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 Post subject: Abaco trip
PostPosted: May 2nd, 2018, 9:17 pm 
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Wanna-be Maineiac

Joined: December 11th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 2407
Location: Tokyo, Amsterdam, Paris...
Got back on Sunday from a week in Abaco Island in the Bahamas. It was mostly a vacation with my wife and some good friends but I did manage to get out and fish everyday. We stayed in Casaurina Point at a place that we won through the TU auction a few years ago. The house is on one of the largest flats on the island so we didn't have to wander too far. I was warned that the fish on the flats are extremely smart as they get a lot of fishing pressure. I'm not sure how the Bahamians define pressure but we saw maybe 2 or 3 fisherman on the flats the entire week. The smart fish part however did live up to expectations. The weather was tough as it rained almost everyday and the wind was quite challenging. We also fished the Cherokee Sound flats and while we saw fish there and had a few looks, we just couldn't get any takes. I did manage the one fish in the photo on the Casaurina flats on a crab pattern that I tied. The bone took me well into my backing three times before I was able to bring it to hand. Definitely a great fight and a new experience for me. We tried bitters, crazy charlies, gotchas, and other rubber legged shrimp patterns but couldn't get any takes. I also hooked a large barracuda that came out of the water like a scud missing tail wagging across the water. I eventually lost the fish but it was a great fight for a while.

We did hire two guides for a day out on a couple of boats. The day was pretty much a disaster to put it mildly. We were headed south to meet our guides at 8am when I received a text from the guide who was supposed to be the "best" guide on the island telling me he had to cancel. He said there would be two guides and boats for us and that we were in good hands. I think "good hand" must also be defined differently then how we define it here in New England.

The first guide showed up on time at 8am (in a very well used 1995 Boson Whaler) and departed with Criag and another friend right on schedule. Maura and I hung around until 8:20 when a car pulls up and asks us if we are waiting for a guide. It's our guide who says he ran into some trouble but he'd be back in a couple of minutes. Bahamian minutes are much longer than US minutes and he showed up at 9:20 at the dock in what we thought was a decent looking flats boat. Wrong! He tells us we are headed off shore to a remote island to fish some flats and one of the creeks that runs through the island. The motor proceeds to die about 4 miles off shore 2 or 3 times before he seems to figure out the issue and gets us to the flats. We had a few quick chances at a bone and then we worked our way to the creek. We wade fished the creek for a few hours before heading back to the boat to move to the next stop. The boat pretty much **** the bed and our guide and Craig's guide jury-rigged the engine enough to get us back to the dock. Total fishing time for us out of 8 hours was about 3 and 4 for Craigs boat. What amazed me is that neither guide had any fishing equipment and I mean none, never asked us if we had any bone fish experience and didn't even have any water never mind a radio in case we broke down. We relied on the home owner to book our guides...lesson learned...NEVER do that.

Oh, and the car rental dropped a front axle on the first day but that's a story to be told over a beer!

All in all it was a very nice vacation and we learned quite a bit about bone fishing. Already planning another trip.


Attachments:
bonefish on the reel 2 2018.JPG
bonefish on the reel 2 2018.JPG [ 37.94 KiB | Viewed 680 times ]
bonefish1 2018.JPG
bonefish1 2018.JPG [ 51.91 KiB | Viewed 680 times ]


Last edited by Ken B on May 4th, 2018, 11:55 am, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Abaco trip
PostPosted: May 3rd, 2018, 4:15 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: August 23rd, 2010, 6:49 pm
Posts: 93
Location: Rangeley Plantation, mooselookmeguntic
Ken,

Well Done!! That is a nice sized bonefish and those fish are spooky as my days on those flats proved. Every one is a trophy and a fish to remember, nice way to start the season.

Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Abaco trip
PostPosted: May 3rd, 2018, 6:03 pm 
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FFIM-aholic

Joined: February 14th, 2007, 1:00 am
Posts: 1350
Location: New Hampshire
That is a very serious bonefish... nice work!!! You should have tried a leech

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"Fishermen...spending their lives in the fields and woods...are often in a more favorable mood for observing her, in the intervals of their pursuits, than philosophers or poets even, who approach her with expectation." - Thoreau


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 Post subject: Re: Abaco trip
PostPosted: May 3rd, 2018, 9:52 pm 
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FFIM Addict

Joined: April 30th, 2002, 12:00 am
Posts: 2534
Location: Pownal
That’s a really nice bonefish!


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 Post subject: Re: Abaco trip
PostPosted: May 4th, 2018, 7:23 am 
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FFIM Addict
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Joined: December 4th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5299
Location: Near the tying bench
On the bright side- you DID fish. Which is more than I can say of my flats fishing attempt at Las Salinas, Cuba last year (where the head guide/local fishery manager tried to extort money from us). We did salvage that day by seeing the Cuban side of things at the Bay of Pigs museum and find a sweet spot to go snorkeling though- which was very cool. And the Cuban crocodillo farm farm was interesting (even if it was formerly used to torture/feed prisoners to crocodiles).

Bonefish are still on my shortlist. One of these years I'll make it back down to the islands for a solid crack at them.

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"You never miss the water until the well runs dry" - traditional blues


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 Post subject: Re: Abaco trip
PostPosted: May 4th, 2018, 7:44 am 
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FFIM-aholic

Joined: October 15th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 1285
Location: Bangor
Hunter wrote:
On the bright side- you DID fish. Which is more than I can say of my flats fishing attempt at Las Salinas, Cuba last year (where the head guide/local fishery manager tried to extort money from us). We did salvage that day by seeing the Cuban side of things at the Bay of Pigs museum and find a sweet spot to go snorkeling though- which was very cool. And the Cuban crocodillo farm farm was interesting (even if it was formerly used to torture/feed prisoners to crocodiles).

Bonefish are still on my shortlist. One of these years I'll make it back down to the islands for a solid crack at them.


Marshall and 5 of his buddies leave for 10 days on Long Island tomorrow.


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 Post subject: Re: Abaco trip
PostPosted: May 4th, 2018, 7:47 am 
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FFIM Addict

Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 4050
Location: Ellsworth
If I’m ever in the situation Lefty Kreh used to talk about where the Good Lord gives you one more day to fish before you head for the Pearly Gates I’d have a very difficult time deciding whether to spend that last day on one of 5he Paradise Valley Spring Creeks with a three weight........or on a Christmas Island flat with a 7 wt. and a Chrystal Charlie.

I freaking love Bonefishing. Two trips to Belize and three to Christmas Island are far into my rear window........but 5he memories last forever. I’m jealous as hell that you got to do this. Well done!

Dave M

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"Fish the West every year. Life is short; and you'll be dead a long time." Chris Hutchins--2009


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 Post subject: Re: Abaco trip
PostPosted: May 8th, 2018, 6:15 am 
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FFIM-aholic

Joined: August 28th, 2002, 12:00 am
Posts: 1339
Location: Standish, ME
It was a great trip and it was just nice to get away and do some totally different fishing. As Ken mentioned, there are numerous stories (broken rental car axles, lost bags, lousy guide experience, missed connections, sleeping in airports) - every day seemed to have it's "adventure"!

Plenty of fish around and Ken was the only one to land a bone. The flat near the house had tailing fish at low tide. I figured this out with about 3 days left when I found them as the wind finally went calm before a storm came through. I had numerous shots with LONG (for me) casts in the calm water. First few I totally dubbed - you can't land the fly ON the fish. Then I laid out what looked like numerous PERFECT casts to the tailing fish; 15 - 20' ahead of where the fish was clearly headed. I'd watch the fly line roll out, the anticipation would build, I could clearly see the 1 or 2 tailing fish and watched the fly land in the perfect spot to attract those fish. Problem was that there were probably 15 other fish ahead of the target fish - the water would explode like I tossed a hand grenade. This happened numerous times - it's not the fly - I suck! I've caught a few bones in Cayman - this is a TOTALLY different game.

As Ken noted - guide day was a "challenge". We had a few shots at some fish but much of the time was spent on the boat ride and mechanical issues. I did land a juvie barracuda but that was it. Saw a beautiful off shore flat and it certainly was an adventure. Our guide was super nice (needed a translator as his accent was THICK) and thank God he was a decent mechanic - otherwise I think Ken and Maura may still be out there!

I duplicated that hand grenade episode a number of times later in the week. We fished Cherokee and were told those fish have a PHD in angler identification - SUPER hard fish but they were there. I think loosing the car axle there (and causing an environmental issue) may have cursed us. That's a story better told over beers at CFR!

Our (my bride and mine) trip home was fraught with issues; missed connections, circling Newark for an hour - had to go to Baltimore to refuel - which caused us to miss our PWM connection. Spent the night in the Newark airport (It's a lovely, romantic type of place) then had to land in Boston as all PWM flights were full on Sunday. Total time to finally get home and pick up cars in Portland - about 30 hours. It was kind of comical, now that we look back on it.

All in all - very fun trip. Had plenty of chances, congrats on the great fish Ken! Pickled our livers daily, had a few trials and tribulations, and created a ton of great memories. Thanks for being the "task master" on this Ken - you earned that fish!


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