19
Jul 18

My favorite fish from Grand Bahama

It was the second to last day and we were on the skiff with Cecil. The tide was coming in, the fish heading up into the mangroves, some hanging around the edges. I was up on the bow and Cecil called out two fish cruising in and out of the mangroves, just 40 feet away. It seemed they might move further in and the shot would be gone.

I had a window to make a cast. There were two mangroves about five feet apart and a dinner table sized area of white sand. The fish were cruising left to right. I made the cast, didn’t hang up in the bushes and the fly (a tan shrimp) landed well.

In cases like this I figure you hook the fish and then see where things go from there.

The fish jumped on the fly, I managed not to trout set or pull the fly out of the fish’s mouth and the game was on.

The fish ran back into the mangroves, line screaming off the reel and I tried to lighten the drag to give the fish less to pull against.

We could see the fish thirty feet from the mangroves, back over the sand, unable to move any further. We tried to find the leader or line, but couldn’t see either, so we went back to where the line went into the jumble of roots and twigs. I put on my boots and jumped out of the boat to trace the bonefish’s route back to open water.

It worked. I followed the backing back to the line and then back to the open water. The fish still had some gas, but not much. He came to hand moments later, a nice fish, about 5.5 pounds (maybe 5).

The cast, the fight through the mangroves, landing the fish, the good release… that was my favorite fish of the trip.


02
Mar 18

Sounds of the Bahamas

Thinking about heading to East End Lodge this summer and I started thinking about the sounds I associate with the Bahamas. If you close your eyes you can likely hear these sounds.

Your shirt flapping like a flag in a strong wind. flap flap flap flap flap

The soft sound of water slapping on the side of the skiff.

Wind through the mangroves.

The sound of dominos slapping down on a rickety table.

Potcakes barking as you drive by.

Uncatchable dialogue as one Bahamian speaks to another, which seems a totally foreign language which is simply turned off when the conversation is directed at you.

The sound of line going through the guides.

The soft, urgent tones of the guide pointing at a fish you can’t see.

 

Can you hear it?


27
Feb 18

A return to the Bahamas… on the books in 2018

I’m going back. I’m going back to the Bahamas in 2018… July.

I’m going to spend a few days at the East End Lodge, very close to the waters where I caught my first bonefish. This is the place I’ve spent the most time of any one place in the Caribbean. This is a place I kind of love a bit and want to know better.

I’m excited to be going back. I’m excited to stand in those waters again and look for something moving toward me there in the shimmering shadows of currents and water.

It is going to be a very, very fine year.

Grand Bahama… I’ll see you soon.

A Grand Bahama Bone


06
Jul 17

Bonefish Revolution (Cuba vid)

This looks pretty nice. Well done. Cuba remains one of my favorite trips ever.

 


15
Sep 16

Interview with Captain Perry, Grand Bahama

(Posted in 2010. Recently it was announced that Captain Perry had passed away. I always wanted to get back to fish with him. He was a great guide and a very decent person. It was an honor to fish with him, even if I only did it once.)

This last January I had a few days of fishing in Grand Bahama, one of those days I got a guide and the others I went on my own.  I mostly had my arse handed to me on the  self-guided days, but had a great day with the guide I booked, Captain Perry, out  of McLeans Town on the East End of Grand Bahama.

I recently called up Captain Perry and asked him to do an interview and he agreed.  Because of this know I need to get some sort of recording device, as I missed a couple comments (at least) and didn’t catch some of the local flavor of his remarks.

If I make it back to Grand Bahama, I hope to see Captain Perry again from the bow of his flats boat… wouldn’t mind being there for a day to equal his most memorable from below.

Captain Perry, Grand Bahama Guide and Good Guy.

Do you have a favorite place to eat on Grand Bahama?

I go to a place in Port Lucaya, Le Med.

Being out on the water a lot you see odd, interesting or strange things.  What’s the most interesting thing you’ve seen?

The shark eating the bonefish is pretty interesting, the speed of the bonefish is amazing, but the sharks hunt them down.

Do you have a guided trip that stands out in your memory?

Back in 2002, caught 127 bonefish in a day, wading. I’ll never forget that one.  It was all to do with the weather.  We’d had had some messed up weather before that, but that morning, the weather was nice.  We fished for 8 hours and fish were everywhere.

The following year I went out with the same guy about the same time of year and we saw one fish all day.

What do you think makes GBI a destination that bonefish anglers should check out?  Give me the top one or two reasons.

You can take almost a direct flight from the East Coast.  That’s it right there.  There is no need for a charter flight, no need so spend the night anywhere.

What’s your favorite tide to fish, or does it matter?

Around here, the incoming tide is good, but we have two tides, so we can get to find an incoming tide on one side or the other of the island.  A low incoming tide is really good.

What’s your favorite month to fish?

You can fish year round as long as there isn’t a cold front.

Do you have any lodging ideas for anglers looking to stay and fish the East End?  Freeport is pretty far away.

There’s a place called Ocean Pearl in High Rock, it is half way. That’s a good place.

On my trip with you in January, I landed 12 bonefish… I’m guessing that a more accomplished bonefisher might have had 20.  Sound about right?

Yeah, I think that’s about right.

I was impressed with how careful you were in handling the fish, never even taking them out of the water. You certainly are up to speed on the best practices for handing and releasing bonefish.  Are you seeing more anglers and guides being conscious of bonefish handling or is there still a lot of ignorance out there?

There is some way to go, for a lot of the guides, a long way to go…   a long way to go.  I think it will take some real knowledge about what’s going on with the fish.  They need to experience it themselves. If you tell them, they don’t get it. They need to get the knowledge themselves.  I see two or three guides that really get it, but there are still a lot that have a long way to go.

Drop the Grip and Grin and the fish will live to fight another day.

Thanks Captain Perry.


23
Aug 12

From the Show – Ross, SA and Cheeky

It is hard not to feel like a “kid in a candy store” at the show. All the gear is there for you to drool over. It doesn’t suck. I tried to get some of the gear makers to let me help them out when they packed up by taking some of the gear home, but, alas, that didn’t come to pass.

I got around to talk to folks and here is a little of what I saw.

Ross

Ross, at the show.

As you probably know, Ross got a bit bigger in the last year as they were acquired by 3M. 3M owns the Scientific Angler brand and most of the news was coming from SA.  Ross has taken a step back and is re-engineering a lot of their reels to bring them more in line with the F1 series, meaning sealed drags. I’m really curious to see what they come up with.

One interesting thing is that the SA System 4 reel has seen some big changes. It looks a LOT like the Ross CLA (I own one) and is now made in the USA (good on ya 3M).

System 4 – Made in the USA

Another product coming out of the SA side of thing is a new tippet holder with a build in cutter. They have really put some thought into tippet, coming up with a color coding system that will make it easy for you to figure out what you have your hand on. Interesting stuff. I got a couple spools, both for my fresh and saltwater fishing and I’m looking forward to trying it out.

There is a little razor blade to cut your line sans nippers. Interesting.

Cheeky

3M is a pretty large company and at the other end of the spectrum are newcomers Cheeky. I’ve covered Cheeky because I like the little guys. This was the first time I’ve actually held one of the reels in my hand. The styling is something you either like or you don’t. I liked it. They now have a full lineup that will handle the 4 wt. to the 14 wt..

They had me at the sign.

I’m sure that fish was taken right from the water and wasn’t exposed to the air for too long.

Kind of crappy cell phone camera, but you get the point. Sealed drag, btw.

There’s even more and I’ll eventually get that up for y’all.

 

 


10
Aug 12

Best Tides

A piece you may be interested in at the Fly Paper Blog about the best tides for bonefishing.

In the ocean, the moon is at the controls. Pockmarks and all, the moon is the king. His subjects range from the smallest invertebrates to the largest fish and all the creatures in between.  

 

That’s some skinny water.

I am guessing that it is my overall low number of bonefishing days that has lead me to believe that there are plenty of flats where the tide may determine where the fish are going to be, but not really IF they are going to be there.  There do seem to be some flats where the fish are there all day, just in different places… up along the shore at high tide, further out on the flat at low tide.  There are certainly some places where the fish can’t feed at low or high tide.  I seldom have the option, when on my own, of going for the “right” tide, I have to go fishing when I get a chance to go fishing, tides be damned. I think Scott agrees, saying:

I am often asked what is the best tide profile to choose for a bonefish trip. The simple answer is, “The best tides happen when you can go.” 

I know a little bit about tides, but I could certainly be armed with more information. There is some good stuff in the article that aims to give that sort of info.  Read it.

 

 

 


06
Aug 12

Game of Bones – triw style

I’ve been trying to come up with a good post around the title “Game of Bones” for a while. Love the Game of Thrones series and it just begged for a blog post. Alas, the This River is Wild blog beat me to it.

Great post, great pics and one hell of a title!

Bonefish are awesome. It is known.

The bonefish kept me going. I couldn’t believe the amount of chances I was getting but even more unbelievable was my batting percentage. I was getting schooled. With the high winds, there was a nice chop on the surface of the water that was disturbing sand and mud on the flat making visibility difficult, but I had a cloudless sky and the sun overhead. Often, I could see the bonefish but by the time I got into position for a cast, I couldn’t see them anymore. Taking your eye off a fish for a split second or even blinking resulted in missed opportunities. I left a lot of big bonefish on the table.

 

 


05
Aug 12

Drama

I saw this posted up by the This River is Wild guys on Facebook and I made a comment about “bonefishing doesn’t have this kind of drama.”

Turns out there might actually be this kind of drama in bonefishing. I guess I can understand that.  Your guide sets you up in the perfect position for a school of bones and then some a-hole motors by, putting down the whole school, or, worse, drops in in front of you.  Yeah, that would get me going a bit I suppose.

Have you encountered any ugliness out there in your fishing?

 

 


04
Aug 12

For the Ladies – Bonefishing School

The folks at Deneki are hosting a bonefishing school for women down at Andros South.

Awesome.

At the school will be Kara Armano and Bruce Chard, as well as the guides and good folk at Andros South.

Building on the success of our very popular Bonefishing School program, our Women’s School will be co-hosted by Kara Armano and Bruce Chard.  You’ll get hands-on instruction from the best in the business, plenty of time on the legendary flats of Andros Island, and the company of a bunch of women who love fishing as much as you do – what could be better?

Now, I think my future Mrs. Bonefishonthebrain might not be totally set for this just yet and won’t have the vacation time anyway, but man… how fantastic would it be for her to have a safe and supportive place to connect with the flats and the fish that live there?

I’ve been to Andros South and it is still a place I keep close to my heart/soul. The wildness of the place and the beauty of the countryside are really mind-numbing.

Hope it fills up and creates some lasting impressions.

Andros South, for the ladies.