24
Mar 17

Flashback to a perfect moment in Grand Bahama from a few years back

It was a slow day. The guide my dad and I went out with had an old boat, a bit worse for wear, and his eyes appeared to be going. He was having a heck of a time finding fish. I got out of the boat to wade across a point, I think because the boat was scrapping bottom and it was easier to pole if I got out.

Then… as I was wading, I saw a couple fish moving along the shore-line.


19
Mar 17

27 days to Belize

The sand in the hourglass no longer looks so daunting. This trip is going to happen.

Just a few weekends left to get things sorted out, but I think I’m mostly ready for Belize.

I did have one little setback earlier in the week. Mainly, a no-contact injury in my 40+ indoor soccer league. Looks like a partially ruptured left calf, an injury I’m familiar with having tired it out on my right calf a couple years ago. Good news is I’m already up and walking on it, almost without a limp. Should be fine in a couple weeks.

Speaking of legs and feet and whatnot, I also picked up a pair of the Simms Zipit II flats booties. I have had Patagonia boots for the flats for a long time, but 1. those either need to be replaced or repaired, and 2. they take up a lot of room when packings (I wear a 14). So, I decided to try out something different. The soul here seems thick enough to stand up to the odd urchin or jagged shell and they should be lighter and smaller when packing. We’ll see how it goes.

I’ve been at the vice a little bit, although not enough. Tying up some #6-8’s, with weed guards, for the bones and I haven’t decided what I need to try and whip up for baby tarpon yet… likely something bunny-ish.

The count down continues. Looking forward to it all.

 

 


18
Mar 17

Ghost Stories Trailer – one to watch

Looking forward to seeing this.


13
Mar 17

Getting that license and DIY in the Bahamas

Reports coming out of the Bahamas have been mostly good when it comes to getting your fishing license. You show up on a Monday morning, you’ll likely get your license with a minimum of fuss. Saturday or Sunday, when the office is closed, are another matter. I have read some reports about self-important administrators making anglers wait, but there are more reports of things just running smoothly. That’s good news.

Guides and lodges have been able to pre-purchase your license, if you are fishing with them. That helps your Saturday/Sunday arrivals.

Still, there are problems. Recently heard a report out if Inagua that Ezzard Cartwright (one of two guides on that island) was telling people it was illegal to wade fish. That’s not true, of course, but he stood by the claim, basically saying DIY was illegal.

DIY is NOT illegal. There is no location in the Bahamas where you cannot DIY, so long as you don’t take a motorized craft to that spot with more than one angler (this part is a little fuzzy, but, that’s what I believe to be true at this point).


11
Mar 17

Odd happenings in Grand Bahama

Cruise ships. Not my favorite things, especially when it comes to dredging new ports and everything that comes with those ports.

So, news that a new port was going to be put in EAST GRAND BAHAMA is not good news (also known as Bonefish Valhalla).

Grand Bahama is kind of an economic wreck. The hotel market has been hit hard by the closer of the Grand Lucayan and some of the cruise ships that used to stop in GB are heading now to Cuba.

Grand Bahama is already a developed location, the second biggest city in the Bahamas is Freeport (at about 48K it is some ways behind Nassau at 240K), and the cruise ship facilities are already there. I know Freeport can be a challenging destination though. Good restaurants can be a challenge to find (although Pier One is AWESOME) and there are a lot of places that have a derelict feel to them. Casinos helped build Freeport as a destination back when only six states allowed gambling, but now you can efficiently lose your money in a game of chance in 30 states. The drain on the Grand Bahama economy has been drawn out with a combination of physical and financial hurricanes hitting every few years.

The Arawak Hotel, abandoned in the 80’s.

Still… Freeport is where the people are, where the workers are, where what infrastructure that exists can be found. The idea of putting in ANOTHER port, with all the environmental destruction that comes along with that, is… well… sad AF.

The story up at the top says the port with be on the North Side of the island, which makes zero sense to anyone I’ve talked to and it is generally seen as an error and that the port really will be on the South Side, which, as far as these things make sense at all, makes more sense. The exact location of the port wasn’t released and what is out there thus far still says the North Side.

A port on the South side is really unfortunate. A port on the North side is insanity. You’d have to dredge a huge channel and while the PM said the location was selected to have the least impact, there really is not place on the North that would not have a big impact if you were to put a cruise ship port and all the support elements you need for a port.

The other part of this story is… is this just politics? Elections are coming soon and these sorts of projects get announced before every Bahamian election, even if most of those projects don’t come to fruition. So… maybe this is just a YUGE campaign promise.

The idea itself, of a new port anywhere on Grand Bahama and even more a port on the North side of the East End… what a disaster for the Bahamian people.

UPDATE: I am hearing it is likely on the South side, although there is no update from the government on that.

Opposition to the plan has been in place for as long as word about the possible port was mentioned. This is from last November.


08
Mar 17

Why you should book with an outfitter, Belize Edition

I’m going to Belize next month, as I think you all know.

I ended up not booking the trip through a booking agent although the price was almost identical and in the end, probably would have been completely equal. I didn’t have really good reasons NOT to book through an agent but part of my brain was thinking this wasn’t a real fishing trip, even if there was going to be 1-2 days of fishing.

So, I booked myself.

Fast forward to a couple days ago when my procrastinating brain figured “OK, let’s get the guides sorted out.” Well, there were no more guides available. Disaster. Scramble. “OH NOOOOO.”

Pretty sure if I had booked through a booking agent I would not have has the 24-36 hours of panic I just endured.

I found a guide. The trip is saved, but only just. It is Easter Weekend. People are booked well in advance. I had just let the details slip because I hardly have two seconds to rub together these days and I adopted a distinctly “Island time” mentality about this trip.

Mistake.

When and if I get to go with my daughter on some other exotic fishing trip I’m going to go through an agent… because, yeah, I’d like to not sweat the details.


07
Mar 17

Awesome in trip form – Openings for Cuba

I was really, really fortunate to get to fish Cuba with Yellow Dog back in 2012 (was it really that long ago?). It was an amazing experience. I caught my first adult tarpon there, jumped and lost others, caught plenty of bones, some nice jacks and cudas and generally had the time of my life.

You want in on this? Well, there is a trip April 22-29 going to the Garden of the Queens with the Fieldworkers Club and they have openings.

Check it out.

How’s that for a trip?

Dr. Jerry Ault is on the trip to lead the science efforts and as one of the world’s foremost experts on tarpon, that should be a pretty educational part of the trip.


03
Mar 17

Silver Kings chasing silver kings at El Pescador

I mean… come on. The awesome levels here are off the chart.


02
Mar 17

And… speaking of Belize

Check out this bit of awesome… the folks from Silver Kings join The Fieldworkers Club down at El Pescador (my first Belizian love).

Oh Belize… soon… soon.

The final piece, the tarpon.

 


01
Mar 17

Thinking about Belize

What is Cay Caulker like? Well… here’s an idea of what it is like.

Now, I won’t be doing a ton of fishing on this trip (April), but I’ll have my 10 year old with me for some primo daddy-daughter time, so it will be a good/important trip. Not too expensive to get to and not too expensive when you are there. Hard to beat.

Sea Dreams, which they show in this short video, is where we’ll be staying. You can book this through Yellow Dog.