount of tourist money being spent in unfriendly places is indirectly related to the  expression of local racism. Money talks. Go where your money is welcome and you will find a friend, and the more you spend, the more friends you will find. 

 

 

Edited by petespeak
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Western side of Puerto Rico has the most Dominicans from Dominican Republic. They out numbered the locals since many of the locals left to the 50 states. I was there to fish and yes, the fishing can be good and bad depending on where you fish. The worst bigots split out their anger at Asians. I landed in San Juan,  stayed in Guanica and had to fly back at Aguadilla. Aguadilla's security officer picked on my brother's Asian friend by asking him for passport and driver's license. I just walk pass security without been asked for a passport. He thought he was an illegal Dominican and kept speaking to him in Spanish for our Asian friend can speak Spanish. The officer even tried to ask him who's the mayor of the city he is returning to. All of the airport's workers are Caucasian looking. They even took out all his fishing stuff and his belongings and inspected multiple times his luggage. :wag:

 

Puerto Rico is very cheap and can be a dream fishing location or a good relaxing place but it is not perfect. Beware of the mosquitoes!:mad:

Making the world safe for bait, one bluefish at a time!
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1 hour ago, petespeak said:

Just came back after a month of beach fishing on the western side of Puerto Rico. Beware I have a habit of speaking directly and some people do not like my take on things.

 

Long story short: 

 

1) DIY recreational fishery inshore is a bust. Consistent catch two fish/day but limited to palm sized snappers. Think fishing for white perch and snapper blues with squid. Thats it.

 

2) Offshore game fishing is world class. Like everywhere else in the big money fishing world, you get what you pay for, and in PR the rewards can be great.

 

3)Racial tensions similiar to Hawaii, but more direct in PR. Political corruption, exploitive foreign investment and arrogant rich tourists have taken their toll on "public relations" in PR. If you are a white guy and want to know what it feels like to be a black guy in backwoods Florida go to Combate, the gateway to southern Puerto Rico. Blatant racism, two levels of service in restaurants. Seating was divided between white and brown in the biggest restarant in town and I was advised by a concerned clerk at my that people "like me" should stay off the streets after dark. And just like back home in the US, the further south you travel with the wrong color on your skin, the more "uncomfortable" it gets. 

 

4) Infrastructure is destroyed and nothing in the public sector is being restored. But places like this are perfect for me. I like to rough it DIY and always avoid tourist spots. I'm used to being unwelcome where I live: I moved from NJ to Bailey Island Maine....if you been there you know what I mean...haha...no matter where you go, there are angry, frightened, ignorant locals who blame outsiders for their misfortunes. Puerto Rico is no different, except that the white guys are in the minority and catch all the hate from the local angry, frightened, ignorant natives. Unfortunately skin color and language spoken will certainly effect the outcome of your vacation. But that is human nature at work It's not solely a Puerto Rican thing.. But reality does suck, and if you are different in PR, you will without question be treated differently. Just like home...but here, guys looking like me are on the outside looking in. 

 

PR is a great place for a cheap winter get-away, no passport needed, cheap flights. Just stay on the beaten path for a week or two and go home. Leave your light tackle in the garage. Snorkle like a tourist. Collect shells, get tanned, drink the worlds best rum. Go with your eyes open and a clear travel plan in place. Just don't do what i did and waste your time chasing inshore fish that aren't there. Get a Don Q fueled umbrella drink. Put on sun block. Sit in your folding beach chair for two weeks and plan your springtime fishing adventures.

 

The world is what it is. Embrace reality. Act accordingly. Easy peasy.

No thanks. I’ll pass. Spend a bit more and go somewhere nicer. 

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As a Puerto Rican you couldn't pay me to go to Puerto Rico.

 

Machine gun fights in the street, constant crime, people always stealing your stuff..

 

My older brother is always saying "Oh but the food bro its soooo good!"

 

Nah, no thanks. I can throw a pork shoulder in the oven myself. No food is good enough to risk wandering into a mac-10 sprayfest between two subhuman gangsters.

 

I'd rather go to Aruba where the biggest risk you have is some Dutch girl trying to take you back to her place and serve you waffles.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Richizzzle said:

As a Puerto Rican you couldn't pay me to go to Puerto Rico.

 

Machine gun fights in the street, constant crime, people always stealing your stuff..

 

My older brother is always saying "Oh but the food bro its soooo good!"

 

Nah, no thanks. I can throw a pork shoulder in the oven myself. No food is good enough to risk wandering into a mac-10 sprayfest between two subhuman gangsters.

 

I'd rather go to Aruba where the biggest risk you have is some Dutch girl trying to take you back to her place and serve you waffles.

 

 

I’ve spent a few sweaty hours of layovers in the airport in Puerto Rico. That was enough time on that island for me. I’m in the process of planning a trip to Aruba now. It seems nice and the prices are reasonable. 

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It's been a few years, but I always had a very good vacation in Vieques. It's a small island that you'll have to reach by 10 passenger puddle jumper or ferry. I took the plane the 3 trips I made there, landed in San Juan and that was my main experience  in P.R. proper. I always felt Vieques was the Caribbean islands 30 years ago or more. Horses running around owned by ?.  The island was a live fire military firing-bombing range until a while back, but a local getting killed put the kabosh on that.  Beaches were completely empty, and I was happy to catch a barracuda, snapper or jack on a 1/2 ounce Kast master. (all small)  Was never treated badly or even talked to in a nasty manner. Had a rented car and bombed around the island happy as a clam.It's not your Arruba type island  , restaurands are casual and if you want "rustic" this island should still be great!  Hopefully it's the way I left it and obviously the opposite of your  experience "on the "big island"  

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9 hours ago, petespeak said:

Go with your eyes open and a clear travel plan in place. Just don't do what i did and waste your time chasing inshore fish that aren't there. Get a Don Q fueled umbrella drink. Put on sun block. Sit in your folding beach chair for two weeks and plan your springtime fishing adventures.

 

The world is what it is. Embrace reality. Act accordingly. Easy peasy.


I usually tell all my friends. If you travel somewhere and want to fish. Don’t do any shore work unless that’s the purpose of the trip. You’re limited on time, don’t waste it. Don’t walk blindly on unknown sand or rocks. 
 

Pay a little bit. Hop on a damn boat and get on some nice and memorable fish you’ll never be able to catch back home. Especially if the trip is NOT a fishing trip. You’re already spending $xxxx usually on a trip.  What’s another $xxx for a half or full day excursion. Then kick back at night after a memorable experience to drinks with fam or friends. 

haters will always hate. trolls will always troll. its how the internet works.

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4 hours ago, dieselgrady said:

It's been a few years, but I always had a very good vacation in Vieques. It's a small island that you'll have to reach by 10 passenger puddle jumper or ferry. I took the plane the 3 trips I made there, landed in San Juan and that was my main experience  in P.R. proper. I always felt Vieques was the Caribbean islands 30 years ago or more. Horses running around owned by ?.  The island was a live fire military firing-bombing range until a while back, but a local getting killed put the kabosh on that.  Beaches were completely empty, and I was happy to catch a barracuda, snapper or jack on a 1/2 ounce Kast master. (all small)  Was never treated badly or even talked to in a nasty manner. Had a rented car and bombed around the island happy as a clam.It's not your Arruba type island  , restaurands are casual and if you want "rustic" this island should still be great!  Hopefully it's the way I left it and obviously the opposite of your  experience "on the "big island"  

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2 hours ago, EricL said:


I usually tell all my friends. If you travel somewhere and want to fish. Don’t do any shore work unless that’s the purpose of the trip. You’re limited on time, don’t waste it. Don’t walk blindly on unknown sand or rocks. 
 

Pay a little bit. Hop on a damn boat and get on some nice and memorable fish you’ll never be able to catch back home. Especially if the trip is NOT a fishing trip. You’re already spending $xxxx usually on a trip.  What’s another $xxx for a half or full day excursion. Then kick back at night after a memorable experience to drinks with fam or friends. 

I'm not a very experienced traveling fisherman. What you say makes perfect sense. By the third day of chasing phantom fish I began thinking in your direction.

 

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I’ve been to Puerto Rico 15 years ago and had a great time although it wasn’t for fishing. Great experience and great people and I’m Asian if that matters. Also thought it was funny seeing a Chinese restaurant. The mofongo is so good 

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I was there in September, found the complete lack of interest in fishing among the locals strange.

 

I did try at what public access to water I could find.

 

This pic is behind the kiosks at Luquillo. Which is sometimes mentioned on SOL as a place to fish.

 

It is an outdoor food mall often recommended as a place to visit. Beautiful public beach, with the usual rent a jet ski, ride a horse, get a haircut, etc beach activities. No lifeguard, people drown regularly. There a wrecked boat ramp behind it with a small jetty surrounded by rocks with a couple of sandbars an easy cast out.

 

Very accessible, the restaurant where I got my masitas and mofongo was maybe 200’ away.

 

What I was not used to seeing is a complete lack of fishing garbage. Plenty of the usual. Beer bottles, food wrappers, a couple of condom wrappers, even found a newish torch lighter.

 

I did not trip across any spots where people appeared to fish. And again did not see much evidence that people there fished.

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