Andros Island, North Bight

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by 1BIGfish, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. 1BIGfish

    1BIGfish New Member

    Just got back from a quick trip to Andros Island Bonefish Club. We fish the North Bight and the Westside. That westside trip take about 1.25 hours in a flats boat, glad I took my rain gear. Our guide took us to this flat in the North Bight, where he said the Big Bones live. We anchored and did some wading. I came around one side of this small island and the guide and my partner were pointing at a fish on the edge of the sandy flat. He made a cast but fell a bit short. I moved close to make a cast, which fell just to the left of this nice bone. Strip, strip, follow and a big hook up. My backing needed to see the daylight, but not that much! Two nice runs and the flyine is just back in the rod, when a black tip came charging out of the deep channel near by. I'm fishing with a 7wt. and I'm shouting "I'm Screwed!!" The guide, Nelson Leadon, charged the fish and yelled and kicked at them. The shark dropped the bone and headed to deeper water. The bone came in easy to hand and was bleeding from severe cuts on both sides of the body just in front of the tail. Nelson says it was about 10#, but who knows. He took the fish and said they would have it for dinner. He hung it on a mangrove plant so we could finish walking the flat. He told me the Big fish, which I did'nt see, did not take the fly. Overall, I didn't see as many fish as I thought I would, but the fish we saw were all good fish 5# and up. Check out the photo! Stayed at Andros Island Bonefish Club. Very comfortable, good food, plenty of water. If you go, let me know and I can give you some ideas on which guides to fish with.
     
  2. Thanks for the interesting report. Beautiful surroundings. Where, exactly, is Andros Island? Are accommodations, guides, etc. reasonably priced?
     
  3. WPEB

    WPEB member

    oops
     
  4. WPEB

    WPEB member

    Very sweet report. Sounds like a crazy fight, eh?
     
  5. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

    Here's one to south Andros. I stayed at Andros South (used to be Bone Bay Club)

    Leland.

    Andros South, February 12-18

    The storm hit at 2 pm on our first day and she was a real doozer! Earl and I were fishing the flats an hour and a half southwest of camp when our guide Torrie said we'd "betta leave soon mon." As he yanked the cord on the 55 Merc outboard, Earl and I stowed the rods, jumped into our seats, zipped up our rain jackets, tightened the cords on our hoods, and hunched forward as if we had an appointment with a proctologist. Within minutes we were pelted with cold raindrops and slammed by 30 knot winds coming out of the north. We ran due east out of the flat and turned north into the teeth of the wind. It was at once totally outrageous and invigorating. I grabbed hold of my jacket neck and pulled down tight to keep the wind from billowing out my hood and racing down my back when I raised my head. It was stupid to raise my head anyway as I got a faceful of saltwater and rain each time I did it. The rain and waves were thoroughly drenching us and I was bouncing a counter-rhythm to the hard fiberglass boat seat. I continued staring down at my feet and cursing every ball-slamming, vertebrae-crushing, kidney-bouncing, butt-kicking wave we hit. Earl and I could do nothing but look over at each other and laugh.

    The cold front settled in for a four-day stay. Every day was cloudy and blustery which made it all but impossible to sight fish . . . that is, if they were on the flats at all. We had to fish from the boat and wore our rain jackets every day and whatever fleece we had on when we departed Seattle. The fishing was tough. We caught a few fish each day except for Wednesday when I got skunked and Earl provided diversion by hooking 'cudas.

    We knew Thursday evening that the next day would be our best day of fishing. It was and, for me, it was what will bring me back. We took the "Death March" with Torrie.

    The morning broke cloudless and blue and stayed that way all day. We walked a four-mile circle that put the sun and wind at our backs. We slogged through flats, creeks, and lakes. We walked gingerly through mangrove trees and jagged limestone formations that looked as if they should be on the moon and that sounded like breaking panes of glass when you stepped on them. We fished flats that boats never entered. We fished "lakes" that were virtually dry until the incoming tide filled them with water and bonefish. For a little over an hour, there were so many bonefish surrounding me, I thought I was being attacked.

    My last cast on Andros was to a large single fish I estimate at between 7-8 pounds. It was the fish I was looking for all week. I wished I could say I made a perfect cast but I didn't. It was a good cast. Well, maybe it was only an OK cast. It landed off to the bone's side but it still turned to the fly. I stripped slowly at first then sped it up. It followed my fly like a dog on the scent. "Wait'll the boys see this," I was thinking. "I'm gonna get a photo with my Orvis cap, Orvis rod, and Orvis reel. I'm gonna make the cover of the summer catalog." The fish was getting so close, maybe too close. "When is he gonna eat the fly?" Then my butt knot clicked into the rod tip and the big bone turned away.

    "It's time t'go mon."
     
  6. 1BIGfish

    1BIGfish New Member

    The weather was good for us, but the clouds make it nigh impossible to sight the fish. The experience I had with the strip was different from guide to guide, but the best was a slow long strip. We had our share of refusals. They refused a pattern that was working the day before. Seems to me, the type of bottom effects what they want, but pink was the dominant color. On the sand they want smaller flies with bead eyes, in deeper water size 2 was good. Sorry to hear about the weather, I knew it was 29 on Andros during that time period.
     
  7. Charapa

    Charapa New Member

    thanks for the report, cool pic.
     
  8. woodway

    woodway Squeaky Reel

    I just returned from Andros South myself. Did not make the death march with Torrie, rather I fished with Ellie and Harlon. It was my first bonefishing experience, and I wanted to catch a lot of fish, so we mostly fished the schools in the flats at the south end of the island (jack fish, water and mango cays).

    The fish in this area are smaller, but the schools are huge, and once your guide get's you into a school, the action is almost continous! We fished two days, and I caught 12 fish the first day and 10 the second. I could have caught even more if:

    1. My casting skills into the wind were better so that I could reach the fish that were upwind of me, and

    2. I had not been fishing for trout all these years :) Instinctively when I hooked up, I would try to set the hook by raising my flyrod, rather than the proper technique of strip-setting the hook.

    The guides were great at putting us onto fish, and even though the fish on the south end tend to be smaller, they still run like crazy when hooked up! I was amazed that a 12-16" fish would almost always take me to my backing!

    Lot's of sharks in the south end. It was disconcerting to be wading the flats and see a shark sitting less then 10' away from you waiting for you to hook a bonefish. I hit several on the top of the head with my fly rod to scare them away. Lost one bonefish when a shark took him away from me as I was reeling him in.

    We did not fish for barracuda, but we saw many, and some of the other guys staying in the lodge brought 3 back the last day we were there.

    This was a great trip, and I cannot wait to get back. I have never had more fun catching fish!

    John who runs Andros South is a great host, and all the guides do a good job. I highly recommend the place if you are planning a trip.

    The attached pic is a fairly typical sized fish you catch in the south end, although I did catch a couple that were probably in the 4# range. AS others have noted, there are bigger fish to be had in the creeks and on the west side of the island.

    Note that even in the Bahamas, I was wearing my WFF colors!
     

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