Acklins does it again!!! [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Acklins does it again!!!

03-05-2007, 09:57 AM
I think the pictures speak for themselves..........

Another great year!

03-05-2007, 10:03 AM
The island at its finest moments:

03-05-2007, 10:08 AM
Chris with his first ever bone, me with a nice standard Acklins Bone and the crew on our way out to Fish Cayes:

03-05-2007, 10:51 AM
Your pics are killin' me!

It's more than a vacation spot, it's a place to savor the art of bonefishing and discover it's wonders in it's purest form.

I still recall the day years ago when I was flying over it from Aruba... thinking whatever island that is I will go there someday. I drew a sketch of it on a napkin and searched Nasa aerials until I ID'ed it and the ridiculous clave I was born a year or two later.

Now we're veterans and it only gets better each time. So far I missed it this year due to the PR exploratory mission (which was ridiculous II), but one never knows I still might get there before summer.

As our experiences and knowledge expand, it only gets more clear that this island gem is without peer for it's pureness, wonderful people and pristine beauty. No where have I ever been where that beating drum of the tropical tide thumps so loud pulling waves of bonefish under it's spell to the creeks, mangroves and flats of this special place on our planet.

Acklins rules.

03-05-2007, 11:55 AM
I met Bob B and his guests when they joined us at Grey's Point Lodge for dinner one evening, and I saw Chris, Dave and the rest of their crew on the way back to Nassau. They had a great trip, and looked thoroughly satisfied! What a trip--great weather, fishing and friends--lost of cool happenings. Fishing with guides is great, but I do miss the DIY aspect of their trip. The exploration, the fact that it's all on you to find fish--makes it that much sweeter when you find success. I'll be back March 17 for a week of DIY on Acklins, and I plan on meeting up with Bob B down south for a day--can't wait.
I'll post a few pics later to daydream with--and some stories to come--like to 20lb plus permit that was tailing a ray, that I hooked, and broke off :frown:

03-05-2007, 12:43 PM
Hi Vince
I'll probably bump into you on our way out on March 17.


03-05-2007, 01:22 PM
Hi Everyone

Something that I forgot.

How bad are the Mosquitos?


03-05-2007, 02:12 PM
Bring lots of spray!

03-05-2007, 04:13 PM
Cool hours, evenings just before nightfall are worst. Best to seek and destroy any skeets that come in during the in-and-outs from the evening before you sleep. Even a few inside the house will dine on your sleeping carcass almost as well as you did on Katy's fine cooking. I preferred to use bug netting. It packs very small and got zero bites while sleeping without using any toxic spray on my skin and bedding.

Mid-day not a bug in sight.

03-05-2007, 05:04 PM
Pack a roll of duct tape to patch points of entry. Haven't been since :frown: but two years ago the skeeters were worst in the house, getting in from the attic, openings around the air conditioning units, breaches in the drywall taped corners inside the closets.

03-06-2007, 07:17 AM
That makes my heart pound just to see those fish in the first photos...

03-10-2007, 08:59 AM
Some pics from my trip two weeks ago to get the juices flowing!

Can anyone identify these fish--they came right up to me, and I even touched one. They were about 16" long.

I almost forgot the permit story:
I was following the edge of a deeper channel(6’ deep) when I glanced over across the channel and saw a large stingray. A second look revealed that there was another fish hovering over the ray. I slowly worked my way closer to find that a huge 20+ lb permit that was following the ray, looking for an easy meal. Permit often follow rays to feed on the crabs & shrimp that the ray stirs up while it is digging up the bottom looking for food. By now my adrenaline was pumping, and I slowly followed the two of them along the edge of the channel, both seemingly oblivious to my presence. I quickly put on a crab fly, and made a cast. The permit followed the fly for about 5’, then turned back and re-joined the ray. Several more casts with the crab drew no attention. I again switched flies, this time another crab. Several more casts, and no interest. I then switched to a clouser that I had tied up to look like a glass minnow. First cast, nothing. Second cast—bang—the permit nailed the fly and took off. I was keeping light tension on the excess line that was peeling thru my hands when it suddenly became warpped around my pinky finger. I struggled to free it with my thumb, but the line broke, and that was it! Damn. After regaining my composure, I noticed that the permit had circled back to the ray. I began to put another fly on, but the permit had wised up and headed for the deeper ocean which lay about 1000 yards away. Permit 1, Vince 0. What a rush though.

03-10-2007, 10:13 AM
Great pics and story Vince!

Acklins is such a magical place. I can't wait to return.

03-10-2007, 11:10 AM
Awesome photos and TR!!

03-10-2007, 01:02 PM
Not sure what those 2 fish are. They almost look like small tarpon.
I know that one laying flat on the sand is a Michigan Permit. Had a guide tell me a story about fishing with some guys from Michigan. One guy had wondered off a little and the guide saw him casting hard at something for 15 minutes so the guide wondered over. The guide got close and the fisherman held up his hand and said Permit". The guide moved a little closer and saw it was a Trigger fish.

03-10-2007, 01:50 PM
I think I figured out what those two fish are--I believe some type of filefish.

03-18-2007, 01:47 PM
It's hard to be sure from the angle, but those are likely a kind of triggerfish. They look like we call a "Filefish" but those usually have pale spots on them and some hint of yellow, which these don't have, or doesn't show in the pic. The position of the eye, small mouth and type of tail give them away as triggerfish for sure, but the color is unlike what I've seen before on fish so small. They could simply be very young, very pale Ocean Triggerfish, which is what the 3rd pic is of. They are certainly not baby tarpon.

Nice pics, and congrats on a good trip.


03-20-2007, 03:52 AM
I can't identify the 2 fish but I would be very interested in details of how you caught the triggerfish.

I had a couple of shots at one on Acklins last week but it wouldn't take.


03-27-2007, 12:30 PM
A few more pics from the Crooked trip:

Iguana from Guana cay

Mutton Snappers--great dinner!

Bob Bergquist
03-27-2007, 03:44 PM

The triggers are poor man's permit. Small crabs, cast to tight to a tailing fish, let it settle and set when the trig tails on the fly. A stripped fly usually spooks them.

They are strange when hooked. Some sit and won't fight (one we caught and released three times in a few minutes) other bolt to the backing.

03-27-2007, 04:24 PM
Pete, Bob is right with the triggers--small flies work best, as their mouths aren't that big. I will strip the fly to get their attention if they did not see it, and then when they follow, stop and let the fly sit. Watch and wait until they stop and tilt on the fly--then strip.
I find that the larger triggers, like the one pictured, will make nice runs. The smaller ones usually don't fight that well. Make sure your barbs are smashed, as their mouths are "cartilege" like and it's very hard to remove a hook from them if it has a barb. Better for all the fish too, plus yourself.

03-28-2007, 02:01 AM
great pics!!

Bob & Vince
Thanks for the info on triggerfsih. I have caught some in the Seychelles but obviously a different species. There we used small merkins.
The seychelles trigger fish had big teeth but could not open their mouths very wide any fly larger than #4 was too big.
Here's a pic


Bob Bergquist
03-29-2007, 04:21 PM

What you have there is a Yellowmargin Triggerfish. We got one at Bikini one year, though they are mostly found in the Indian Ocean.

Acklins, and the Bahamas in general has had the worst March weather anyone here can recall. Early this week we had NE 30-40 mph with rain and 14 ft seas on the ocean side, some nice 5-0 breaks going on. We did manage a few bones, one close to 10 pounds and another 6 pounder and had another very large fish tail on a fly about six times right up to the rod tip but never was hooked solidly. Monday night it rained so hard that by Tuesday morning all the creeks were running brackish and yellow. The northern flats had ALL the water blown out for a couple of miles. The group here was only in Sat-Wed, so of course Wednesday was clear and 20 mph and the fish poured in on the afternoon tide and ate everything thrown at them while I was doing some guide training. Should be calming down in April. We went out after red snappers today for the freezer, anchored in 60 ft and drifted out 150 ft into about 500ft of water. Tuna and birds came by busting bait about every 20 minutes out in the nasty swells, so we just had to watch them go on. Then while reefing up a fish David said "look at that shark behind the engine" then Franky says "no thats one of the thing-ums (Salina Pointese) you guys call mahi.."
It was a single bull that must have been 70 pounds, with a massive head. We threw cut bait at it while rerigging but it just swam off.

03-30-2007, 07:37 AM
30-40 mph!!? I guess that case of Kalik came in handy.


03-30-2007, 07:42 AM
Yeah triggerfish can be entertaining.

Bob sounds like some tough conditions. That bull mahi sounds like a beast, seems you never know what you're going to run into on Acklins.

03-30-2007, 08:25 AM
Didn't get any pics but I got two triggerfish this past May in Cozumel. We were walking the shoreline of the northern tip along the beach looking for bigger bones and there were triggerfish in the surfline. The two I hooked actually took the fly within inches of dry land. They laid completely on their sides and flapped their way to the fly. Really amazing to watch. I guess they are good eats as my guide was very excited to snatch them up and bring them back to the boat. On a side note, I also caught the worlds smallest permit. Had to be about the size of my palm and maybe a quarter pounder at best. Not sure it qualifies for the a permit is a permit statment you hear so often!


03-30-2007, 09:47 AM
Hey Sean

Was it as big as this one?

I didn't count it.


Bob Bergquist
03-30-2007, 01:56 PM
Looking at your avatar and the two fish, same shirt...I think you either photo- shopped the petite-permit into a GT or the other way round.:chuckle:

I caught a 10 inch tarpon in Belize to finsh a GS, but the guide call BS on me for that one.

03-30-2007, 06:32 PM
We are headed for Acklin's in mid April, 18-25th, and I hope the wind and weather conditions are better than what you have found recently. I've been tying up flies for the excursion, and would appreciate any suggestions on what to have along. Bonefish will be the main target, but perhaps there will be a shot at a permit (first time for that), and it sounds like offshore opportunities might be there too..
Thanks. GMflyfish.

Bob Bergquist
03-30-2007, 08:16 PM
Pink Puffs, small tan crabs, gotchas. Keep them small and light as most Acklins bonefishing is in ankle deep water. Keep a tan merkin handy for permit, though you need to be in permit water which differs greatly than the bonefish flats to find many. You did not mention if you are DIY or at one of the lodges, but for blue water you need a big enough boat obviously, and not many around except Robbie Gibson at Pittstown on Crooked. He's a riot, $950 per day in a 30+ footer. If DIY, hire Fedel for a couple days, you'll find him in Lovely Bay. When on your own rotate where you fish and leave a couple days between'll catch a lot more fish. The weather is breaking now, April is normaly fine, but be aware of afternoon water temps on the flats as the fish will bail out at about 88 degrees and less for the big ones. Bring lots of bug dope, with all the rain the mosquitos will be nuts in another week here. If you are staying up north the sand flies get bad by late April as well. No bugs in Salina Point though!

04-01-2007, 03:09 PM
Bob, Thanks for info on flies. I've been tying size 4 and 6. Do I need some size 8 as well in gotchas? We will be staying with Fedel for the week at Lovely Bay. I plan to be prepared for mosquitoes - headnet, bug dope if needed. And covered up from the sun.
Where are you on the Yellowstone? I've fished there mostly in the Park, but not for a couple of years.
Thanks. GMflyfish

Bob Bergquist
04-01-2007, 06:57 PM
No need for 8's really, 6's work best. Fedel is very good, he'll keep you straight.

Be advised that he has no running water at his house and the last guys he had ended up at another house in Lovely Bay...

Weather is fine now and the fish really turned on yesterday with tailers everywhere in ankle deep water. We were into fish for six hours straight.

I'm out of Livingston and fish from the Park to the Bighorn, most of my time is spent on the springcreeks and the Yellowstone around the Valley and down to Reed Point.

Trevor B
04-02-2007, 01:11 PM
Good that the weather finally has settled down and you are into fish again,
Thanks again for a great time and to the really wonderful people of Acklins hopefully next time the weather will cooperate a little more !

Bob Bergquist
04-02-2007, 03:10 PM
Trevor, after you left it got REALLY bad! I was looking at pictures to remind me what calm and sunny looked like. The cool water did bring in some very large bonefish, got a couple but most shots were into 30 mph winds. This week is calming down to ESE winds at 10 mph and the swell is dropping fast...can't wait to chase down some tuna and mahi with the fly rod. They are busting bait all around Castle Island right now. The bigger tarpon are showing up, we saw three porpose by about 100 yards out from the flat we were on. Also a couple permit shots, but no luck. We are hitting the "high percentage" tarpon spots on Wednesday morning.

Trevor B
04-02-2007, 08:22 PM
Good luck with that, I would like to hear how you make out !
tight lines Trev
PS I am working on the double haul !