Dec 16

What to read: Body of Water by Chris Dombrowski

As I was flying back to the Bay Area from New Orleans I finished “Body of Water: A Sage, a Seeker, and the World’s Most Alluring Fish” by Chris Dombrowski.

This is the best book about bonefishing I’ve read to date. It isn’t a how-to or a where-are-they kind of book. It is a work of “creative nonfiction,” as the author calls it, and it speaks to so much that is at the heart of bonefishing I doubt I’ll do it justice in the description.

The book centers on David Pinder, guide extraordinaire of Deep Water Cay fame. The book, in language I wish I possessed, takes us through the early days of DWC and the role David Pinder played in the creating of what we know of as bonefishing and his legacy. There is just too much in this book you should read for yourself I don’t want to take anything from that experience.

I’ll say this about the book. It is well researched, unflinchingly honest and beautifully written.

I caught my first bonefish in DWC’s backyard. I’ve fished a half-day out of the lodge itself and have driven out to Mclean’s Town many times and after reading this book I know I didn’t know anything about the ground I was walking on.

In action in Grand Bahama in David Pinder’s back yard.

I don’t know what else to say. I can’t MAKE you read the book, but if you love bonefishing and have ever been out with a guide in the Bahamas, or maybe anywhere, you really should.

Nov 16

Deep Water Cay for sale… who has a spare few tens of millions?

Well… how about that? Deep Water Cay is up for sale. I have no idea how much something like that would cost. $20M? $100M? I have no idea.

Not too shabby... not too shabby at all.

Not too shabby… not too shabby at all.

This is a pretty historic place… the place that started bonefishing in the Bahamas. The list of dignitaries who have fished out of DWC is long… Chouinard, Brokaw, me… I mean…. wow.

Have to wonder if the pending legislation is partly to blame for this place getting put on the market. Guys bring their own boats out there and now they might not be able to go fishing on their own (although I have a feeling these guys can afford the guide fees).

We’ll see what happens.

The line is flying.

Me with a DWC bonefish on the line.

Dec 15

New Season of Buccaneers & Bones

Buccaneers & Bones

I was surprised to see a new episode of Buccaneers and Bones record on my DVR last night. I guess there is a new season and that, generally, is a good thing.

This year they are back at Deep Water Cay, a place I got to fish out of for half a day. It is an amazing lodge, definitely on the high end of things. My wife was with me when we toured the private island a couple years ago and even she was impressed.

I love that there is a show about bonefishing and conservation and about the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust. I get to spend a half-hour on the flats of the Bahamas even when I am a couple thousand miles away and it is 39 degrees out (as it is this morning). So… I’m a fan of the show and a fan of the concept.

That said… let me register a few gripes.

  • Same old crew. This year there doesn’t appear to be anyone new (or anyone under 60). It is the same folks as years past and while that may be fun for them (I mean… yeah, it would be, wouldn’t it?), it is pretty stale.
  • Same old story line. Yes… Lefty is a legend. That was true the first time they said it and the time after that and the time after that and by now… well… I’m kind of over celebrating Lefty every episode.
  • “When you make the perfect cast…” On this episode Tom Brokaw says something about “when you make the perfect cast, it is just tremendously gratifying…” or something along those lines. However, here’s the thing… his casting is not exactly much good. I’ve seen really good casters and I have not seen good casting out of most of these guys. Tom… not so much. Huey Lewis? No. Lefty? Sure. Bill? Yeah. But most of the time the casts I see laid out there are absolute turds. The good news is that it demonstrates you do NOT need an excellent cast to catch bones (sometimes).
  • Fish fighting editing. They recycle underwater fish fighting footage and none of it captures the actual fight of these fish. The footage is of the very end of the fight when the fish is done and they are pulling the fish in front of the camera. If this is what bonefish fought like no one would be interested in catching them.
  • Too familiar. I wasn’t sure if it was even new. They’ve been to DWC before and these same guys have been on the show almost every year. It was difficult to tell if this was, indeed, a new year. That should tell you something.

Still… I’ll watch. Yvon is a personal hero and I love the Bahamas more than is reasonable and BTT is my favorite nonprofit. So, I’ll watch. I’ll watch, but I’ll also be hoping that if they do this again next year there is a new crop of characters, maybe even some folks below 50. Maybe they could go fish Mexico or Cuba or Hawaii or Christmas Island or anywhere they haven’t been before. I’m looking for a little bit of new and maybe we’ll get that in 2017?

Apr 14

Deep Water Cay Monster

Normally, I’d be doing some sort of measurement to dispute the weight, but I don’t think I need to here. Meeko, guide out of Deep Water Cay, put this fish at 14.6 pounds and it certainly looks it. That is a beast.

Big, big bonefish.

Big, big bonefish.

This is why I kind of have a crush on Grand Bahama. There is no overnighting anywhere, no flight out of Nassau and a day burned in transit.

You are very unlikely to find a fish bigger than this anywhere. You’d be fortunate to cast to a fish this big in your whole life. Congrats to Jim Easterling of Houston, who landed the Beast of Deep Water Cay.

Oct 13

Deep Water Cay in the news

Deep Water Cay is in the news for all the right reasons. They’ve really put some significant capital behind upgrading and improving an already pretty stellar operation.

They’ve been making some news… first, this story about the tagging work they are doing with BTT.

Then this story about the diving they are offering.

Not too shabby... not too shabby at all.

Not too shabby… not too shabby at all.

I got to take my wife out to DWC last spring for a look around the lodge and got to go out for a half day of fishing. I remain impressed with the operation and the quality of the guides.

Nice fish.

Nice fish.

Aug 13

Just thinking back

Ya know… I really do love the Bahamas.

Fish on at Deep Water Cay

Fish on at Deep Water Cay

Got to get a little fishing out of Deep Water Cay. I really, really like it out there.

One of the great things about the blog is that it has taken me some very interesting, beautiful, wonderful places.

Apr 13

Deep Water Cay Day

I brought my wife along for the tour and half day at Deep Water Cay.

Big mistake.

I don’t think I’ll be able to get her to go to another lodge. She loved it there and it wasn’t hard to see why.

First, I have to say, if you haven’t been to DWC in the past few years, you really haven’t been to DWC. Things have changed… a lot. There is so much new and so much that is awesome about what they have done there it is hard to really put it all into words.

Deep Water Cay... awesome.

Deep Water Cay… awesome.

They have a new “gateway” to the lodge over on the edge of Grand Bahama which is just top shelf. There is boat storage, boat docks and boat launches. A huge step up from what was there the last time I was on GBI in 2010. We met Muff at the entry way and he showed us around the “on land” facilities.

This is the view my wife would like.

This is the view my wife would like.

Next, we had a short hop over to the actual lodge where we met Bill, the manager, and his wife, Lisa. Bill gave us the lowdown on the improvements which were largely self-evident and impressive. Julie, a decade long employee of DWC led us on a tour of the rooms and facilities.

The rooms… yeah… views to kill for, and I’d consider it. One thing you might not know is that DWC is making a big push to include families. There are kayaks and boats you can play on with the kids and there is snorkeling and diving and blue-water fishing. DWC has moved to include much more than the bonefishing they are so well known for. My wife was enamored with the place, as was I. I have not seen an operation like this before. Everything they do, they do very well. It shows.

Yeah... it's nice.

Yeah… it’s nice.

Lots and lots to do for the family.

Lots and lots to do for the family.

We wrapped up the tour and boarded the Hell’s Bay skiff of our guide for the afternoon, Ted. Ted was a real nice guy who loves his island and knows it very well. It wasn’t long before I had blown my first and second shots, and maybe even a third, before I connected. It was odd, seemed to take me a few flubs to get the jitters out before I started actually getting my casting where I wanted it.

Nice fish.

Nice fish.

Managed some nice fish and saw many, many more. Several schools we saw numbered in the hundreds of fish, usually with a shark escort that was making them a bit nervous. We saw cudas and rays and even a dolphin for good measure. It is such a vibrant ecosystem out there and its health is evident on every flat.

Getting the fish on its way.

Getting the fish on its way.

We even stopped at a cut and threw a spinning rig for some jacks and had a good time.

Deep Water Cay is clearly at the top of their game and one of the top lodges you are going to find anywhere.

Not too shabby... not too shabby at all.

Not too shabby… not too shabby at all.

I left wondering what body part I’d need to sell to get back there with my wife and daughter. I am not really using my left leg that much… wonder what it will fetch on the open market. It would be worth it.

(PS – there are permit there… saw about a 20 pounder, maybe bigger… didn’t spook on the cast, but it did on the strip)

Mar 13

Bahamas Spring Break 2013, better and better

Thanks to Scott at Angling Destinations and Chris at Deep Water Cay, it sounds like I’m going to get a chance to visit the fabled Deep Water Cay while I’m in Grand Bahama with the fam for my daughter’s Spring Break (coming up in less than a WEEK!).

I feel like I know the place even though I’ve never stepped foot on the property. My first bonefish was caught just behind DWC in a mangrove cut with an independent guide. I’ve also watched all the episodes of Buccaneers and Bones, as well as Pirates of the Flats, a fair bit of which was filmed at Deep Water Cay. The place has occupied a prominent place in my thoughts for years.

Should a treat to see this lodge as it is one of the places which kicked this whole bonefishing thing into the mainstream of destination fly fishing.

The Buccaneers at DWC

The Buccaneers at DWC

Jan 13

Bucaneers and Bones, Season 2

Maybe this got by you, or maybe your DVR is lined up already. The second season of Buccaneers and Bones is out and live and (maybe) coming to a TV/other viewing platform near you.

The location appears to be a return to Deep Water Cay in Grand Bahama.

Of course, this is done in partnership through the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, a worthy organization doing pretty awesome things for bonefish conservation (and tarpon and permit and the ocean in general).

I wish I could watch this show… but as of riiiiiiight now, I don’t get this channel, which seems nearly impossible given how much we pay a month for this damn cable.

(OK, I just added those channels to my lineup).



Dec 11

Deep Water Cay

Well look at that… a promo video for Deep Water Cay.

Now, they mention permit. VERY few permit are caught out there from what I’ve heard.  Don’t count on that.

(Although it is starting to happen… they are there, if you spend the time looking for them)