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.


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.


24
Mar 15

Parks for the Bahamas

There is a push to get some new parks created in the Bahamas, specifically on Grand Bahama.

National Parks are created when a society decides it wants to protect its natural heritage. We’ve been very successful at this and our National Parks are crown jewels, special places.

I’m glad to see the Bahamas embracing what is special about their islands. I’m guessing that these parks would not ban bonefishing, as some of these parks are in the best stuff, especially the East End proposed park.

The site has videos you can watch with a bit more information about each proposed park. The East End park even has Flip catching a bonefish.

Photo-BahamasParks_1_.jpg

PS… If you’ve fished the East End, you’ve almost certainly been by the spot in the above picture. When I was last there I actually caught one or two bonefish right on this flat.


28
Nov 14

Stuffed

Yup, Thanksgiving was great and even now, I’m a bit stuffed (and yet still kind of eyeing the pumpkin pie). I did the whole thing… turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, dressing, raspberry jello salad. Turned out great and was happy to share it with family.

I made that.

I made that.

Thoughts are turning toward 2015 and what should be a pretty fantastic year.

First, I need to get 5 folks signed up for Grand Bahama. This trip doesn’t happen without the group, whoever that group turns out to be.

A Grand Bahama Bone

A Grand Bahama Bone

I’m starting to think about the patterns I really need for Water Cay, the things that have worked in Grand Bahama for me in the past, the things I’ve hears Scott talk about in terms of what has worked for him.

I’m thinking about gear and wondering how those knots would hold up against something truly large.

I’m making a list of gear that included my rain jacket and maybe getting hold some sunglasses more suited for low light situations.

2015… it’s going to be a good time.

Feb. 7-14, Water Cay Lodge – Hosted trip with Bonefish on the Brain through Angling Destinations. If you are interested, contact me at bjornorama@yahoo.com.


23
Nov 14

5 Reasons I’m Looking Forward to Water Cay

I’m hosting a trip through Angling Destinations to Water Cay on Feb. 7-14. There are five open spots and here are five reasons I’m looking forward to this trip.

A good sign.

  1. I love Grand Bahama. I’ve been to this island more than any other and I have some fantastic memories there. It is easy to get to and has some of the best bonefishing anywhere.
  2. February is a big fish time of year. Grand Bahama coughs up some really big fish and February is a big fish time on the calendar. This could be where my 10 pounder comes from. While no one can guarantee something like that, I can almost guarantee I’ll get a shot. What I do with the shot is up to me.
  3. The guides. I’ve heard so many really fantastic things about the guides out of Water Cay. It is always good being on the water with a guide who is infused with their local water.
  4. The AD Crowd. I hosted a trip this last year for Angling Destinations and had a grand time of it. We were down in Long Island in 2014 and the group was a lot of fun. I expect the same for Water Cay.
  5. Green Pastures. In February, while the weather might be tricky, the fish should have been rested for a couple months. That means that 10 pounder might be just a slight bit less spooky. That 9 pounder might be a little more forgiving.

If you are interested, contact me at bjornorama@yahoo.com.

Let’s go fishing.

#6 – Bonus Reason:

And all is well with the world.

 

 

 

 


11
Nov 14

Falling Back in Love with Bonefish

An interesting story about an angler falling back in love with bonefish with a trip to Grand Bahama.

One of the most glamorous sport fish in the world is Bonefish, and I fell out of love with those as well. I had fished for Bonefish from the Seychelles off the coast of Africa, Belize, Mexico and the outer Islands in the Bahamas.

I guess it is possible it could happen to me, but I have a long, long way to go.

Read the story… it has a happy ending.

I like this shot for no reason in particular.

I like this shot for no reason in particular. From Grand Bahama.


03
Nov 14

Scott is back from Water Cay

Scott just returned from Water Cay and again, it was a great trip. In a pretty interesting post, he talks about the “Water Cay Method.”

Fishing at Water Cay is a learning experience for even the most seasoned of anglers. All three of the guides are analytical, good at communicating their methods and have some of the best bonefish eyes I have ever seen. But a warning, if you are the know-it-all type that doesn’t want to try something new, don’t go to Water Cay. But if you want to get better and put some new arrows in your angling quiver, Water Cay should be near the top on your bucket list.

I really do enjoy being out with a great guide, learning new things, putting old things in a new perspective.

Never stop learning.


16
May 14

The Skink Files – Aragonite mining in Grand Bahama

I think Skink might make the trip from Florida to Grand Bahama to deal with these guys (that’s the link to the full story).

Someone wants to mine aragonite in Grand Bahama. Yes… that Grand Bahama. The Awesome Grand Bahama with all that kick arse fishing and wonderful wildlife. The locals are none too happy.

Omeko Glinton, a professional bonefishing guide at Deep Water Cay for 17 years, added: “This would be one of the most detrimental things anyone could do, not just for the natural habitat, which also includes conch, lobster, bonefish and many more species, but also to the many people who have been using these areas to support them and their families.”

 

This does not seem like a good place for a mine.

This does not seem like a good place for a mine.

I really, really hope this doesn’t come to pass. Grand Bahama is one of the best bonefish fisheries on the planet. I hope they don’t screw that up.


17
Jan 14

Your first trip in the salt

Midcurrent has some ideas about where you should go for your first bonefishing trip.

Total Crap! (< attempt at sensationalism)

Actually… spot on.

Bone in GBI

Bone in GBI

Basically… go to the Bahamas.

That’s where I went when I for sure, needed to catch a bonefish. I did. I’ve had it in my head ever since.

The Bahamas makes it easy. The flights are many, as are the fish. There are a lot of price points, the fish are there to be caught. It can sometimes be a crap shoot finding an independent guide, although the lodges usually have top talent.

So… head to the Bahamas.


12
Oct 13

GBI in the USA Today

This story popped up in my news feed today. A story in the USA Today about Grand Bahama and Freeport.

I like this shot for no reason in particular.

I like this shot for no reason in particular.

I kind of love Freeport/GBI. I seem to be drawn there more and more. I’ll be heading back in February.

I love the beaches and the authentic feel of the place. I love getting in a rental car and heading East, leaving civilization behind and feeling like you are in the Out Islands in just a few minutes. It’s an intriguing place with all the hurricane or economically abandoned ruins of hotels, resorts and homes, giving the island the feel that it only just avoided being overrun by jet skis and Starbucks.

Here’s my Spring Break report from this last year on Grand Bahama.