Has anyone fished grand bahama? I'll be there at the end of may. I don't have time to search around on this trip so I plan on hiring a guide. I fished Abaco a year and a half ago and I'm assuming it will be a similar expeience.
As you know I have been on an information binge on the Bahamas in preparation of a new phase of my angling life, the Margarita years :hehe:
It has to do with the bitterness of winter where I now live, the lack of fishing for 6 months of the year, and a building increase in my flats fishing acumen from striper guiding on the northern saltwater flats.
I have enjoyed a spattering of exposure here and there to tropical flyfishing over the years, 6 times to bonefish country, and finally it has reached a saturation point in my blood that is starting to permeate my brain whenever there is no outlet to striper country available, right up there with sorties' to steelhead country in the pacific northwest.
Anyway... Grand is known to be convenient with major airport (Freeport) and facilities (resorts, restaurants, car rentals, roads, etc) yet still endowed with a rich flats environment with great fishing.
For a current report I would suggest calling tightlines flyfishing, our sponsor, who has recent info on fishing Grand Bahama. Andrew, maybe you could fill us in. :devil:
I am considering it as a destination myself but the allure of Andros, or remote Acklins, or Abaco, or dozens of other places to plunk my winter-white ass for a few days of bonefish nirvana because Grand has everything you need in one island.
Even though I would love to play Robinson Carusoe on an uninhabited island (of which there are many) Grand offers secluded escapes to flats while being conveninently near all the amenities.
One thing I am concerned with is the wadability of the flats as I will be DIY. Some flats are difficult to wade on one's own because of access and softness (mud). Where some Cays are known to be of good bottom composition for endless wading (hard sand) other areas are very soft and unfit for good exploration by foot.
My biggest question mark for Grand is whether I will be able to find quality flats for DIY angling, the rest seems fine.
Of course island hopping planes can be found for as little as $50 one way if you search hard enough, so if this is the case a small additional investment could take me to a better DIY island.
Who knows, but it will be fun to find out. In any case please contribute to the general knowledge when you find out.
Scooter rentals on Grand are only $35 per day, insurance and gas included with no mileage fee.
Have rod tube, will travel!
:hehe: :smokin: :chuckle:
Grand Bahama has a large hotels in Freeport, Port Lucaya. There are several small outlying communities, native settlements. Some of these also have accomodations while others have dedicated bonefish lodges. If you are traveling with non fishing companions, who want more typical tourist activities you should probably choose a hotel in Freeort/ Port Lucaya. One of these is Pelican bay. They will also provide guides and boats. Another is Our Lucaya either the Westin or Sheraton depending on the accomoadations you want. Of course you can stay anywhere.
There are two independent guides that I recommend; Sam Taylor and Phil THompson. I have fished with both this year. Sam fishes mostly out of Hawksbill Creek which is a short ride from the metro area while Phil provides guides and boats out of McClains town wich is about an hours drive on the far east end in the area of Deep water Cay.
DIY bonefishing is difficult on this island. The north side is the baham bank and it is shallow water with mangroves throughout. IT is not easily accessible and the bottom is very soft and not very wadeable. You pretty much have to have a boat, but the only ones to rent are on the south shore. There are numerous beaches on the south shore which are easly accessible by car (0r scooter). The best appear to be to the east although I have a friend who caught a bonefish this winter on a spinning rod within half a mile of Our Lucaya which is beach with a lot of tourist foot traffic. If you get out of town away from the beaches you are more likely to do well but I don't think you will see as many fish there as you would on the north side. I have heard many people brag about this or that beach but I have never seen anywhere the numbers of fish that they claim. One other area to try would be close to an old missle base and pier about 30 minutes east. This may be part of a national park however. It is not posted.
You might try driving to McClains town and then I think that there is a ferry to Sweetings Cay. I have been there by guide boat but not by ferry. I have seen alot of fish there. If you can get to a beach with a rising tide, you should do well. This is about the only island that is close enough for you to get to easily. Most of the rest require a flight or a private boat and then none is real close. More's island for instance is probably 80 miles from Freeport.
If you want a completely isolated fishing experience I have been to a resort on Water Cay, but from what I saw this would strictly be guided fishing as there are no beaches. North Riding Point and Deep Water Cay are the premier bonefish lodges on the island. A new one has opened close to west end called Bootle bay (I have not fished with them)and they will pick you up as will Sam Taylor if you choose to stay at the upscale Old bahama bay.
Thanks for the reply.
There seem to be roads leading to the north side, could one launch an inflatable kayak from these access points? Then again if one could not get out of the kayak it would not be worth it.
The east end seems like the way to go. It seems a good inflatable kayak would be useful there, with GPS of course and a spare oar.
Grand is attractive in it's accessibility and amenities, but unless there is access to wadable flats it's not ideal.
Using a sea kayak definitely opens up a lot of possibilities for you over wading.
The island is divided by Hawksbill Creek which is directly north of Freeport harbor. The island goes east from there for about 30 miles and west from there about 60 miles.
The road going west goes thru a couple of local settlements and is relatively close to the bank and I presume that there are launching areas. There are definitely inlets on the south side that you coudl launch off of and fish some of the beaches especially around deadman's reef. They would be no fun if it is surgy, however.
North and slightly east of Hawksbill is an area called Queens Cove. It is a series of canals. I would love to try fishing down the middle of one on a rising tide and you might be able to do it with a kayak. You can get to it by going west on the road to the airport. You also could launch in the 'ole fishing hole' which is the south end of Hawksbill Creek. There definitley bones in there. It is along the major east west highway. On the south side, there is a large closed body of water between it the road and Freeport harbour. I have fished it once. It has a lot of bones but the bottom is dark green and they are very difficult to see. This area also has several blue holes, and Sam Taylor tells me he has seen snook. I fished the area twice and didn't see any snook. IT is interesting because if not for the blue holes, the area would be completely land locked.
Going east, the road mostly hugs the south shore especially west of the Grand Lucayan waterway. There are several beaches and lots of places to launch. The bank on the north side of the island is approachcable by a road to Dover sound, but the rest of the roads are not paved and not mapped. They are mostly old logging roads. One leads to the access to Water Cay. The others are just out there and I don't think I woudl try them on a scooter or without a GPS. At the far east end, ther are several places you could launch and fish.
I also will be there at the end of May, but I'm not sure of my exact schedule yet.
The wind was pretty much dead flat while you were there. So how was the fishing?
Inflatayak to the rescue....
Juro- at least for the future BahamaClave, you can count on me to stuff my 14' inflatable yak into a large suitcase for the trip down..should make flats excursions a true adventure!
So, how do you like your new SeaEagle inflatable Kayak? We found our 12 foot 380 to be very stable and most importantly, quite comfortable. Lots of room for storage and extra gear too. Did you find that you needed the stabilizing rudder...the 380 certainly needed it...otherwise lots of power-robbing tail waggle.
It's the perfect setup for trips south.
Hank- ya, I did end up getting the tail fin after a rather exhausting maiden voyage across a large pond here on the Cape. Works great now; planning on taking it out on Pleasant Bay in Harwich/Chatham once I get an off-day that isn't too windy.
Also picked up the flyfishing seats to get that little bit of extra height. Sent a few of your pics to my dad via e-mail to give him an idea as to what mine looks like; he'll be down in July with my mom and nieces- should be getting alot of use outa it then!
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