Ridiculous Clave... cont'd [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Ridiculous Clave... cont'd


juro
11-25-2004, 09:21 PM
What:
rIdIcUlOuS clave - DIY primarily, low budget bonefish trip

Why:
Need we ask?

Where:
Bahamas archipelago - Acklins, Eleuthera, Grand Bahamas, Abaco, or other DIY destination with lots of bones and flats measured in hundreds of square miles

When:
March or April (tbd)

Who:

1) FredA.
2) n1gdo
3) Dave17
4) Bonefishmon
5) Jim Simms
6) grizz0707
7) Wrke
8) with_wrke
9) Juro

*** group limit reached ***

How:
Converge on an island, share a car / lodging / fly tying table / stories / stogies / kaliks and walk, stalk, rock the flats!

juro
11-27-2004, 08:05 AM
Acklins is in the running...

http://www.vrbo.com/49576
http://www.crookedisland.biz/


Advantages:

1,000 sq miles of bonefish flats
accessible crazy fishing
DIY fantasy
cheap lodging options
car rental available
two islands separated by $4 ferry

Disadvantages:

very remote
lose a day in Nassau - we could do a warm-up on the south side of N.P. though
cost $300 over Eleuthera due to flights from Nassau verses Ft.Lauderdale
few amenities

Neutral:

zero couples clave scouting possibilities but thats ok too

Acklins should be considered among the choices, representing the exploratory option with highest potential for ridiculous fishing at the price of amenities.

juro
11-27-2004, 01:40 PM
Research reveals that there are more than two lodging options per mile on these islands, which are separated by a small cut with a $4 ferry to cross them. These hotels range from affordable and humble establishments to posh angler's accomodations on the international destinations lists. Clearly the reason is some of the best bonefishing on earth, DIY too.

Stretched out, these islands together are only about 15 miles long and not even a mile across in many places. A rental car could scour the island's shoreline in a day.

We could fly into Acklins and out on Crooked, vice-versa, or round trip to the same airstrip and it's $105 each way no matter what the combination - $210 r/t from Nassau. The problem is we have to get to Nassau, can't fly direct from Ft.Lauderdale like we could to Eleuthera, etc. This difference represents a $300 difference in the flight costs overall as opposed to Eleuthera.

Lodging options on Crooked Island include a place on Landrail Pt that wants $80 / night for three bedrooms, $20 each sleeping four per unit, BUT the meals plan is $55 per day per person (optional). Still $75 per day for meals the owners boast about is pretty good, and they pack lunches to go.

If you poke around a bit I think you'll get the same excitement about Acklins / Crooked Island that I have. Take a look and let me know.

** - this is not to say Berry, Eleuthera, and others are out, just adding another viable option before we make up our minds over the next week or two.

Detailed Itinerary will follow, once I hear back from inquiries I have made to businesses on both islands.

n1gdo
11-27-2004, 02:14 PM
I have always wanted to explore the Acklins area.

My thinking is how many times would we ever get the chance to see an
area like this at a price we can afford.

We could always do Eleuthera easily.

If we were voting I would go for the Acklins trip.

Thanks to everyone for all their great information.

frank in Winthrop, MA

Luv2flyfish
11-28-2004, 01:31 AM
Lets see what it works out to (money wise) per person for the week.

grizz0707
11-28-2004, 05:13 AM
Hi Juro,
count me in if there is still room for this clave. just got the okay to do the deal.

fish we must,
grizz0707

juro
11-28-2004, 07:03 AM
Lets see what it works out to (money wise) per person for the week.

Roughly about $700-800 without the flight to Nassau, details will be posted shortly. Waiting for replies from folks in Acklins and Crooked Island.

juro
11-28-2004, 07:04 AM
Hi Juro,
count me in if there is still room for this clave. just got the okay to do the deal.

fish we must,
grizz0707


Griz -

Provided this creates no maritial hiccup, YER IN! :wink:

juro
12-02-2004, 11:12 AM
Any more proposals?

If not, it's going to be between:

Eleuthera
Berry Islands
Acklins

bonefishmon
12-03-2004, 06:45 AM
I will do some investigating for a Berry Island round trip with housing. Will try percy Darville this weekend. Could not reach him earlier this week.

Phil

Luv2flyfish
12-03-2004, 08:22 AM
All 3 sound good to me. The 2 with less pressure sound the best.

I just need dates to plan on - I have a whole lot of traveling, moving, and switching of jobs happening during the time of this adventure. Most of that stuff is getting planned and finalized now. I may potentially run into snags (depending on what uncle sammy whats to do). I might be unemployed and on 40 days of vacation by early march, or unemployed and on 40 days of vacation by mid-april. (those 40 days of vacation do not count in the 10 days vacation I am taking for this bonefishin trip). Too bad those 50 days of vacation dont coincide with the Fall and British Columbia and Steelhead......

juro
12-03-2004, 09:01 AM
Acklins: My estimates are right around $700ea not including round trip to Nassau or guides. But this is the great hinterlands of DIY in our lifetime and who knows how long, w/ 1000 sq miles of flats on a mostly deserted 14 mile long island if we stay in the newly built hotel I contacted. For me the Nassau flight is $500 but I might beg for freq. flyer miles from family so I can make this trip fit my budget.

We could knock this down $300 easy on Eleuthera due to flights from Ft.Lauderdale instead of Nassau, which for me are under $200 and there is no night layover for this island. This would easily fit my budget.

I will put these two package costs together based on quotes within the next few days. If anyone else is doing leg work chime in and we'll wait for all the numbers to come in before deciding.

bonefishmon
12-03-2004, 02:24 PM
I found a RT charter to Governors Harbor from Ft. Lauderdale for about $1900 divided by whichever number of passengers it takes along. Plane will hold eight comfortably. There is a $12 departure tax plus landing and takeoff fees.
My contact will attempt to arrange some other group to come back on the return flight or come out with them for our return flight which will reduce the cost even more. Housing is being looked into and I'm told this spot is DIY friendly and she books these trips on a DIY basis quite often. She didn't even know it was a problem elsewhere! At this point housing is looking like around $70 per night for a party of eight, on the beach, in a villa. We can rent boats or a Jeep Cherokee. All total about $1200 per person for eight + food and drink. I really like the Acklins as a destination but it may be tough on some of the other wallets. Only one problem with the Berry's = cold fronts.

Phil

juro
12-04-2004, 12:34 PM
Here are the details for Acklins / Crooked Island

I've negotiated a weekly rental at Casuarina Pines, Crooked Island of $600 per week for cottages with two double beds each.

http://www.crookedisland.biz/pagrpv.html

Hylena will arrange rental cars for $60 per day, possible week discount. This should mean $15 per day each up to four; two cars if 8 people, etc.

Therefore:

Not counting the flight to/from Nassau

Nassau to Crooked Island $135
First night lodging in Nassau $50ea
Lodging for week $300ea without cots
Rental car for week $105
Food $100ea (600-800 shared for week)
Bonefishing till we drop... priceless
Return to Nassau $135

$800-ish not including the flight to/from Nassau. Not as budget-wise as Eleuthera but notbably less than Berry Is. quote.

Extras:
Fishing with guides at one of the lodges (Greys Point, Acklins Lodge, etc.)
License for taking of lobster (they are 100ft away from the door) $20

Each cottage sleeps two adults, plenty of room to add a third but at these rates why bother.

I will draft up a plan for Acklins vs. Crooked but keep in mind there is a $4 ferry to get from one to the other and the total length of both islands combined is about 15 miles.

It might be fun to split the week between Crooked and Acklins keeping the cost about at this level. I suspect the $4 ferry would not get the car across the channel so we might as well consider it.

However, these two provide 1000 square miles of largely unfished flats, perhaps the most ridiculously untapped bonefish mecca on earth.

wrke
12-04-2004, 12:53 PM
Juro
Just found the thread and haven't had time to follow all. Are you full, can you take a couple more?
Bill

juro
12-04-2004, 01:05 PM
Bill -

Good to hear from you!

The more the merrier as far as I am concerned especially if we go to Acklins / Crooked Island. The weekly food budget will go to $1000, but no change per person. I think we must sign a pact to bring lobsters home each day :cool:

However, 10 is probably the limit so if you are truly interested we will set the initial group at the current headcount.

Who will be coming with you?

juro
12-04-2004, 01:28 PM
Back to Eleuthera...

Bonefishmon -

Thanks for the sleuthwork again!

Eleuthera:

Flights
There are lots of flights from FLL to Eleuthera including big names like Continental for about $300, where Bahamasair wants $150 one-way. The charter would be a blast and is a good price but there are big restrictions on baggage weight we need to consider. I am not sure we gain much via charter in this case since we can get to FLL and hop to Eleuthera same day without a charter. As I've often mentioned before unlike Berry or Acklins there is no need to go to Nassau when going to Eleuthera, and the fare to FLL is dirt cheap knocking the cost down to about $800-900 for the week as I saw it all-inclusive.

Furthermore, the flights run every day so we can chop it to a 5 day 4 night affair cutting lodging, food and car costs and getting it done for about $750 total before personal extras like guides and tequila.

Eleuthera is just fine by me costwise, and sounds like a no-brainer for the couples clave however I will s-t-r-e-t-c-h for Acklins because of it's pure insanity. The overwhelming percentage of bones in Acklins will have never seen an angler, let alone a fly.

Lodging
I am sure you found a great spot but we should be able to get quite a lot less IMHO. For instance, this beautiful cottage in Gov Hbr would cost a party of 8 less than $30 per day:

http://www.duckinncottages.com/Floras.asp

Many others were listed. One of the reasons I am high on Eleuthera is the abundance of lodging options at great prices for groups. It's ridiculous! ;)

If possible could you put a three level summary together? Budget, middle and best affordable? http://www.flyfishingforum.com/flytalk4/images/icons/icon14.gif

I found a RT charter to Governors Harbor from Ft. Lauderdale for about $1900 divided by whichever number of passengers it takes along. Plane will hold eight comfortably. There is a $12 departure tax plus landing and takeoff fees.
My contact will attempt to arrange some other group to come back on the return flight or come out with them for our return flight which will reduce the cost even more. Housing is being looked into and I'm told this spot is DIY friendly and she books these trips on a DIY basis quite often. She didn't even know it was a problem elsewhere! At this point housing is looking like around $70 per night for a party of eight, on the beach, in a villa. We can rent boats or a Jeep Cherokee. All total about $1200 per person for eight + food and drink. I really like the Acklins as a destination but it may be tough on some of the other wallets. Only one problem with the Berry's = cold fronts.

Phil

wrke
12-04-2004, 10:34 PM
Juro
If we come, I'd be joined by my old trout, salmon, tarpon and bonefishing buddy Larry Solomon — we just haven't finalized our bonefishing trip for next year. We would need to clear with our schedules and family (my wife usually joins me for our yearly Bahamian trips). There's a lot we need to juggle, but would try to make some decisions before year end. Looks like it could be fun.
Bill

bonefishmon
12-05-2004, 07:34 PM
Juro. Please give me a few more days on The Berry's as a possibility. Crew of eight for seven days.

Flight to Ft. Laud---$160-$200 RT
Flight to Great Harbor----$230 RT
Lodging---------------------$350 per person
Food-------------------------$100 per person
Boat--------------------------$105 per person
as a shuttle or three per boat on the flats rotated.
Misc.-------------------------- $50 one night stay in Ft. Laud . for AM flight to Great Harb
Harbor. If we all arrive in FLL in the AM, ,no overnight.


Total ---------------------$1000 complete package.

Still waiting on alternative lodging inquiries.

Phil

juro
12-05-2004, 10:05 PM
cool...

any options leaving FLL will save $, e.g. eleuthera

do you have links to lodging, and what about car rental?

do you still have concerns about cold fronts so far north?

thanks again

bonefishmon
12-06-2004, 07:16 AM
I have a charter flight lined up out of Ft. Lauderdale. A villa on the beach which I am trying to negotiate with room for eight. Cars and boats are available as well as guides. Cold fronts are always possible that far north but if we can get a sweet deal on housing, let's just consider it before we close the door .

Phil

juro
12-07-2004, 06:34 PM
I saw a commercial on Monday Night Football for cayman islands air - $380 rt

Looked on line for lodging, similar cottages for groups were found for similar prices.

This could be interesting... doing some research.

bonefishmon
12-08-2004, 06:26 PM
A hurricane hit them very hard this fall. Perhaps that is why flights are dirt cheap. Business must be slow in Grand Cayman! There are bones on Little Cayman and a lodge. Inland ponds and canals provide good fishing on Grand Cayman according to Stephen at BFFG.

Phil

juro
12-09-2004, 10:39 PM
Check this out! :eek:
http://www.caymanairways.com/specials/specials.html#boston

Luv2flyfish
12-10-2004, 05:08 AM
Juro, Gentlemen:

I hate to face this cold, hard reality but the current state of my personal affairs is regretfully causing me to bail on this trip. It figures as I've wanted to chase Bones on a fly for many years. I thought it was all going to pan out - but its not looking good. I hope I am not throwing too large of a monkey wrench into the final planning stages. I'll look forward to a great, lengthy, detailed report of this Clave upon your returns. I'm sure there will be campfire stories told over scotch at the Sandy Clave. At least this year I can make the Sandy Clave. :mad: :frown:

juro
12-10-2004, 06:24 AM
Sorry to hear that - you've certainly earned a trip like this and I enjoyed meeting you twice and was looking forward to doing the crazy bonefish gig with you. Everyone understands how reality strikes. It's our loss that your enthusiasm will not be on our squad this time.

Keep your head low out there and please let's plan to hook up in steelhead country when your tour is done buddy! Best of luck with your AK gig and come out to Cape Cod's striper flats sometime as our guest.

bonefishmon
12-10-2004, 10:42 AM
Little Cayman Island has a brackish inland watercourse called none other than "Tarpon Pond'. 15 - 30 lb. tarpon available! Site did not say what time of year is best for this fishery. What amused me is a claim that Little Cayman has the best bonefishing in the world? Hum--------. This is getting interesting but we must act soon.

Phil

juro
12-10-2004, 12:30 PM
How does third week in March sound to everyone? One of the places we have on the short list TBD, but this time frame?

n1gdo
12-10-2004, 01:34 PM
The March date looks good for me so far.....

Re: Little Cayman
....did that years ago...the Bonefish were extremely small...
mostly the bones would be mudding and you would cast little fry baits into the mass........you could catch a lot of very small bonefish that way but it got old very quickly.

The Tarpon pond did have baby Tarpon in it but could not take many people fishing it at the same time.....had to go in row boats with the guide.

If it ends up being the Caymans I would have to bow out and leave a slot open
for someone else....just my personal preference.....

Dave17
12-10-2004, 04:36 PM
That date works for me

juro
12-10-2004, 04:46 PM
OK - although super affordable Caymans is out. My vote is starting to gravitate toward Acklins... which is totally rIdIcUlOuS!! :cool:

bonefishmon
12-10-2004, 07:50 PM
I just got the OK but must spend the following week some where else where it's warm with my wife and family for our wedding aniversary. May just plan the return leg and meet them in Florida for a flight back out to Green Turtle Cay! From what I've read, Little Cayman has little bones. www.caymans.com/lcfishing.html

Phil

grizz0707
12-13-2004, 07:44 AM
i am okay with this choice . Juro check out this web site www.VRBO.com/49576

n1gdo
12-13-2004, 07:53 AM
That was a great site for house rentals...

Did I read it correctly though....the $1500 was for ONE half of the 4BR unit ?

So it would be $3K for the whole unit....still may not be bad if you have enough people..

thanks for the interesting site.

juro
12-14-2004, 08:15 AM
Thanks Griz - that's the exact same link I posted a while back :hihi: We're on the same wavelength. However it was $1500 per unit, $3000 per week - but if we take the whole unit we can negotiate a workable price.

With 8 people, the cost at this rate would be $375 ea / full week. I verbally negotiated a lower price w/ reduced linen service if both units are taken; however I would like to see how low we can go.

I also like the Crooked Island cabins (link above) and the lady was quite nice. Also negotiated a lower price w/ reduced linen service.

A $4 ferry ride separates the two islands, ideally we would split the stay to mix it up. Both sides have an airport and car rentals.

This is a primitive area but boasts ridiculous fishing. My preference is starting to gravitate toward the unexplored... thoughts?

juro
12-14-2004, 08:18 AM
Here was the round-up for Crooked Is. once again... a split stay Acklins / Crooked would be the ultimate iMHO...


Here are the details for Acklins / Crooked Island

I've negotiated a weekly rental at Casuarina Pines, Crooked Island of $600 per week for cottages with two double beds each.

http://www.crookedisland.biz/pagrpv.html

Hylena will arrange rental cars for $60 per day, possible week discount. This should mean $15 per day each up to four; two cars if 8 people, etc.

Therefore:

Not counting the flight to/from Nassau

Nassau to Crooked Island $135
First night lodging in Nassau $50ea
Lodging for week $300ea without cots
Rental car for week $105
Food $100ea (600-800 shared for week)
Bonefishing till we drop... priceless
Return to Nassau $135

$800-ish not including the flight to/from Nassau. Not as budget-wise as Eleuthera but notbably less than Berry Is. quote.

Extras:
Fishing with guides at one of the lodges (Greys Point, Acklins Lodge, etc.)
License for taking of lobster (they are 100ft away from the door) $20

Each cottage sleeps two adults, plenty of room to add a third but at these rates why bother.

I will draft up a plan for Acklins vs. Crooked but keep in mind there is a $4 ferry to get from one to the other and the total length of both islands combined is about 15 miles.

It might be fun to split the week between Crooked and Acklins keeping the cost about at this level. I suspect the $4 ferry would not get the car across the channel so we might as well consider it.

However, these two provide 1000 square miles of largely unfished flats, perhaps the most ridiculously untapped bonefish mecca on earth.

Dave17
12-14-2004, 01:39 PM
Where do I sign?!?! :smokin: Crooked looks great, the date works and the price works for me. Does this mean we're getting close to the next step (deposits, etc)? I want to make sure I have the cash ready to go. How will we do this, some type of paypal account or checks by mail. My lack of knowledge on the area has kept me from helping in the planning stages, but I'd be more than happy to lend time and effort to these next tasks. Let me know what you guys think.

Dave

bonefishmon
12-14-2004, 08:30 PM
Anyone spot any good photos from the air on the net with roads leading to the areas that are accessable on foot? A road map of both islands would be imperative to our exploration. The Bahamian Ministry can be very helpful if we can find a contact. I will volunteer that effort. Donna McQeen on Andros knows everyone in the Ministry from various islands. I think it would be wise to hire a land based guide. Not neccesarily a fishing guide, but one who knows the island well and needs
a little money. I have had very good luck with this on Andros and in the process, made some very good friends. The people who provide lodging are usually very accomadating and can help us find someone to show us around. The Bahamas have a great people to people program. Very cultural and one of the more memorable parts of some of my visits. One fellow I met walking down a road to another flat on Andros invitited me into his home and later climbed a coconut tree in his back yard and served some very delicious vegetables he had grown. I left with a full belly and some great memories. I then invited his family to my place later that evening for drinks. The following day he showed me two flats I was unaware of. Ha!!!! Here we go again! I can go on and on. Can wait to be back.

Phil

juro
12-14-2004, 10:19 PM
Phil -

The islands probably only have a few main roads. The ferry between is $4. There are 1000 square miles of flats.

http://www.redtailcanyon.com/files/userfiles/media/pic37908.jpg

You're right but I don't think we'll have much problem getting around. Virtually all my recon last year was during the flight from Nassau, and it paid off.

juro
12-14-2004, 10:22 PM
I like the look of the inside lee shore on Crooked and the structure on the inside of the end of Acklins facing Crooked.

http://www.geocomplexity.com/STS41B-39-2159_Acklins.jpg

juro
12-14-2004, 10:40 PM
And we need no more detail than Peter Loud provides free...

http://users.powernet.co.uk/mkmarina/bahamas/crooked_ack.html

grizz0707
12-15-2004, 07:31 AM
unexplored sounds good to me. we can find our own piece of paradise :)

juro
12-15-2004, 09:48 AM
I read that it's not unusual to find schools of a thousand bones roving the flats in the bight of Acklins :smokin:

bonefishmon
12-15-2004, 07:58 PM
Juro. I have valuable info from Stephen Vletas regarding Crooked and Aclins. Please PM me your email addy as I want to cut and paste his reply. Can't do that on this site and it's pretty long. Mosquitoes will warrant some 'Bug Off' clothing.

Phil

jimS
12-16-2004, 05:06 PM
Juro, I've got to say that you may be more enthusiastic about this trip than I, but not by much. After reading the data on both Acklin and Crooked, I don't think you can go wrong with either!

After digesting and analyzing the data for both, what is your call? Both sound awesome. I'm aware that being cost-effective is a factor, but access to a plethora of flats would be my objective. A place to sleep, eat and shower is secondary for me.

If this area becomes the preferred one, are we looking at mid-March? If so, the sooner I can make reservations to get to Nassau, the better. Also, are we looking at a week of fishing the locale? If so, then we are looking at a 9-day trip minimum. No problem for me, but others?

If there are details that I can help you with, I'd be more than happy to oblige.

After the first of the year, I'll be in Florida, to celebrate my dad's 92nd. Of course, since he is just north of the Keys, I need to spend some time in Islamorada. At the end of the month, I'll be at the Somerset fly show.

Your passion for one- and two-handed fishing is only surpassed by your desire to help others.

Simms

bonefishmon
12-17-2004, 07:45 AM
Are we going to Acklins- Crooked Island or are other options still reviewable? I received an e-mail from a guide in Oregon that owns a home in Turnbull on Long Island. He has a house with room for up to 12 and is available 4/12-4/19 for $2000.
Says not to listen to those that promote the lodges. There are some very good flats for this large a group. Ladyfish started the thread on this place. I will call him if you are interested. This date may go fast as another group is also interested. Bob, the owner says he gets large DIY groups frequently so this is a popular DIY destination.

Phil

bonefishmon
12-17-2004, 07:50 AM
Lodging info on the last thread can be viewed at: www.vrbo.com/45912

bonefishmon
12-17-2004, 10:02 AM
Just heard back from the guide from Oregon, Bob Houghton on Long Island. This is really getting more and more interesting with each email and he is willing to help us find affordable flights from Miami instead of Nassau. We fly to Georgetown from Miami and hop out from there. I need to let him know ASAP. Has yaks and a small skiff and will tell what areas we can fish from shore. Resturants and grocery near by. Please give this serious consideration as it is the only open date. (4/12--4/19) Prime bonefish conditions. Just have to check on tides.

Phil

n1gdo
12-17-2004, 10:51 AM
I guess one of these days one of us will have to say this is the place and these are the dates....

So far the Acklins/Crooked or Long Island would be fine with me.

For me a week in mid March would be good. A week in mid April would be good also.

It would be nice to connect via Miami...for the Long Island trip.

So if we went XXX to MIA then MIA to GGT we would have to take another plane to Deadman's or wherever the nearest airport is on Long Island...how are the connections between Georgetown, Exuma and Long Island.

I guess we could go on with endless ideas and questions and thats why I think we should set the date and the place so all those interested can check if the dates work for them and we can then go from theory to putting down deposits and making flight plans.

You all have given such great information. I have learned a lot just from the different notes being passed.

Thank you all

FredA
12-17-2004, 10:55 AM
Wow. Being ignorant, I'm staying out of the selection process, but that place does look cool. Choices, choices!

juro
12-17-2004, 12:12 PM
Very interesting,

post an accurate roll-up of costs for consideration, and once again thanks!

Just heard back from the guide from Oregon, Bob Houghton on Long Island. This is really getting more and more interesting with each email and he is willing to help us find affordable flights from Miami instead of Nassau. We fly to Georgetown from Miami and hop out from there. I need to let him know ASAP. Has yaks and a small skiff and will tell what areas we can fish from shore. Resturants and grocery near by. Please give this serious consideration as it is the only open date. (4/12--4/19) Prime bonefish conditions. Just have to check on tides.

Phil

FredA
12-17-2004, 01:21 PM
"Near the Turnbull house".

I have a recurring dream that looks like this!

bonefishmon
12-17-2004, 05:23 PM
Juro and all others. I will call Bob and get the details. From what he said via e-mail the connection to L.I. and back to Miami should be less than a Nassau connect.

Phil

bonefishmon
12-17-2004, 05:28 PM
Before I commit to Bob I will need a head count from those interested in the 12th thru the 19th of April on Long Island, Bahamas. This is not a commitment. Simply a head count. A group of nine will fit on the plane from Georgetown. Please reply ASAP.

Phil

bonefishmon
12-17-2004, 06:07 PM
I have e-mailed Bob Houghton and informed him of our Forum. Bob, if you are reading this, a hearty and thankful welcome from all of us! Please fill us in on your wonderful place in Turnbull, L.I.. We are all (ears) eyes.

Phil

bobh
12-18-2004, 07:04 AM
Hi --

hopefully I can answer your questions more easliy here; i've been corresponding with bonefishmon by private email.

Regarding DIY bonefishing -- yes, there's plenty of it. You can access even morewith a guide, and i always encourage groups to use one for some of the time; the good ones are worth it. But you can also go bonefishing on your own.

Wherever you stay, a car rental is good -- it's a big island, with lots to do

Also, I didn't say don't listen to the bonefish lodges -- just that i've noticed posts on some fishing forums that suggest you can't DIY bonefish here successfully, and I suspect the posters must be touting for bonefish lodges. There are good bonefish lodges here that include meals and good guides everyday.

I'm not sure about the place that offers the van + 70 hp Whaler -- that's a good deal if true. I'll see if I can find out where it is.

What you get here is basically a house on a beautiful beach (which I'm looking at as I type!). lot's of info and pics on my website

OK that's it for now; my son and i are going fishing. I've sent some airfare info to bonefishmon and will put it up here if you like. But later...

bonefishmon
12-18-2004, 09:39 AM
Welcome to the Flyfishing Forum! Thanks for the early response, most likely with coffee in hand! Thanks also for clearing up any misconceptions as far as the DIY
fishing goes. My appologies for the mixup. I remember reading about Sam Knowles many years ago. How is he doing and would he be available for a day or two? In any case, Bob has experience with the flight plans as he lives there. The plan would be to fly to Georgetown, Exumas instead of Nassau. No Bahamas Air nightmares. From Providence, RI it would run me about $430.00 RT. The flight from Georgetown to L.I. is $550 RT for the five passenger plane and $780 for the nine passanger plane. For me that should run no more than $560.00 based on nine going. Add $225 per person for housing based on nine guests. This is certainly doable. I'm a strict vegan so peas and rice and some occasional conch will keep me very happy. I love conch fritters and Kalik. Three cases of Kalik are on ME! Car rental and fuel?

Bob. Please fill us in on the flats situation. Are we only able to fish the salt pans from shore? Are there other natural flats with mangroves shores and no berms?
Tell me in your honest opinion about the southern area of Long Island for exploration and is there access. I've heard there are spots down there near the point. Thanks in advance.

Phil

juro
12-18-2004, 02:41 PM
Hi Bob -

Welcome aboard... your place looks very inviting!

I've spoken w/ some experienced LI bonefishers and they seem to say that most of the island is really not fishable without a boat to get to good flats south of Stella Maris. In your photos there seem to be two areas, one on open water flats (boat in background?) and another along some mangroves where you took that awesome shot of some bones. That would be a tough spot to hook them, or at least land them! I'd try anyway :) Where are these spots relative to the cottage?

Have you been to Crooked / Acklins and how would the accessibility to flats compare for DIY?

Thanks for the tip on flights to GGT! What a great alternative to Nassau and I know some great spots in the event of a layover in Great Exuma ;)


(BTW - I sent a private message explaining the removal of the link)

juro
12-18-2004, 11:51 PM
Cape Santa Maria / Stella Maris area looks great for DIY (if accessible) to the right of the resort.

Good broad view of things... Andros is the mecca; but Acklins / Crooked combination trip has the intrigue for me I have to admit.


huge NASA image (http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/data/ev244/ev24468_Cuba.A2003034.1835.250m.jpg)
(windows users: hold mouse still over image, click on expand icon to see full scale)

bobh
12-19-2004, 05:11 PM
Yes, Sammy Knowles still guides here – he’s considered one of the best. He’s pretty busy with, and I think committed to, the smith and wells bonefish camp, but you might give him a try while you’re here. Other guides that our friends have enjoyed fishing with are Locksley Cartwright 242 337 7228, Phillip Cartwright 337 1043, and Colin Cartwright 337 6033. Peter Burrows is a great guy to fish with, but is often busy with other things and can’t commit much in advance – try him while you’re here at 357 1105.

You’ll want to get a guide to see the beautiful flats out from Deadman’s cay, and of course anyone not experienced at bonefishing will want a guide . But there are also any number of flats on the island that you can drive to, park, and fish. Successfully. Also the atlantic side offers coves and rocky heads for fishing – you never know what you might catch (but they all eat green and white clousers). You just have to do some explorin’ and pokin’ around, just like fishing anywhere.

Cars are $55/day and fuel is no problem.

I haven’t been to crooked/acklins; I think you know more about it than I do.

So: practice your casting (none of that ‘with the wind” stuff either!) and have a great time wherever you go.

bonefishmon
12-19-2004, 08:36 PM
Bob. Thanks for the post. You have, however, answered in your thread to an PM email I sent you asking about the guides. I agree wholeheartedly that some of us will want to experience the 'outside' with someone who knows the area well.

Here are my thoughts. Either we #!*+ or get off the pot on our decisions here. Unless someone hosts the Acklins that's been there already, I'm afraid we may waste a lot of time on the unknowns that exist there. I know first hand from someone who has been there many times that it is the perfect place to explore if you can put up with swarms of mosquitos, questionable roads, lack of food and fuel and only a few housing options. It's a BIG place. Like trying to cover the entire Cape in one week! We need a place with three or more large flats near by, learn their nuances like we did Monomy, get intimate and catch some fish. Comfortable housing, and someone who can help us get started that lives there and knows the area well as well as the resources beyond the fishing. I believe we have found just the place! Bob reported to me that he had a great day fishing with his son,' today.'

Phil

n1gdo
12-20-2004, 07:26 AM
Well put "bonefishmon" ... you make a good case for Long Island.....

I think the points regarding the DIY flats being available and the guides to take us to the outside flats are valid.

The flight via MIA / GGT is also a good selling point rather than an overnight in Nassau to save time and money.

The rental car price is fairly reasonable considering some islands charge around $75US / day.

I am with you as far as nailing down the place and dates because once you do and ask people to commit, you will find some folks will not be able to join because of many reasons and it could change the economics etc...

The big question is who is the leader to make that decision....!

Has anyone done any organizing of a trip like this that can take over that function?

I would be happy to assist but I usually travel alone and have no clue about how we would arrange deposits and payments etc. for a group.

"bonefishmon" if we did the LI house can you find out how we would do the deposit and payment etc ? Also if we could arrange for a rental car and put a deposit on it.

The people who have put down a deposit can make flight plans and we could exchange info to see what deals can be made to get the cheapest flight.

juro
12-20-2004, 07:42 AM
I've organized many trips and gatherings over the last 20 years but have been trying to avoid forcing a hand in this to see where the dynamics lead us. So far it has gone well with two options in the southern region, lodging investigation has revealed great options, and the costs have been held in check.

I agree that we need to come to a decision soon, yet with three months to go I would like to avoid being too spontaneous. These things just don't come easy for me $$ nowadays and I want to feel like it was worth 2x the price, and the DIY and adventure aspect are key for me.

We could pay $4k and ride a flats boat all week in Andros, sleep on fresh linens and be waited on - heads and shoulders above any of these options we discussed but that's not what it's all about for me. But I would rather spend $1k (all inclusive) and feel what Columbus felt when he landed on these same islands, personally. I want to win one of these battles with a double digit bone, on my own as they say. I've lost them all so far.

How about if we put up the two options and let people choose which they prefer. We can then decide if we combine the two groups, split up into two smaller groups, or investigate other options.

Bonfishmon -

Please roll up a detailed summary including all costs, airlines, rental cars, etc for Deadmans Cay. For this comparison. I will do same for Acklins / Crooked Island. Then we'll put up a poll to see how the cards fall, make a decision, and go forward.

** please start a new thread with this information **

bonefishmon
12-20-2004, 09:32 AM
Juro. It would be my pleasure! I have informed Bob that we are a group that loves both sides of the battle when it comes to flyfishing. Finding the fish on our own is half the battle and for me and as much fun as actually landing them.
I don't always catch a load of fish when I'm down in the Bahamas but I completely enjoy the fact that I am exploring a new territory that I've never been to. Sure, guides have their place but for me building a rod, tying the flies and hooking a fish
with no assistance is very gratifying. I do plan to use a guide when we go for at least one day to get to the outside.
I have informed Bob of our questions and hope he will chime in again on this Forum.
Please avert your attention to the new thread, Rediculous Clave...Long Island.


Phil