World Wide Fishing!


Bonz!


Bahama Bonz

By Noel Wight


Every fall I think about taking a wintertime trip to get away from the cold and snow here in Iowa. For the past few years I have headed to Las Vegas and Los Angeles. They were fun trips, but too many people. This year a new twist was added. JC and Ladyfisher came up with the idea of having a Bonefish party in the Bahamas. Now I'm not one to turn down a good party, especially when fishing is involved.

For the last three years my barber, Nolan Collins, put together a Canadian fishing trip usually for the months of June or July. I had to make a choice of the bone fish trip in February or waiting until the summer. I decided Deep Water Cay Club would be the place to try something different. Saltwater at it's best!

JC and The LadyFisher

With the plane tickets bought and the deposit paid, off I flew to Ft.Lauderdale, Florida. Sunday evening I met Jim and Deanna for the first time (JC and Ladyfisher). It was great! It was like we had known each other for years. We were to fly out to the Club the next day. The weather was somewhat of a concern, a big storm was coming across the Gulf of Mexico and would be in the area Monday. Not knowing what kind of aircraft the charter service used left me guessing whether we would be able to leave at all. And I was ready to go!

I've spent a lot of time in small aircraft (including jumping out of them — on purpose) and the flight from the mainland to Freeport, on Grand Bahama Island, was pretty smooth considering the fierce wind; darn good pilot. I've been on worse rides in clear weather. We went through customs with no problems, and landed at Deep Water Cay Club about 2:00 p.m. Allison and Paul Adams, the managers, were there to meet us at the landing strip. They had one of the electric golf carts to haul our luggage and selves to the big lodge. We rode to our cottages, unloaded our gear, and it was off to check out the accommodations and settle in for the evening.

JC was kind enough to bring along a new STH 'turbine-drag' fly reel and a nine-foot, six weight G. Loomis rod for me. (You can rent the gear at the lodge if you don't want the hassle of bringing your own. Their equipment is good stuff and well maintained.) The next step was a casting lesson from the teacher himself . . . J. Castwell. A very good teacher and he makes it easy for the new guy. The only thing I couldn't quite get was the double haul that first afternoon. He did switch me from right, to left-handed casting, which was a big help.

My guide Walter The weather was tough — rain and high winds. I was not comfortable using the flyrod, so the first few times out I rented a spinning outfit instead. I was lucky enough to get Walter as my guide. Walter has been guiding for ten years at the Lodge. If he couldn't see the fish they were not there.

We hit the water Tuesday morning about nine to see what the flats were like. With the wind blowing and the rain stirring up the flats we didn't spend much time out on the water. I decided to give the dock a try, at least I had a line in the water. Snapper and other different types of fish were there. All of them with teeth.

Noel

Wednesday, after a good breakfast, we gave it another try. Sight fishing is a different critter for me. Having the guide tell me where to cast and how far to cast was a new concept. Walter was kind and patient; I got one good cast in that day. The weather was again so bad that I went back to the dock and fished with Walter and Adley. Thursday was another day with new hope of catching a bonefish. The wind had slowed down and the flats were starting to settle. I managed a cast to a bonefish that Walter had spotted — it ended up being a long distance release.

I finally landed my first bonefish that same afternoon. Sorry purists, I did it with a spinning rig. The wind was still a little to tough for my fly-casting ability, but had dropped from the 80 mph to a more reasonable 30 mph. Walter told me where to cast and how far out. I couldn't see the darned thing. He gave a blow-by-blow description of what the fish was doing, and then said, "Set the hook!" I did. There was no LDR on this fish. As on the TV, the reel screamed, I nearly did, and my semi-old ticker went into over drive. Walter grabbed my camera, got some shots and just laughed.

Friday we went out again; this time with flyrod in hand. I was determined to get one of these bad boys on a fly. The fly of choice, by doing some local research, is the pink puff. We arrived at a nice, calm area on the flats.Walter got out the push pole and started to look around. I will swear that he can smell them! "Twenty-five feet, at 11 o'clock," he said. I made the cast but I couldn't see any bonefish anywhere. "Strip . . . strip . . . stop," the same thing again. "Set the hook!"

Party Time! The Party was on! The reel screaming, "Oh boy," (that was me.) To experience the feeling is to be there. On the first run, with most of my 100 yards of backing gone, I hoped the drag would hold — it did fine. In my favor, the fish stopped. To make a large story short, after a great several minutes, he ended up in the boat. My first fly-caught bone-fish — about six pounds.

Do I want to go back? Heck yes! I'm planning on going back. I am going back! The service was the best, the people were great, the accommodations were all I could want, and they got Bonz! My suggestion ... go on a diet before getting there because you will gain ten pounds in a heartbeat. ~ Noel Wight March 2nd, 1998

About Noel:

Noel Wight's home waters are in Iowa. Visitors to our Chat Room may recognize him as Host Noel or Coachman. By the way, Noel also has a serious interest in food — especially smoked and barbecued — as both a affectionado and as a professional caterer. We appreciate his view on the 98' Bone Fish Party! ~ DLB


More Fly Fishing in the Caribbean:
Montanans Go To Andros
Peacock Bass Fishing in Puerto Rico
Grand Bahama Island - Bonefish
Grand Bahama Bonz

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