Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Bahamas

My Thanksgiving week was spent on Cable Beach, Nassau on New Providence, in the Bahamas.
The trip went well, flights were on time, weather was pretty decent and the Kalik beer was cold.
A fishing trip it was not. With Andros island and the Abacos taunting me from the east and west, I resigned myself to swimming with the kids and hanging out with the family. I did bring an 8 weight and managed a 28" needlefish, a couple of small cuda and some other assorted species, but Nassau (as I knew prior to my departure) is one of the only places in the Bahamas where bonefish are rare.
I actually did quite well coping with the reality that I was 30 miles from the finest bonefishing on the planet...I started drinking at 6 am and passed out by lunch. Ok. Not really. I just plotted and planned for my next escape to the flats.
At the resort I saw a guy who appeared to be a fishy fellow and approached him with a question about fishing around Nassau. Clive was an Englishmen from Kent who spends 3 weeks every spring and fall fishing bonefish with his wife in the Bahamas. We sat down over a few Kaliks and he gave me some pointers gathered from his 20+ years experience plying the flats. On a bar napkin I have names and numbers that he was willing to share. He showed me a picture of a 14 lb bonefish that he caught (his largest) and it was HUGE. He had just spent 3 weeks on an island that shall remain unnamed and stopped off at the resort to ease out while he waited for his flight back to Heathrow. For his time and willingness to share information, I thank him.

This brings us to the latest quandry: when and where and with whom will I fish the flats next? Is anybody ready to cough up $2500-3500 to have the freaking time of your life in the Bahamas this year? I guarantee it will be the wisest and dumbest thing you will ever do. You will get tan, drunk and get hooked on saltwater flats fishing. You will stop dreaming of Montana and Alaska and instead fight visions of good light on a great tide over some flat near some island and never look back. Whose game? Or, am I going to have to email you the pictures...?

My youngest looking for Bonefish...

Close but no cigar...


I shipped my Machs back to Orvis a few months ago and replaced them with a Nautilus NV and a Hatch 7 Plus. For your viewing pleasure I've added a few shots of the Hatch:
Loaded with 250 yards of 50 lb gel spun and a 9 weight forward floating line.
I opted for the mid arbor spool so I could load it with a 10 wt as well.
I think I may add an LA spool to this and carry an 8 wt on it as well.

So far I'm impressed. I'd like to get a 10 lb bonefish on it and put it to the test.