My last morning in Grand Bahama I packed up, left the hotel/motel and headed to the East End for some fishing before my flight left at 2:45. After the impossibly windy day before I was hopeful that conditions would be better… and they were. The huge flat was at high tide, but it was only barely rippling in about a 5 mph wind. Partly cloudy skies revealed slices of the flats, sometimes staying sunny for 20 or 30 minutes.
I quickly found my first fish, up tight against the shore. I then spooked my first bonefish of the day as they took one look at my offering, knew exactly what was happening and indicated that they’d rather not play.
So went my morning. I found fish, had maybe 10-12 legit shots and time after time the fish either diverted smoothly and calmly, or high-tailed it. I found fish mudding, and even those fish were super wary.
I also saw Captain Perry and his wife walking along the beach. We stopped and chatted. As we were talking, Captain Perry pointed out a single bonefish cruising towards us and then past us, 30 feet away. I made a cast in front of the fish and it calmly turned toward deeper water.
“If that’s how the fish be acting, I don’t think you gonna catch anything today.” said the Captain.
He was right… although only just.
I found a pod working in a corner against some mangroves. I blocked their exit and waited. They eventually came my way, a small grouping of 4-6 fish. I had on a one of my velcro crabs. I twitched the fly and the lead fish passed. I was getting ready to recast, felt one of the trailing fish take the fly and, as a reflex, lifted the rod tip. I trout set on the one fish I could get to eat all morning.
So it went until it was time to head to the airport for what would turn out to be delays upon delays, eventually landing at SFO at 1:30 AM, pulling into my Sierra Foothills driveway at 4:30 AM.
- The trip would have been a near total failure were it not for Captain Perry. He found me dumb fish and I caught some. I highly recommend him.
- On my own, the flats I found held fish that were much, much more educated than I’d have liked.
- I only managed to land 2 DIY bones in 3 days of DIY fishing. I probably had 50 or 60 shots.
- If a really hard wind is coming from the South, GBI is a tough place for the self-guided.
- My interest in bonefish does not remedy my lack of experience.
- Bahamian speed limits are clearly suggestions that pretty much no one takes heed of.
- The Bahamian economy is in the pits, simply because ours is.
- Folks were surprised to have a Californian there.
- Dogs are not on leashes, seem to be mostly wild and not to belong to anyone.
- The number of derelict, abandoned or partially destroyed homes/buildings between McLeans Town and Freeport is remarkable.
- The micro-compact car I had was not suited for real off-roading.
- The amount of trash at some of the East End beaches was troubling.
- The Inflatable Kayak was wasted due to high winds, although it cost me nothing to bring along.
- The further East you go, the dumber the fish get. The guides go WAY East… places only boats can go.
In the end, it was a good trip. It was tougher than I had hoped for and I had fewer fish to hand than I had been dreaming of. Basically, I have to do this more and it would help if I either had more guiding or were in a location with dumber fish. There are lots and lots of places I didn’t get to. I felt pressure to be fishing just about every possible moment, so didn’t explore as much as I probably should have. I’ll be thinking of those fish for a long time to come and I will likely start really planning my next trip sometime this evening.