Fishing Reports

2 reports total
Bahamas - June 23rd, 2013
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 82 ° F 
  • Fishing: Great

            Well, I’ve finally had a chance to sit down and report on my last Bonefish trip to the Long Island, Bahamas.

            It was a great trip aside from a little weather. The temperature was in the 80’s with mostly sunny skies and a few quick moving thunderstorms that would pass through to make your days interesting. I don’t really mine the clouds or the warm tropical rain, but the clouds make it a lot harder to spot Bonefish on the flats.

            Our home base was Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort (CSM) on the North end of Long Island, Bahamas. CSM was an absolute paradise with private bungalows located on a flawless white powder sand beach overlooking the calm turquoise blue waters of Calabash Bay. I would highly recommend CSM for family or couples vacations as it provides great fishing opportunities for anglers as well as every beach and water activities a resort could offer. CSM has a quality restaurant and bar, great attentive staff and in such a beautiful location, you won’t want to leave.

            I was excited about exploring the bonefishing waters on the Northern end of Long Island, as well as testing some new equipment in the process. I put some time in with CSM’s head fishing guide and water activities director Bert Adderley, as well as exploring and fishing some flats on my own. Bert was a lot of fun to fish with and because he grew up on the Island, he knew the local waters like the back of his hand. He put me on school after school of bonefish where I exercised a number of them before being released.

After a little exploring on my own, I found a few good flats and once I figured out the tides, I started hooking up with some nice Bonefish. Fishing is far more productive with Bert or a number of other local guides, but I do enjoy exploring new water and the challenge of stalking, spotting and trying to catch fish on my own. If I can wade a beautiful flat in 6 inches of 80 degree water with nobody around for miles and get a couple of shots at some double digit bonefish, it just doesn’t get any better than that.

            The other benefit of wading the flats is seeing all the other amazing creatures that inhabit the flats ecosystem. Sting Rays, Shrimp & Crabs, Barracudas, Sharks and a vast array of birds make the flats their home and all can be seen on a daily basis.

The highlights of some of the new gear I tested were the SA’s Mastery Textured Chard’s Grad Slam line which shoots like crazy and can turn over big flies if needed, but lands a little heavy for spooky fish on skinny flats. I used a new Lamson Speedster 3.5 reel with its 4.5” super large diameter that picked up line quickly after long Bonefish runs, and a smooth drag system during blistering first runs which I got to test a number of times. The Fly Du Jour was the everyday Tan Gotcha in size #2 thru #6 depending on how skinny the water was.

It was a great trip and I wish I was still there taking in another beautiful sunset with an ice cold Kalik in hand and wondering what the flats will offer tomorrow.

The Patient Angler
Peter Bowers
 
Bahamas - May 14th, 2010
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 85 ° F 
  • Fishing: Great
 

   With the winter season dragging on and only showing me the occasional glimpse of spring like weather, Thu & I were really looking forward to a week in the warm & sunny Bahamas. I needed to check out Long Island as a future customer Bonefish destination, a location that has been highly recommended to me by those in the know.  Long Island is located in the southern part of the Bahamas Islands chain and is about 65 miles long and just a couple miles wide. With the exception of the annual Long Island Sailing Regatta which takes place around the first week of June, the island has a very relaxed and secluded feel to it. Long Island is a great place to get away and forget about the hustle & bustle and stresses of every day life. We stayed with the Knowles family who owns the Winter Haven Inn located in Clarence Town . They provide nice clean accommodations, a great staff and a large restaurant/bar that serves some of the best food and drinks on the island. The weather was great with temperatures in the 80’s with mostly sunny skies. We had a little bit of cloud cover on a few days, which help keep the days cooler, but made it harder to spot Bonefish on the flats. The stunningly beautiful turquoise waters that surround the island ran in the high 70’s which surprises you every time you step into them, normally expecting ocean water to be cold.

  Long Island has a main road that runs the length of the island and has good number of access points for anglers who have time for exploration and want to do a little fishing on their own. Good hard packed sand and mud flats can be found where you can fish all day without seeing another angler. Exploring and fishing on your own can be fun, but if you want to improve your chances to catch fish, I would recommend hiring a guide. There are a number of professional guides available that can take you to an endless number of huge, oceanside flats that aren’t accessible by car, where you can see more Bonefish in a day than you will see all week fishing on your own.   

  Thu and I spent the first couple of days driving around the southern end of the island checking out spots to fish, talking with very friendly locals, and figuring out the tides. The tides are the most important thing to figure out anywhere you bonefish, as they determine where and when fish move on and off the flats to feed. After a few days of exploring, dialing in the tides, and working with Thu on casting an 8wt in the constant Bahamas wind, our success rate improved and we started catching fish. We caught the spectrum of different species normally found on the flats, Bonefish, Snappers, Groupers, Jacks, Ladyfish, Tarpon, and some really big Barracuda, all took our flies and tested our reels.

  You have to be prepared for every opportunity when fishing the flats, because you never really know what you might run into while chasing Bonefish. One day while wading down to a deeper end of a flat where we were having success catching Bonefish, when we were suddenly surrounded by rolling Tarpon. I quickly switched over to a Tarpon leader and fly, which I had in my pack, and hooked three of them before they moved on.  Unfortunately, I failed to land any of them, with two of them coming unbuttoned and one breaking me off, but it sure was exciting while it lasted. Another trick I use to be prepared for big Barracuda that you might happen across while on the flats, is to have a Clouser Minnow or baitfish imitation with a short piece of wire tied to it with a Duncan loop on the other end in my pack or fly box ready to go. Then if you come across a big Cuda on the flats, you can quickly attach this set up to the bend of the hook on your Bonefish fly using the Duncan slip loop and you’re ready to cast in a matter of seconds. This little trick came in handy a number of times during our trip, which you can see by viewing the pictures on our web site.

  We fished 7, 8, & 9 wt. fast action rods matched with floating saltwater bonefish lines. The choice of Bonefish fly was not near as important as the presentation of the fly.   

  We’ve only been back a couple of days and we are already talking about our next trip to the warm & beautiful fisherman’s paradise, called the Bahamas.   

Peter Bowers

The Patient Angler              patientangler.com
 


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Modern Steelhead Flies - Great new book for all you steelhead tying nuts, by Rob Russell & Jay Nicholas $39.95

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SAGE Foundation Rod, 4wt - 8wt fast action, graphite IIIe $325.00
 
Echo Base Rod Kit, a great starter kit complete with a 5wt 9' 4pc rod, Base Reel, Line, Leader, Backing and Rod & Reel Case, all for $169.00.

Pro Tube Fly Tying System, very cool system for tying steelhead & saltwater tube flies.
 

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Had a great trip to the Bahamas, check our our Blog page for the report. New pictures posted to "Saltwater Flats" on our Photo page.

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