This looks pretty nice. Well done. Cuba remains one of my favorite trips ever.
This looks pretty nice. Well done. Cuba remains one of my favorite trips ever.
(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.
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.
Thanks Captain Perry.
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.
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).
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.
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.
There’s even more and I’ll eventually get that up for y’all.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
The folks at Deneki are hosting a bonefishing school for women down at Andros South.
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.
I asked on Facebook who folks would like to see an interview with and someone said “Buddy Pinder in Abaco.”
Ta-DOW. Here ya go.
Sadly, I didn’t have the budget to fly to Abaco and fish with Buddy, but he did manage to get me the answers to my questions through his wife Cindy. Thanks for that!
The marls world-class fishing. There is no other fishery quite like it.
I got my first fly rod in the early 90’s. It was a 10wt Fenwick. It was given to me by my second client. He brought if for me the second year he came back to fish with me. That rod led to my passion for fly fishing. The first rod I actually bought for myself was a two piece 8wt Sage RPLX that I still have in my rod collection.
A pod of dolphins in less than two feet of water out in the marls about 20 miles from open water. That’s not where you’d expect to see something so big because they are half out of water as they are swimming.
Every angler should have a relatively new fly line on their reel and bring a spare line along with them too. Nothing casts quiet as good or quite as far as a new line! I have one client that fishes with a 20 year old line. He’d be amazed what a new line would do but no matter how many times I tell him that he keeps coming back with the same old line.
Because of the popularity of bonefishing and the increased numbers of visitors to Abaco overfishing is probably the biggest threat to bonefishing here.
One of the things that I love about Abaco is that it is still sparsley populated so it’s a very peaceful place to live. We only have one traffic light on Abaco so there aren’t any rush hour traffic reports here yet. Plus the water is stunning to see. Just looking at it can raise your spirits and relax you.
I’ve fished with a lot of great equpiment over the years. My favorite reel is the Tibor Everglades that was given to me by a client many years ago. I have a room full of rods and I still use a lot of them. I even had my own signature rods built a few years ago which are great casting rods. But I’d have to say my favorite rod is the 8 wt Orvis T3 because it is a very stiff fast rod that casts great in strong winds. Interestingly enough that rod was also a gift from a client. You may have realized by now that I have had a lot of pretty special clients over the years.
Probably the best all around fly would be a Gotcha tied on a size 4 hook with either lead eyes or bead chain eyes.
I went camping and fishing with my little girl. It was my fiancee’s bachelorette weekend and that meant some time with just the 5 year old any myself. We went up to the Upper McCloud River, at the foot of Mount Shasta, about 5 hours from San Jose. For those of you in NYC or Florida, this kind of California may surprise you. It is a deep, dark green with towering trees. Flowing through this dark and pervasive wilderness green are several extremely fishable rivers. This was my destination.
We got up to the campground on Saturday morning, grabbed one of the last two spots and quickly set up camp. My 5 year old was immediately enamored with a 6 year old boy across from us, which I fear foreshadows a certain amount of trouble come the teen years. Eventually, I
threatened her into convinced her it was time to go fishing. We got down to the water quickly and on the 2nd or 3rd cast I was hooked up. She got to fight the fish and then touch it. I asked her if she wanted to kiss the fish and she said yes. So, she did. This, when I asked later that night what her favorite part of the day was, proved to be her favorite incident of Saturday. All told she says she kissed three fish that day. She also told the neighbors that I caught “one million two” fish.
None of this hurt my feelings.
My folks came for dinner and that meant I got to hit the water with my dad between dinner and smores. In the two little stints of fishing I had I don’t know how many fish I caught, but it was a lot… maybe 40. Turns out they had just stocked the river with truck trout. I don’t really go places to fish for hatchery fish as I love wild fish over human-raised fish, really regardless of size. Still, “the tug is the drug” and I can’t complain.
A few special moments were created on and around the waters of the Upper McCloud. Water has a way of doing that.
One of the things learned by fishing with a 5 year old is that the line between “we are having a great time” and “I… (sob, sob) want to go back to the camp ground… (sob, sob)… NOW!” is a perilously thin line, easily crossed with no warning or explanation. There is a fair bit of balancing between pure joy and pure frustration, but I guess life is like that to one degree or another.
I urge all the parents out there to get their kids out on the water. Let them kiss a fish and watch it in a bucket and hold the rod and take credit for landing it. Turn over rocks and show then the bugs and talk about the trees and the flowers and the plants.
Don’t forget your daughters. Happy fishing all.
Now, I’ve come up with my own work around to get my rods from Point A (bonefishless place) to Point B (bonefishful place). It is very practical, but not very attractive. It involves a soccer sock and some REI straps.
Well, looks like Sage has just come out with a new traveling rod case. Hmmmmmm….
Watch for them to show up at Sage.
PS – I see the word “bookmarks” at the top of the page when published, but not on the edit screen. I have no idea what that is there for.