As a young girl, my dad and I fished the Colorado River. Recently, I “upped” my game with fly fishing under Jarrett Sasser’s tutelage, High Desert Angler, in Santa Fe. With more than a little swagger, I strut my fisherman persona…at least until the Bone Fishing trip last week at East End Lodge in the Grand Bahamas. Fishing for Bone Fish is the most difficult fishing I’ve ever done. It will bring humility to any fisherman.
Freeport, Grand Bahama is a short one hour flight from Miami, followed by an hour’s drive to East End Lodge.
The delicious food at East End is coupled with an elegant presentation.
Happy Hour begins with a relaxing deep breath and a drink in the Gazebo over-looking the channel.
FISHING THE AREA:
This area has shallows-sandy beaches, crystal clear water about 3-4 ft. deep along the shoreline so the guides can see where the fish are from the stand at the back of the boat.
The guide uses a pole to push the boat along the shore. The fisherman stands on the front of the boat waiting for the guide’s instructions. Once he spots the Bone Fish, he’ll say….give me 30 ft. at 10:00.
He expects you to make that cast in front of the fish as they are moving. If the fly hits behind or beside or within the school, they spook and it’s time to move on. There are rarely second chances. The guide has to find more fish. Boats leave the dock at 8:15 a.m. and return to at 4:15 p.m.
Catching a Bone Fish means you laid down the perfect cast, the guide gave the perfect instructions and the fish liked the fly. When all three come together its a miracle moment.
THE ECO SYSTEM:
There is more to being at this fishing event than Bone Fishing. The waters are filled with different types of fish and sea animals.
On the final fishing day, my guide, GT, and I packed two packages of shrimp bait. Toward the end of the day, I exchanged the fly rod for a spinning reel. GT found a school of Snappers resting under Mangroves. The shrimp were as tasty a treat for them as an ice-cream sundae for us. Quickly we had a boatload of Snapper.
As our boat glided along the waters, the guide pulled out colorful Starfish. The colors, from red, orange, green and tan, shine through the water.
Barracuda are numerous in the area. The guide uses a spinning rod with a plastic green tube (about 8″) with hooks. When the line is reeled in, it resembles a needle fish skipping across the water. The ‘Cuda will attack.
Once back at the dock, the ‘Cuda is cut into steaks. Eating Barracuda can be unhealthy because it can carry a toxin called “ciguatera” which the ‘Cuda can develop from eating smaller fish that eat reef algae. Not all Barracuda carry this toxin.
Conch Fritters, conch fried in a batter, are a favorite delicacy. The guide easily pulled ten conch shells from the clear water.
The shell is beautiful, but what is inside is an ugly muscle.
Whether you are a seasoned fisherman or hoping to improve your skills, come to East End Lodge and enjoy the challenge of catching Bone Fish.
About the Author:
In 2010, Annie Coburn created FAB Senior Travel, a blog for mature and adventurous travelers. Her blog features travel articles from contributors as well as her own travels. Annie has published five travel books targeting the greatest cities on earth: Walk Paris, Walk Beijing, Walk London, Walk NYC, and Ellie’s Grand Adventure. She recently spent seven-months living and traveling in South America.
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