After long and busy summer the evenings start to draw in and temperatures are drop. With the schools returning this is an excellent time to head to salty climes to catch some sun before winter sets in. Now, is the time to plan ahead and book some saltwater fishing for this period. We have detailed some of our top picks for a saltwater escape for the autumn of 2023.

Cosmoledo, Seychelles, Aardvark McLeod

Option 1 – The Seychelles
Considered by many anglers to be the finest saltwater flats fly fishing in the world, the shallow waters of Seychelles offer unbelievable wading and fantastic fly fishing opportunities for an incredible number of different species. When you consider the sheer diversity of fish species found in the Seychellois Islands, the seclusion and the incredible scenery, these are saltwater fisheries that are unlike any other found on the planet. Throughout these area waters, you will find bonefish in extraordinary numbers, several types of trevally, milkfish, triggerfish, bumphead parrotfish, permit, and dozens of other reef and flats species. With various atolls to fish and species to target, deciding which is the best destination for you can be daunting. But we are here to help and can offer the best advice based on first hand experience of each of these atolls.

Turneffe Flats lodge, Belize, Aardvark McLeod

Option 2 – Turneffe Flats Lodge, Belize
If you are looking for wading destination to visit in the autumn then Turneffe flats is a top pick in Belize. You can wade or skiff fish here as the atoll is hard coral and turtle grass flats not unlike the pancake flats of Los Roques. It does require a 2 ½ hour boat ride off the coast to the Turneffe Atoll, but this is in comfortable boat and ads to the feeling of getting away to a tropical island paradise. The bonefishing on these huge expanses of turtle grass is very interesting as you target tailing fish in skinny water giving a very visual experience. Turneffe Atoll is also one of THE spots to go to catch a permit on the fly. There are good numbers out here and can often lead to fish competing for the fly.

Casa Blanca Lodge, Playa Blanca Lodge, Mexico, Aardvark McLeod

Option 3 – Casa Blanca, Mexico
Casa Blanca is located on northern tip of Punta Pájaros, on the southern side of Ascension Bay and built right on the water edge overlooking a beautiful flat. Due to its location it offers access to a very different part of the bay to the lodges in Punta Allen and Grand Slam Lodge on the northern side and also stretches into the Santa Rosa Lagoon system. This side of the bay also offers some of the finest Caribbean flats permit fishing along with bonefish and tarpon. The fishing is predominantly done from skiffs rather than wading and the adapted pangas that are used by the other lodges.

All rooms are spacious and well-appointed with remarkable ocean views, air conditioning, tile floors and mahogany shutters. Casa Blanca has ten seaside rooms and can accommodate 22 people comfortably. Whilst fly fishing is the main activity this pristine slice of paradise has much more to offer. Snorkelling and kayaking the turquoise waters, hiking and biking along 25 miles of private beaches and coves, touring the mangrove lagoons and the Mayan ruins, or simply indulging in a massage and a day of relaxation are just a few possibilities.

Andros South, Bahamas, Aardvark McLeod

Option 4 – Andros South, Bahamas
The lodge here very proudly claim that they are not a luxury lodge but far more a lodge for people who love fishing. The accommodation is comfortable but casual, the service is excellent, the food is good and the focus is on fishing. The fishery on South Andros is huge, varied and productive. They fish in four parts of the island; tidal creeks on the East Side, hundreds of small keys off the southern tip of the island, the West Side which is known for large fish, inland ponds and creeks in the middle of the island. Some areas tend to hold large groups of fish while others are home to larger fish in smaller groups. It is our experience that first-time and experienced anglers alike have a great time on the flats of South Andros. There are lots of opportunities for both wading and skiff fishing, depending on your preferences and the conditions.

Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba tarpon, fly fishing tarpon, tarpon, Aardvark McLeod

Option 5 – Cayo Cruz, Cuba
Cayo Cruz represents perhaps the best value for money fishery in Cuba and with the operation moving into a 5 star resort located much closer to the fishing than before it will negate the need for the long drives. The fishing has always been excellent and more of a multi species destination that other north coast operations. It is also considered a top permit spot. On the north shore of the eastern province of Camaguey, the Cayo Cruz fishery is an enormous system of flats, lagoons and pristine estuaries. The sport fishing area is 366 km2 in size, therefore on the average day each skiff has over 50 square kilometres to itself. The fishing area is virtually untouched and represents one of the cleanest and most biologically diverse ecosystems found in Cuba.

Ikari House, Christmas Island, Yellow Margin Trigger fish

Option 6 – Xmas Island, Kiribati
Long since known for the being one of the original saltwater destinations and the proving ground for many modern techniques and flies, Xmas Island is a trip that every saltwater fisherman should have on their list. The atoll is huge, some 80 miles in length and the lagoon spanning 12 miles across. We recommend Ikari House and the Villages as the two best operations, the former being located right next to the docks in in London and with access to fibre glass boats for hunting GTs and milkfish, the later giving a really solid experience and excellent value for money. The sand flats in the lagoon are massive with huge populations of bonefish and some of the largest trigger fish in the world. Giant trevally maraud the edges along with the southern surfline and there is a prolific offshore fishery with tuna and multitude of species. The Christmas Islanders are wonderfully friendly and very quickly you become immersed in a far simpler existence and leave the stresses of the modern world behind. If you are looking to get away from it all then this is about as far as you can get!

If you would like to get away this autumn for a saltwater break and would like more information please contact Peter McLeod or Alex Jardine call us on ++44 1980 847389. Alternatively click HERE if you would like us to contact you.