Aug 15

The most expensive bonefishing trip on the planet

Where would you think the most expensive bonefishing trip in the world is? If I were going to guess, I’d say St. Brandon’s Atoll (which is my dream location) just because of the travel required to get there and back and the cost of making that all happen in the middle of nowhere.

Maybe the Seychelles? That’s pretty far away and hard to get to.

Well, if you guess like I guess… well… there would be no prizes. St. Brandon’s is about $7,500 and the Seychelles are about $7,500-$8,500.

To be clear, that is not Bonefish on the Brain kind of money. Still, those trips come in about 1/2 as expensive as the TOP (at least as far as I could find) most expensive week of bonefishing in the world.

That honor falls courtesy of the good people at The Nature Conservancy. For the record, I like TNC. They are a savvy group of Earth-savers and I like their rather capitalistic approach to saving the planet. They operate a research station on a far-flung American possession called Palmyra Atoll in the South Pacific.

They offer six trips a year to fish (mostly to dive) Palmyra where there are bonefish populations which know almost no pressure and even less commercial threat, as well as GTs in a similar state. The cost of a trip out to Palmyra is… get ready for it… $16,000 to $18,000 PER PERSON and these spots are offered to individuals who are considering major gifts to support the research work on Palmyra.

So… Bonefish on the Brain will NOT be heading to Palmyra anytime soon (ever… I won’t be heading there ever and neither will you).

There is something profoundly un-American about that whole thing (while at the same time being profoundly American… we are a people of great contradictions… and of no contradictions) and it is bothering me a bit. It might be possible to go without TNC’s blessing, but it seems doubtful. How they got to control a whole atoll that is an American possession is something I need to look into, although this story says they bought Palmyra to stop it from being turned into a Casino, something that sounds totally implausible to begin with.

The place looks AMAZING though.

Ah… to dream…

May 10

Aussie Bones – Exmouth and True Blue Bones

I saw something on a message board about True Blue Bonefish and the fishery in Western Australia.  I went to the site and… well… holy bonefish batman, there are some PIGS out in Western Australia!

A Foster's Size Bonefish

OMG… that thing is huge… and Australian… I had no idea.  The website is worth looking at… not only are there some epic bonefish, but GT’s, some biggish Permit, Golden Trevally, Queenfish, Milkfish, Gulf Tarpon and Giant Herring… which I think is just a big Ladyfish.

I don’t know if they put a picture up of every big fish they ever caught, of if there are a lot of fish that big out there (turns out there are a lot of big fish there).

There certainly aren’t a lot of outfitters working those waters (I found two in my quick search) and there isn’t a whole lot of information readily available about the fishery.

There are a few factors that really strain on the uneasy relationship between Cheap and Bonefish when it comes to Exmouth bonefish.  The cost of living and the cost of fuel combine to make it a real budget buster.

A single angler is $810 and if you bring a buddy, it is $445 a piece… so, $890 ($810 AU is $690 US). This is one of the most expensive days of guiding you’ll run across anywhere.  They have a deal where if you book 7 days, you only  have to pay for five.  That would be $4,050 for a single angler, just for the guiding, not including lodging.

Maybe you have a checklist of species you want to check off… this might be a place to do that.  There are a LOT of different species worth a shot at there.

There are cheaper places… much cheaper places, but Exmouth seems to be a pretty unique place with a wider variety of top-notch game fish than a lot of the go-to locations.

I didn’t find much in my cursory search for DIY or self-guided opportunities along the Western Coast.  I’ll be looking into more of that in the months to come, but the airfare alone means that if you live in the States, there will be no coming together of Cheap and Bonefish Down Under.