@armada - Thanks for this great write-up on your experience. I've caught some small cuda off the little point next to the Renaissance last time I was in Aruba. At Spanish Lagoon I saw much larger cuda (maybe > 24") but couldn't get them to bite.
Have you been back since this report? Any more reports?
Originally Posted by armada
RESULTS from 8/12-8/20 2009 shore-fishing in Aruba, from Eagle Beach...
Obviously there are tons of bait-fish everywhere - just use a cast-net or use a light fishskin sabiki hage rig on your spinning rod to get them. Locals call them "sardinas" - I'm not certain if they are any different from "piskechi" or what "piskechi" means to everyone in Papiamento.
Best for catching baitfish early, around 8-10am, and afternoon around 3pm-5pm - easier to see them through that clear blue-green water, when glare was diminished.
Using a fish-trap (minnow/crab trap) baited with calamari, caught 1x yellow snapper, 3x small baby redfish, and 1x baby grouper (released them all).
Cast netted many "sardinas" and we even caught a baby Palometa on the sabiki rig.
Between 9am-11am, noticed dozens of small-medium Redfish (aka Red Drum Fish) right at the shore, by the rocks at the end of our hotel's beach. (I would guess they were about 14-16" long.) They were hiding like greyish-red ghosts in the sand-clouds of the crashing waves. Magnificent - no hookups.
Many crabs were all over those rocks... would have made nice bait if I had caught any.
Cast out with aspirations of hooking into Snook or Redfish - caught none.
Was mostly surf-casting live-bait ("sardinas") on a 20lb-test rig with two snells, and a 1oz weight at bottom. Tried using calamari strips on the rig, not even one nibble -- also tried using various artificial lures, including Gulp Shrimp and D.O.A. Shrimp and also a Crab lure with treble hook -- no nibbles. This was with my casting about 25-40 yards from shore.
Saw either a 24" Barracuda or Snook, stalking for 15 minutes along the shore, cast out a PowerBait Shrimp to it a few times - placed it within 12-24" inches in front of its direct swim-path, but no interest was given. Stealthy hunter. Swimming in shore, 3-4ft deep, right between and amongst swimmers and people.
Compared to the mangrove channels of Florida, it seems like the Aruban Snook or Redfish would hug the shoreline much more than I could have ever imagined.
Might try fishing the Rennaissance Hotel next time I head back to Aruba -- there are some channels or inlets all around the Seaport and that area that look very promising.
Also, the Spanish Lagoon has an inlet and the Bird Sanctuary (estuary) has brackish inlets that look like prime fishing spots.
if they cannot help you, they may be able to steer you in the right direction.
ELMAX Marine & Fishing Tackle
Rococo Plaza Aruba
also too, if you want to work at it.
there are a GAZILLION crabs along the seawall running behind the Renaissance Ocean Suites. the rocks along the walkway from the main resort to where the Ren Island shuttle boat docks at the marina.
Bring a net and a bucket with a lid.
QUOTE=coldsteel337;219320]is there anyplace on the Island i can buy small live crabs to use as bait?[/QUOTE]