Backpacking Bonefish Bum in Bahamas [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Backpacking Bonefish Bum in Bahamas

12-31-2007, 04:11 AM
Hi guys,
I have drawn so much useful information from this forum the past couple of months. Thank you all for sharing knowledge and experiences. Iíll repay with some (hopefully) copious fishing reports during the next 3 months where Iíll be heading for some adventures in the Carribean :hihi:
Among my destinations are the Bahamas. However Im having a hard time figuring out on which islands to put my effort. Eleuthera, Abacos, Andros and Long Island seems like suited spots for a quest like mine.
My main criterias are low cost on accomodations and some fishing that doesnít necessarily requires a car.
The more dirtbag/rustic accomodations, the better.
My conditions are as follows:
- Im travelling on my own with noone to share room costs
- I need to keep my total daily expenses below 100 USD (otherwise Iíll be bankrupt before i reach my return date :Eyecrazy: )
- Iíll be equip with a notebook with a huge google-earth offline cache
- Location where I can find fish within walking distance is prefered (3-4 miles no problem, I have young, fresh legs :smokin: )
- Im prepared to slacken on fishing quality just to make it work
- I have a sleeping back :)

I dont expect anyone to give up detailed descriptions on their top secret favourite DIY spots, but more like some pointers on where to focus to be most succesfull given above criterias.
Where would you guys go beeing a 28 years old adventurous lion with bonefish/saltwater addiction and a limited budget?

Thank in advance and Happy New Year to everyone

12-31-2007, 04:39 AM
Hi Lars

The only DIY I have done in the Bahamas was on Acklins.
However the best DIY place I know of is Los Roques. I will be there from Jan 27 to Feb 2.


12-31-2007, 09:22 AM
Hey Lars,

I envy you. Looks like you are going to have the adventure of a life time. Good luck. Hope you catch so many fish, you can't hold your rod up. :)

12-31-2007, 01:49 PM
Hi there danish friend,
good luck on your trip, sounds like the real thing. No organised tour, no guide to point out the fish. Just the way I would like to have it too. Hope youīll have a wonderfull trip with nice surprises along the road!
Bon viaje, Sander

Trevor B
12-31-2007, 05:03 PM
That will be a fine trip I am sure, a real adventure, best of luck and please keep us all updated.
Happy New Year :)

12-31-2007, 08:11 PM
I can share an awesome location with you on South Andros if you're interested, but there's no cheap lodging nearby. You'd have to camp. Let me know if you're interested...

01-02-2008, 03:00 PM
Thanks to all :)
Pete, my last trip was to LR and now I would like to see something new. Thanks for the tip anyway. I'll be in Acklins first week of March and I look very much forward.

South Andros sounds interresting... Guess I would have to bring tent and camping gear then? It will probably be too cumbersome as Im already overweighted (thats my backpack + hand luggage, not personally due to christmas food :))

I'll be picked up by my sister in 5 hours and then of to Mexico... I ought to get some sleep, but Im affraid I cant. Holy cow Im excited :biggrin:


01-02-2008, 07:37 PM
South Andros sounds interresting... Guess I would have to bring tent and camping gear then? It will probably be too cumbersome as Im already overweighted (thats my backpack + hand luggage, not personally due to christmas food :))Yup, tent and camping gear required. It's a trip I'm looking to make at some point in the next 5-10 years once my kids get a little older and I've saved up a little $$$.

01-03-2008, 09:05 PM
I have done the DIY on Eleuthera. Let me know if you want some info on it.

Man I miss that Friday night fish fry at Anchor Bay - that's some kind of Kool Aid them boys mix up there.

01-08-2008, 01:19 PM
(I think) I have concluded that Eleuthera is only possible with a car, unless staying at Governours Haboor. I guess these fish have seen too many flies to pay any attention to mine? I could be wrong thou... Please let me know if I am :)

Btw, Im still in Oaxaca, Mexico. I havent seen a single drop of water yet (except tab/bottle water and some fontains in mex. city.) Will be heading down to the Pacific coast on thursday. I dont expect to catch any bones down there, but I'll try to arrange with a fisherman to take me offshore and have some fun.
Anyone fished around Puerto Escondido?


01-11-2008, 11:40 AM
You are correct. They are definitely not as easy as they were in the past, but still very doable.

You really do need a rental car as you suspect - it's a looooooong island and most of the better spots are far between.

01-12-2008, 10:17 AM
Hey Angelo!

I sent you a PM

02-01-2008, 11:20 AM
Hello Gents,
A short report from my journey.
I have just kissed my girlfriend goodbye in Cancun airport after 4 lovely weeks in Mexico. Im curently waiting for my plane to Guatemala, where I'll spend a couple of days (a week or so) chasing sailfish/roosters/whatever-fish-with-anger on my flyrod before heading to Cuba. I'll spare you for the regular boring travel reports, as I have had a few chances to go fishing in her company.
After approx. a week in Mexico City and Oaxaca we finally reached Puerto Escondido at the Pacific Coast. I went out fishing with a local fisherman / tourguide for 2 days and caught several skipjack tunas and spanish mackerel.

Stay focused!


Skipjack tuna

After some further stops in San Cristobal and Palenque, we finally reached Yucatan. After a couple of days at the beach, I managed to convince my girlfriend to take a guided tour to Sian Ka'an reserve for bird, dolphin and turtle watch. Could it be more convenient than to take an overnight at Cuzan bonefish lodge? :smokin:

We went out with a young guide named Juan on saturday. He wanted to check my casting skills before shooting at any fish and I went up in the front end of the boat. As I was pulling line of the reel Juan started shouting "Big school of Permits coming. Grab you 10wt - hurry, hurry!".
A school of 5-10 permit were approaching at high speed, zig-zagging their way. We jumped in the water, and struggled out like 50 meters from the boat while I was pulling out line. A made a perfect cast at around 20 meters, a few meters in front of the fish and stripped the crab slowly 2 times. 2 of the fish changed direction - against the fly. The smallest (of course) tipped down with the tail upwards. A few moments after, the fly line started moving right. "SET THE HOOK, SET THE HOOK" Juan screamed. A couple of controlled stip sets and the flyline went heavy.
It took a short while before the fish realized what was wrong. Then it took of...

Its hard to detemine how long the run was. It was not as hysteric as a bonefish run, but certainly longer. The time it took to get back to the boat was one long run. As we entered the boat, it continued for maybe a minute or two more before slowing down. It might have been out at 150 or 200 meter (I have around 300 meters backing and I was at no point in time concerned). 20-30 minutes later Juan grabbed the permit by its tail and I was a very happy fisherman. What a start - first fish of the day.

"Hurry, hurry"


Pure love...


The fly

Juan estimated the fish at 12 pounds. I guess thats a bit unrealistic - maybe more like 8-10, but who cares.
I further caught a couple of jacks and 14 bonefish. Im generally a bit disappointed by the size of the bonefish, but it was great fun anyways.

Thats all for now...
Back to the Pacific :tongue:


02-01-2008, 11:28 AM
w000ps... only 10 pics allowed per post.

Horse Eye Jack

Gentle release


To be continued.... :hihi:


02-01-2008, 12:02 PM
great pics and report! You've been spoiled with that permit--too easy!
Getting me excited for my trips--I'm starting to get tired of winter.

Mat M
02-01-2008, 01:24 PM
Who cares about the size of bonefish when you land a permit!!

Well done mate I am extremely jealous:razz:


02-01-2008, 04:04 PM
Hey Lars,


02-01-2008, 07:01 PM
Vince no watches on the flats this year:lildevl: !

02-02-2008, 10:25 AM
Way to go! Now post some pics of Roosterfish!

02-05-2008, 07:09 PM
Lars. Awesome following your trip of a lifetime! Very amusing. The photos are awesome. Which camera and model are you shooting with? And how about a pic of your girl who's taking all those great photos?


02-07-2008, 06:05 AM
Great pics Lars.

Keep the reports coming.



02-07-2008, 12:46 PM

Congratulations on the Permit :smokin:

02-07-2008, 04:55 PM
As a bunch of old geezers (at least some of us) good on you for doing what you are doing. Life is short and doing what you want to do when you can do it is what it is all about. Awesome on the permit. Keep the updates coming.

02-08-2008, 09:52 AM
Thanks all :)
Jea, that was sweet... It was also kinda cool getting back to the lodge and meet with the group of 8 American gentlemen.

"So how was your day at the water?"
"It was good... 14 bones, 3 jacks and a permit"
"Yup, on a small crab fly"


And then it took a while to write autographs and have photos taken... Its okey to exaggerate a bit - Im a fisherman after all :hihi:

As requested, the photographer:

The camera is an Olympus 790SW. Waterproof down to 3 meters + shockproof from 1Ĺ meter fall. Im also rather surprised with the quality and its VERY handy/comfortable as you dont have to worry about it while fishing... You can keep it in your west og shirt without any case or such.

For those who are interested, Guatemala was kind of a fiasco fishing wise. I didnt really have any time to research, as I decided to go there last wednesday (which means I didnt even receive confirmation on my flight before I went.) I had hoped to just show up in Puerto Iztapa and bargain with the fishing boats. Im not sure what went wrong, but I didnt even find a harbour or anything. My financial situation gave me a hard time as well... Both my VISA and backup card somehow stopped working. I had some dollar changed when I arrived, but I was about to run empty. Saturday I was down at like 10 dollars or something. So these money issues were more the pivotal point than the fishing. And of course it was weekend, so the banks were closed. The internet (I took a collectivo to San Jose to get online) was down, so I was really kinda f*****. I started counting calories on sportbars, local snacks etc. to make sure I would get most energy for each penny.
I ended up spending my saturday night in a hammock 35 kilometers from Iztapa, near Monterico and had 2 bars and a local beer for dinner :) I went back to Moterico on sunday, where a germen guy borrowed me hes last money (which reminds me I have to make a transfer to him today)

In monterico i went out with a local fisherman and caught a few more skipjacks, before i went back to Antigua and further to San Pedro at Lago Atitlan were Im at now :)
I think I'll try my luck with the flyrod in the lake later today.

More tunas

Im going to Cuba on sunday for some shallow water fishing :devil:
To be continued :tongue:


07-26-2008, 05:59 PM
I failed to continuously post reports from this fantastic adventure. Limited internet, a misused/abused VISA card, a broken laptop etc. made me focus on other things.
Lots have happend since my last update... In fact Im back home in Denmark doing laundry, house cleaning, shopping and working(!). Things that I've almost forgotten existed. Well, back to reality.
Instead of one looooong post, I think I'll split the stories in smaller bites... It further gives me more days of dreaming back. Lets begin with Cuba:
I went from Guatemala City over Panama to Havana and spent a few days sightseeing before flying out to Cayo Coco. I stayed at Villa Gaviota for 7 or 8 nights (just another awfull all-inclusive resort, but with 24/7 free bar... This place was actually the most laid back/quiet/relaxed resort I saw but still not really my speed) where I also rented a scooter for most of the days. I spent much time exploring Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Coco and Cayo Romano/Paredon, but the fishing was difficult. Not that the fish were educated or spooky, but the numbers were low. Illegal netting has caught most of the bonefish on the flats and in the lagoons. They use them to feed the pigs! Hurray for ignorance and communism.
However I got a few bones on my own... I saw most fish around Cayo Paredon, but later found out that I could not go there by myself. Hence I shared a guide with a Canadian dude for two days, and got a single fish each day. I wouldn't really consider it to be "guided" fishing as such, but more like a necessity to access the areas that still holds some fish. I mean, I only had shots at fish I found/saw myself. The guide was more busy catching cudas and cowfish for his dog. Anyway, he was a nice guy and I didnt expect much... At least he took us to some productive flats. We payed 70 CUC (~75 USD) each person per day, and the guide is payed 18 CUC per month. I guess you cant blame the poor Cubans.
I was wading a few hundred yards from the two others, when I saw 2 tailing fish about 50 meters away. I approached them with stealth and as I got within casting range (8 meters? :D) I realized that it was a single fish. The huge space between the tail and the dorsal fin made it look like two!
The presentation wasn't perfect, but as I stripped the fly twice the fish turned around with a big splash and hit the fly. A gentle strip-set, an even bigger splash and the fish took off. It was amazing to see how the fish divided the surface during the first run on the very shallow flat. He went way beyond the 100 yards marking on the backing before he slowed down. Even at that distance, it looked (and sounded) like the flat exploded each time the fish flapped its tail to get away.
The guide was shouting "Its a big boy!" while he was a approaching... He reached me at about the same time as the poor fish, and insisted on weighing it with his digital boga grip weight. I didn't really like the idea, but he claimed that it was among top 3 of the biggest fish "he" had caught and convinced me that it wouldn't hurt the fish. The weight stopped at 9,5 pound... sooooooo close to DD. I guess I would have claimed it was a 10-pounder otherwise. The fish didn't seem to bother, and he was happily swimming away from us a few seconds later. The biggest bonefish I have ever caught and a great experience.
I further went out with 3 other guys for some big-gamin' one day, but only got a few macks and cudas.

Sightseeing in Havana

My set... Weapon and transportation

First Cuban bonefish. Thanks to tri-pod and water-resistant camera.

Client in trouble while the guide is fishing. This would not have taken place in Mexico I guess

9Ĺ pound bonefish. The wristband means unlimited Mojitos and fried tiger scrimps with garlic

New day in the laguna

Cruising bones... My fly was stocked in the mangrove to the left

Misplaced? Fishing bum in the 5 star all-inclusive resort

Remember sunblock next day!

Would I go back to Cuba?
Hell yeah... I would love to spend more time there exploring other areas (I was kinda stocked in Cayo Coco, as I didnt book a roundtrip and couldn't get away from there untill same day as I was departing Havana)
Would I go back to Cayo Coco with the sole purpose of fishing?
Probably not... I guess there are still some fish left to be caught, but I was dissapointed.

Now, lets see what Bahamas can do for me

07-27-2008, 06:07 AM
Great report Lars!!!

Great fish.

I have not been to Cuba this year. Maybe November:smokin: :smokin:

07-27-2008, 08:01 AM
Excellent report and pics Lars! Keep them coming.

01-14-2009, 07:44 PM
OK Lars! Where's the Bone Bums next destination? We want more!