I got back home just a few hours ago from East End Lodge. This is the second week of July and it closed out their season. After six days of fishing this last week, here’s what I can tell you about fishing the Bahamas in July (experiences may differ).
There are trade-offs in everything… opportunity costs. To get thing A you give up thing B.
What you get by fishing in July is silky smooth conditions, the only breeze being the boat ride from one spot to the next. Previously, I think I had seen one day of flat conditions and in the six days of fishing I had there was only a half-day of light wind.
Glass is forged in heat.
I didn’t know it could be like this.
That’s what you get, but what do you give up?
The July sun without wind is a baking kind of heat. It is a “Your phone is too hot to properly function” kind of heat. If you can deal with the hydration-stealing, sweat-dripping heat, and there are those who simply can’t (I’m looking at you dad), it may be the most wonderful time to fish (I’ve heard conditions are similar in October, but I haven’t fished that month).
You also have storm cells which build in the heat of the day and can unleash torrents of rain and sheets of lightning. We were driven off the water a couple times, ending the day an hour or two early, but that seemed a small price to pay.
We did find some water which was simply too hot. When water temps get to 85 bonefish will find cooler, usually deeper, waters. There were plenty of places still getting a good flush of tidal water.
The geography of Grand Bahama and the alertness of our guide, Cecil, meant we simply dodged the storms. We could go North or South and weave our way around the dark clouds. We got rained on for a grand total of about 45 seconds, which is all credit to Cecile.
If the fishing is so good and the conditions so inviting, why do pretty much all the fishing lodges close down? Hurricane season? Maybe, but while we were there Rob, co-owner of East End Lodge, turned down several trips for August. People are still willing to come. So, what is it?
One word… lobster.
It’s pretty much about the lobster. All the guides will be out checking their lobster condos come August 1. I’d be surprised if there was a guide in all of the Bahamas who won’t be out collecting lobster once the season opens. It is a critical component to a Bahamian’s income and even more so a part of Bahamian culture.
If you are a wind hater and enjoy hobbies like smelting or glass blowing, July just might be for you.
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Tags: Bahamas, bonefish, Cecile, East End Lodge, fly fishing
Good read of your perceptions! I’ve fished Acklins in August. The unpressuree fish were happy when they had deep water near the edges of flats. More rain than normal as you experienced. We didn’t have crazy calm conditions though. Interesting about the lobster season. We had a threat of a hurricane in August which fortunately veered off. (Then we had Irma and Maria in Sept. ). Glad you had a good time. Yep, it’s hot in the Bahamas in summer!
I always enjoy your travels. Some thoughts, as your comments often tickle my brain.
July. Yes, hot. Usually calm. Yes, hot. In my experience fishing is early morn, back for late day. Big fish, most fish, have to get away from killer heat thus they go ‘over the edge’. Smarter than fishers.
July. Storms. Often. Lots of tropical depressions. And Hurricanes around . You mentioned October. Have had some great trips in October.But others were stormy and damp. In 1987 a hurricane zeroed on us at Deep Water Cay. We had to evacuate the island. Hurricane season starts in June, as you know. And October has many — and early November can be killer. A Monster storm named Mitch came in 1998, early November, headed for the Bahamas. Then by a miracle, made a 90 degree turn. It landed in Honduras. It wiped out 20,000 homes and killed 11,000. I remember it vividly as we were to be married on Nov 7. I was about to cancel the event, when the turn came. I figured it was a good omen. It was.
Same October: Line of the day. The storm hit sooner than expected. As the water was rising fast, and the fish were crazed, and the wind was about 60, fishing partner says: “should have brought a 10wt”
Yes… the joy of storms, eh? We very well could have been caught by a storm last week. The remains of Beryl (sp?) went just to the west and could have reformed. Would have been a very different experience.