Ahoy Matey

Captain Morgan used to lurk in the waters of the Caribbean, but those days have long since passed and the main piracy threat today is off the horn of Africa. So, it is probably a very safe thing to go on a live-aboard trip to the Bahamas, which is just what Scott Heywood with Angling Destinations just did. There were no reports of piracy (I went to a 6 year old’s pirate birthday party today, so maybe that’s why I’m thinking of pirates) and from what I hear, the trip was a good one.

When in Cuba we stayed on a stationary barge, so it didn’t feel like a Mother Ship trip, although it certainly was free floating. Beyond that, I haven’t been on a live-aboard type of operation, but I can understand the appeal. You are where the fish are (or damn close) and if the fishing tanks, you can kind of pick up your lodging and follow the fish. Sounds good, no?

On the trip, Doug Jeffries, frequent commenter here on the blog.

On the trip, Doug Jeffries, frequent commenter here on the blog.

I have to say… I am intrigued.

The Sea Hunter... looks big enough to live on.

The Sea Hunter… looks big enough to live on.

Have you fished a mother ship trip? If so, how was it?

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  1. Did it in Belize. Loved it. I was barefoot for 7 days. Didn’t step on dry land the entire time. Fished 8-10 hours a day. Ate delicious food, including snappers I handlined off the back at the boat at night.

  2. Hey, thanks for making me famous now. I think I mentioned this before but in my opinion most live aboards are the best value for money available – if you calculate the dollars per fishing hour. And the Sea Hunter is one of the most comfortable with plenty of room and creature comforts (hot and cold running water from the RO units; standard flush toilets {versus the hand pump / mastigation type}; plenty of freezer space for food and beer; easy on/off dive platform). We had a group of 6 and 4 of us had our own cabins, two guys shared the master suite which is as big as a small hotel room and has it’s own shower/toilet. On a couple of days we saw skiffs from South Andros Lodge over there. We figured that was a minimum 45 – 60 minute boat ride and at least one direction was going to be really rough and wet. That’s two hours out of your fishing time and a lot of wear and tear on your kidneys and back we avoided by staying on the Sea Hunter. Another plus is that by having a base camp close by, we could go back to Sea Hunter when the tide got high and re-rig for diving, blue water trolling, lobstering, what ever, without filling a flats skiff with all that gear. Pretty hard to beat a well run live aboard operation.

  3. Just spent a week there last month. If you are a hardcore fisherman, the experience is awesome. I think Doug was pretty thorough in his description but one thing I would like to add was that they really go out of their way to make sure you enjoy your time on the boat. You get to set your agenda as far as what you want to do and Captain Mike makes it all happen. And the food on the trip is crazy good.

  4. I was on the trip with DSLOT. I am forever ruined for any type of trip other than a live aboard. When you only get a couple weeks a year out of your normal life to indulge your fishing obsession, you want to make every minute count. Thinking about the typical bone fishing experience, you spend 2+ hours a day driving to and from the lodge/resort, up to 3 hours traveling (West side of Andros) and the rest fishing. The Sea Hunter is the ultimate. Wake up, amazing breakfast, on the skiff by 8. On the flat by 8:03-8:15 depending on how far you want to go. Fish the entire tide. Back to the boat in the afternoon to take the Jessie out to go “head hopping” (spear fish on the coral heads for your dinner….hogfish and grouper…the most amazing fish you’ll ever taste). Back to the Sea Hunter. Grab your fly rod and fish into sunset. Repeat 5-7 times depending on the length of your trip. I didn’t even mention the offshore fishing, which is fantastic. You can literally choose anything/everything that you want to do in a given day and its all at your finger tips. Normal trip…all of those things would be a separate charter, tons of additional expense, burn precious time, etc.

    The thing that really hits you is that on a 5 day trip, you get an additional 1.5 days of fishing time by cutting out all of the driving/motoring.

    The real killer is that it is the same price or less than a normal trip if you have a crew of 5-6 people to average down the cost.

    Like DSLOT said, if you are hard core, there is no other way.


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