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DanO 01-24-2004 05:55 AM

Family/Fishing Vacation?
I am trying to settle on a family vacation destination. Our oldest daughter is off to college in September and we want to take a week or so in June someplace nice before she goes. I am thinking flats fishing for bonefish, etc (having fished a fair bit at Monomoy). The rest of the family is thinking resort/spa parasailing/shopping etc.

Any suggestions on a place that allows family fun and fishing or even a flyfishing oriented travel agent would be appreciated. For reference, I am thinking the obvious places like Islamorada (maybe Cheeca Lodge)

Also do any of you have a good or bad experience with They seem less expensive than Orbitz or others I have used, but I wonder.

Thanks very much


Loopy 01-24-2004 09:31 AM

I fish frequently on Grand Bahama. Two resorts I recommend are Pelican Bay or Westin at Our Lucaya. Both are in close proximity to a tourist area, Port Lucaya. They have all of the usual snorkle trips, parasailing from the beach, diving with dolphins, etc.

Pelican Bay has a few rooms organized for bonefishermen but is not on the beach. Westin can arrange guides and is on the beach. Private guides are available on the island as well. I haven't fished in Florida but my understanding is that there are a lot more fish in the Bahamas. Average size is in the 5 lb range with a daily shot or two at larger fish.

A good site for info on the area is:

jfbasser 01-24-2004 10:00 AM

Loopy, any ideas on do it on your own in GB?

Loopy 01-25-2004 11:40 AM

DYI is not as easy on Grand Bahama as you would like. I contributed to this recent thread:

The price for guides is about $350 per full day, 8 to 4 or $200 per half day, 8 to 1 or so. Depending on when you are going, the half day may be a better deal. In the summer especially, the flats warm up in the afternoon, so the best fishing is in the morning. If I am going by myself, I get tired of standing on the bow, and half a day is about enough for me, but I am there a couple months a year, so fishing an extra couple hours is of less importance to me.

I have been to Abacos a couple of times and I think they would be ok for dyi but there is much less there for non fishing family members. It is a great place to visit if they don't want a lot of real organized touristy type activities. Eleuthra is always mentioned for DYI but I haven't been there personally. Harbor Island is probably too develoded, so a lodge on the main island would probably be best. I have been on Andros a couple times and you might be able to find places for dyi, but transportation becomes a major issue. The same goes for Great Exuma and unless they are divers, there isn't a lot else.

On Grand Bahama for most of DYI, you will need to rent a car. It will cost you about $50 per day. I have had people tell me that they have caught 10 lb bones off this beach or that going east on a rising tide. I have fished or wandered most of those beaches and have seen bonefish, but infrequently. It is ok for something to do, if you are with people who just want to wander up and down a beach, but it would be disappointing if it was going to be your only opportunity to fish for your entire vacation. I plan on trying the flats near Queen's cove, next time I am over there.

Let me know if you need guide names and phone numbers. You don't need to set things up too far in advance with them. A couple weeks, and then a confirmation should do it. I ordinarily wait until I am there, check out the weather, and pick a day when the tide is rising in the morning. I also avoid fishing on a full moon as some of the flats are so flooded, fishing is harder, and the fish can feed on a brightly lit night, so they are pickier.

JR SPEY 01-26-2004 07:51 AM

The best guides, IMHO, on Grand Bahama are the Pinder brothers and they need to be booked well in advance. My belief is that any guide who isn't booked until a few days before the fishing date is probably not worth $350.00 a day. That can vary by season, of course, but the Pinder brothers are booked pretty heavily throughout the year.

jfbasser 01-26-2004 08:39 AM

Thanks guys,

Loopy, could you PM me with the guides names and numbers.

I am trying to contact the Pinders, JR SPEY, but they are nowhere to be found. Spoke to someone that knew the operation and they said that there are issues with the "front men from Ohio" this year and they moved on. Do yoy have any better info?

Loopy 01-26-2004 09:09 AM

Last I heard was that they were guiding strictly out of Our Lucaya. It seems like I also saw some ads for them but I've not fished with them, so I have no first hand info.

richD 01-26-2004 11:06 AM

When the family and i went down the keys in oct,the cheeca lodge was under a remodel. we stayed at the hawks cay spa and resort( wait to go back!!!!

JR SPEY 01-27-2004 10:58 AM

Dear jf,

I was not aware of anything regarding the Pinder brothers. I have a couple of customers who fish with them several times a year. Let me see what they might know and I'll get back with what I find out.

jfbasser 01-27-2004 11:53 AM

JR, please check your PM.

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