Trip Report Couple of Days in the Bahamas

#1
Here is a report about a couple of days fishing at Great Exuma, Bahamas. This was not really a fishing trip, but I planned some fishing … Returned to Seattle this past weekend ...

Day One

This was the day where I planned to help my girlfriend catch her first fish on a fly rod. Not a bonefish, just a little reef fish, a snapper or something, fishing from a beach. I believed this would be easy, as I had fished with my son at this beach numerous times in the past, and caught one fish after another.

Well, guess what? Nothing … absolutely nothing … I fished some, too, and still nothing …

I finally put on my snorkel gear, and swam out to see what was going on. There were nothing but very tiny reef fish, two inches long. None of them could have even fit the fly in their mouth. So, we decided that some conch salad and a Kalik were a better option.

Very weird, and very disappointing …

Day Two

The next day, I went with a guide, hoping to catch some bonefish. I fished with Hermon Bowe – more on him later.

The previous five days had been unusually windy and cloudy, and this day was supposed to be better weather for bonefishing. In the morning, there were still some clouds, and we had a hard time spotting fish.

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First fish of the day didn’t come for an hour or so. The four-pounder was a nice way to break the skunk. Especially nice was Hermon jumping into the water to wrangle the fish from the mangroves.

The clouds continued, and I caught two more smaller fish. Then we were on a flat that Hermon said should be full of fish (given the tide), and he stopped poling to wait for the sun. When the sun came out, he spots two fish, 12 o’clock, fifty feet, coming straight at us.

Amazingly, I see these fish, too! I cast about 30 feet, right in front of them, and they both absolutely attack the fly – very visual here, for once today. And, as you might imagine, I strip-striked the fly right out of the fish’s mouth.

When I had done the strip-strike, I pulled the fly to within 15-18 feet of the boat. And both fish followed in hot pursuit. I made one strip, and the larger of the two pounced again! This was very close to the boat, and I could see that it was a pretty good fish. He was 75 yards into my backing in mere seconds. He fought and ran well, and eventually Hermon landed him for me.

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Holy Crap! What a fish! My best bonefish to-date, estimated by Hermon to be 8.5lb. The photo of the fish on the boat deck is next to the reel, which is a Billy Pate Bonefish which holds an 8wt line plus 250 yards of backing (for relative size.)

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After that, I had to sit down for a few minutes, to let my hands stop shaking. Heck, everything else for the rest of the day would be anticlimactic. And, during the rest of the day, I had shots at six more fish between six and eight pounds.

I ended the day with nine fish to hand. Had number ten hooked, and he got off. Same fly all day, never had to change. (Yeah, Hermon picked the fly in the morning.) This was an epic day of bonefishing, easily my best and most fun day.

As for Hermon, he might have been as excited as I was. I can’t give higher recommendations for a guide to fish with if you are on Exuma. PM me if you need additional information, about Hermon or Exuma.
 

freestoneangler

Not to be confused with Freestone
#6
One cannot really appreciate the description of others about the exhilarating acceleration and speeds Bonefish produce when hooked... definitely something to experience first hand. Did you have opportunities at any other species?
 

Mems

Active Member
#8
Nice story and great fish, love big bones. The Bahamas is awesome, tons of bones. Muds, too easy, but you got to cast to individuals and pairs, my favorite. Hope you got your fill of conch. Mems.
 

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