: Back from Acklins Island--trip report
02-24-2005, 04:34 PM
Our group of 9 anglers spent a wonderful week at Grey's point Bonefish Inn on Acklins Island, in the southern Bahamas. Grey's Point is located on a high point with fabulous views of the flats out back, and we had great sunsets in the evenings.
Our hosts, the Williamsons, were great and they treated all of us like we were part of their family. The owner and founder, Newton Williamson, and his wife Shirley, their son and the manager/head guide Garron Williamson, and his lovely wife Lavanda, made our trip special. Dinners were prepared fresh daily by Shirley and Lavanda, and included steamed lobster, grouper fingers and cracked conch. Breakfasts included eggs and pancakes, grits and corned beef hash. Lunches consisted of sandwiches and were packed to eat on the water. We were fed very well!
The first few days were very windy (20-25+) mph, but very sunny, which was good. The bonefishing was great. If you like to wade, Acklins is the place to go. Flats that stretched for miles, on the ocean side and the bight side, held large schools and small pods consisting of two to 6 fish. Larger singles were often found cruising along the creek edges. I have never seen more tailing bonefish anywhere in the Bahamas than here. You could find tailers on every stage of the tide. There were lots of barracuda, and our group landed several large ones, including one that went 50 inches! We also saw over half a dozen permit, though no one was able to cast to them. According to Garron Williamson, head guide, as the weather warms later into the spring, more permit are seen on the flats. There were triggerfish, sharks & boxfish too. A couple guests caught some nice fish off of the reef, including jacks, grouper, snapper, mackeral and barracuda. They were also spooled by a few big fish that they never got to see, not to mention the many that broke off on the sharp coral. It makes you wonder what is out there cruising the deeper reefs.
We also saw many sea turtles, starfish, sting rays and manta rays, a pink flamingo, as well as egrets, herons and an osprey. One day while fishing we saw a shark beach a 3lb bonefish, leaving the fish stranded out of water, gasping for air. About one minute later, the 4' shark thrust itself onto the sand with most of it's body out of the water, and began chomping on the bonefish, until Garron chased it away with his "shark stick!"
A great trip and a great lodge.
To see pictures of our trip copy & paste this link:
02-24-2005, 05:34 PM
Wow Vince! Great report and thanks for the many photos. Do you have a report for the Ridiculous Clave Group in regards to the "Do It Yourself" possibilities? I'm sure they will all be droolling when they see those great photos!!!!! What of the vast areas south of Grey's Point. Did you do any scouting? And lastly. Mosquitoes?
02-24-2005, 06:32 PM
Thanks for posting. Makes me want to go to Acklins!
As if I am not already dyin' here!!!!! Great to have your report to heighten the anticipation.
Please all welcome Cattaraugus Creek Outfitter as our newest sponsor!
02-24-2005, 09:39 PM
As for DIY opportunities south of Greys point lodge, I did not explore the area, other than what I could see driving to and from the airport in spring point. There looks to be some excellent areas south of greys point that I could see from the road, and I'm sure they do not get much pressure either. I really want to explore the far south end of the island, well south of the airport--I doubt many people ever fish down there, but it's a good hour drive minimum. Two guys on my trip did fish the island a few years back with a guide for a few days, and on their own for a couple. They fished mason's bay from shore and found some nice fish there.
You guys will love this island as a DIY spot if you like to get away from the it all--it is very quiet--just the way I like it.
I definitely plan on returning to the lodge next year, and I also want to do a DIY trip to explore the southern half of the island. The flats out behind the lodge are very extensive and you could easily fish there all week, though most are a bit inaccessible unless staying at the lodge.
Mosquitoes were not too bad at all, but then again it was very windy and not super hot--mid 70's were the highs. They did come out a bit at night but were not overly aggressive. The no see-ums were around in the evenings when the wind was down or blocked by some structure (like a lodge!), and a few of the guys had the bite marks, as I did, but they don't bother me at all-no itching fortunately.
We will be staying south of the airport and exploring all the way to Salina Bay. We have done extensive aerial analysis and have more than we can explore without heading north, although I do want to explore the mangroves near Snug Corner and points to the northwest from the airport at one point. I've decided to honor Newton Williamson's Relief Bay area by fishing elsewhere during my stay, although we all know it's among the finest areas on the entire island.
With 1,000 square miles of flats available on Acklins I am sure this expanse will keep us busy without interfering in the operations of those running lodges. We are renting a place from the Rolle family further south.
The remote nature of Acklins is what attracted me in the first place, and this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the trips I hope to put together in the years to come.
02-25-2005, 09:10 AM
Are you doing a DIY trip to Acklins? I would love to do that next year for my annual tropical winter trip. If your not going to be at a lodge where are you going to be staying? A hotel? If you don't mind me asking how much do you think the trip w/ airfare is going to run you? I migh have to start saving my pennies now. :cool: I am also thinking that you have bought various aerial photos of where you can reach by wading. WHere does one buy/find these photos. Last que will you be renting a boat or using a guide while you are there? Sorry for rambling and so many ques just got me REALLY Excited for next year. I have always thought an all inclusive w/ guides and meals trip to the bahamas would be to much $$$. But a DIY trip to really has pique my curiousity.
OH last thing. GREEEEEATTT REPORT. :lildevl: --> with envy
yes, yes and yes
I will post a program for future trips based on learnings from this inaugural mission in a couple of weeks. You can assume that the trip would cost about $1000 per person plus airfare on the DIY package in '06. This would not be a luxury trip, but an angler's trip - 'rustic'. I hope to arrange multiple trips to Acklins in the years to come.
For all-inclusives with meals, fresh linens, etc - I would talk to Vince, he organizes trips with the well-known Williamson family.
Also tightlinesflyfishing.com (sponsor) is wired in with big John in Andros for another all-inclusive package that rocks.
02-25-2005, 10:59 AM
Holy smokes :eek: That sounds good to me. I for one do not need 5 star accomdities. I'll be keeping my eyes/ears open and casting arm loose.
Thanks Juro! Look forward to the program/report. Have a great weekend. Steelboneguy
02-25-2005, 12:32 PM
Juro is correct. I do organize all-inclusive trips to the Williamson's Lodge (Greys Point) overlooking Relief bay. I plan on hosting one, possibly two weeks, next February (2006).
I can also arrange DIY trips for anglers to stay at the Williamson's Lodge. It took some convincing, but they will now accept some DIY anglers at the lodge. It is not quite as "rustic", since the rooms are very nice (overlooking the bay and air-conditioned), daily maid service is provided, & they provide you with three great meals each day. You don't even need a rental car because you can access the vast flats system of Relief bay with the canoes and 2-man kayak they provide. Of course, it is a bit more costly: $1400/week not including airfare.
That's a heck of a deal; three meals cooked, all the amenities and a fantastic price!
I'd take Vince up on it, because it won't last long as the world is discovering Acklins for the undiscovered gem that it is, and the sense that we are not far removed from Columbus when he set foot on Acklins is going to be a thing of the past before too long.
02-25-2005, 05:44 PM
I have to say I have never, I mean NEVER heard or seen a lodge offer a DIY package. That is amazing. Since I just got back from vacation. It would be bad timing to bring up such a topic to my wife. I will wait for the right moment to spring this idea on her he he he. :smokin: She won't know what hit her.
02-25-2005, 05:49 PM
A quick que. When you take a Yak or canoe out what do you do with it while your fishing? I'm guessing a little anchor or a thin long rope tyed to you? I have used a Yak only one day in the keys and was always lucky to tye to mangrove or just fish from the yak. I had a blast but never was in a areas where it was vast and open. In acklins you would be wade fishing the whole time correct. Thanks
02-25-2005, 10:08 PM
What can I say, they are willing to book some DIY trips for me after the week I spent with them.
As for the kayak/canoes, they are all equipped with anchors. You anchor them and wade from there. All wade fishing on Acklins, unless guided and poled on your guide's boat. Plenty of room for cooler, rod, etc. . . . in the kayak/canoes.
02-26-2005, 10:53 AM
Thanks for the quick answer Vince. Last night I pulled out all my bahama magazines. Then will look into what books to buy. I got a year before my trip but for some reason I am more excited than a puppy with two peters.
It didn't help how great your pictures were!!!
03-01-2005, 07:56 AM
I hope Eleuthera is as good, if not Acklins is on the list for next year. The fact that kayaks are available are awesome for the DIY. Looking foreward to spending time with you.
03-03-2005, 01:04 PM
I wish you all a great trip to Acklins and look forward to some pictures. Count me in for next year.
03-17-2005, 09:22 AM
Correction on the DIY trip cost to Acklins Island listed below--cost is $1200, not $1400, for the full week staying at Grey's Point Lodge.
03-17-2005, 09:38 AM
Hey Vince do you think you could it would be possible to do a 5 day DIY and 2 day guided. Some sort of split. If for example mother natured didn't allow wading fishing or something.
03-17-2005, 03:29 PM
Yes, that would be no problem. Plus you'll get to fish some areas that you can't reach with the canoes/kayak.
03-18-2005, 07:20 AM
Vince great post, Great pictures and a lot of happy Bone fishers, is it fly rod only ?or spin fishing too. Ruben said the food was great and he emptied his tackle box :)
03-18-2005, 09:25 PM
Philip, where did you see Reuben? Yea, he emptied his box on those reef fish! The food was great!!!! Steamed lobster was awesome-- minced lobster in a light tomato sauce over rice--good. Even better with fresh lime juice on it.
03-19-2005, 03:50 AM
I talked to him at Shea's, He had his two Kids with him, He really enjoyed the trip and said it was far from roughing it. He spoke very highly of you.
03-30-2005, 04:19 PM
Here is a short video clip (5 minutes) from my trip to Acklins Island in February.
This video has been reduced in size for the web and as a result lost some of it's clarity. The original DVD is much higher quality.
That's Andy Astour from Marcy NY with the barracuda.
Steven Spielberg I am not, but I hope you enjoy it. (I'm sure Juro's Acklins Island DVD is more in-depth and more professionally produced)