Welcome to The Bonefish Flat

There's a stiff wind in your face as you squint in the sun trying to see what the guide sees. "Bonefish at 12 o'clock about 90 feet, do you see it, mon?" You don't and keep squinting, your hat pulled low to keep the sun out of your eyes. "Bonefish at 11 o'clock 70 feet out. Come on man, do you see it?" As the guide is calmly shifting the skiff into position, this time you spot the fish, "I got, it," you reply.

"OK, Mon, Bonefish 50 feet at 10 o'clock. Cast when you're ready."

Cast when you're ready. And with that you drop your fly, roll out a cast, false cast once, and then...

Welcome to the bonefish flat.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jonesin’ For the Pull: Grand Bahamas Bonefishing Report 2010

Perhaps the best way to describe bonefishing is how it was described to me by a fellow angler that I ran into waiting for my flight home at Grand Bahamas airport. “People at home just don’t understand it,” he said. He was referring to the whole bonefish experience. The hunt, the take, the pull, the fight, and the release. “I don’t even want to go fishing when I get home,” he added. “It’s just not the same.” This is coming from a guy who gets to do a lot of sight casting to redfish in Texas.

Day 1
My dad and I arrived at Grand Bahamas around 11:30 and rented a car to do a little exploring on our own. The car was a Chinese Cherri which is a total heep and but all we needed to cruise around for a bit. We drove to Fortune Beach and did some wading and exploring. What a beautiful beach.

Fortune Beach is a public beach about 5 or 10 miles from Our Lucaya, where we stayed. I think we ran into about 5 people while walking the beach and wading the crystal clear waters.

We didn’t see any fish, but that was OK. It’s hard to find bonefish on your own and with the tide being out, it’s even harder.

For dinner, we hit the famous Wednesday night fish fry at Smiths Point. Ton’s of locals and tourists mix together for fresh caught snapper, conch fritters, and cold libations. It’s definitely worth checking out as locals fry up the fish on the beach. There’s local music (via a DJ) and dancing.

Day 2
We woke up a bit groggy from the fish fry, but ready to go. We could tell that it was going to be a windy day and that’s not good for fly fishing. A little wind is OK. It can cover up a few mistakes. But a lot of wind makes the water choppy and then, consequently, it’s tough to see the fish.

Captain Perry Demeritte picked us up at Pelican Bay at 7:00. Perry fishes out of McLean’s Town which is a world away from the tourist center of Our Lucaya. The ride out gives you an opportunity to decompress and start thinking about your day.

At the McLean’s town dock, we ran into several other groups of anglers. We also saw lots of locals on their way to Abaco. One local was smoking a Bob Marley behind the entrance to the dock. I’m sure for medicinal purposes.

Perry dropped us off and went to get his boat. He picked us up at the dock and we were off. He was able to fish an area that was a little out of the wind. Fishing first thing in the morning is always tough. The sun isn’t fully up so it’s harder to see the fish. I was first up on the deck and we were on the hunt for a while but Perry finally spotted one and I was able to hook up with a really nice fish. Man is it great to hook into that first bonefish. The reel screaming and fish pulling, I found what I was looking for. The bonefish jones was answered.

We continued the trip and hooked up with several fish. The windy conditions made it tough. There were several fish where I could only get 40 feet out and the fish was at 50. That’s always frustrating.

Later in the day, I had a chance to do some wading and my dad stayed on the boat. Wading for bonefish is a different game. I’ll talk about this a little bit more later.

Needless to say these were the highlights. On the way back to the dock, Perry tried one more flat just outside of McLean’s Town. Unfortunately, the wind was just too tough. Dad and I had each landed about 5 fish which was pretty good considering conditions.

1 comment:

  1. Great report. You hit it on the head when you wrote that people just don't understand. Thanks for sharing.