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Swalt 11-25-2008 02:54 PM

San Salvador Bahamas DIY
Took my first DIY bonefishing trip last week to San Salvador. I know this is not considered a top bonefish destination but there are fish there and there are nice wadable flats there. I picked that island because it has a good road system around the island and along a nice 5 mile creek system in the southeast corner. I did DIY because I wanted to take my son and I can't afford full lodge/guide prices for 2 and I just wanted to see if I could do it. There are no bonefish guides on San Salvador anyway.

We stayed in part of a house rented by a Bahamian couple, Rochelle and Gary Hanna, for $90 a night and rented a car for $75 a day. The part of the house we stayed in had a bedroom with 2 double beds, bathroom with a nice shower and a combination full kitchen and living room with cable TV. She also rents a smaller room for $50 or $55 a day. Super people and a real deal for the money. We purchased cereal and milk for breakfast, made sandwiches for lunch and ate out for dinner at 2 local resturants for about $30 for both of us. Things like cracked conch, grouper, pork chops and ribs. I did not keep close tabs but I think the trip cost around $2,500 including air for the 2 of us.

The tides were low early, beginning at 3:30am, and got better all week. Since we didn't have a low tide during the day to start the week we explored back bay areas off the main creek to start the week. The first one we pulled up to was right off a road and you could see fish tailing not a 150' away. We anxiously worked our way through some mangroves and sunk into some soft muck. My son caught one fish and we sloshed around for a couple of hours before giving that up. I did see one of the largest bonefish I have seen among some mangroves but there was no way to get a fly to him and you would have no shot at landing him if you did. He probably got big because noone in their right mind would try to wade in that mess. We explored other such areas the first 2 days and managed one fish each day.

We fished nice walkable flats in the creek the rest of the week. To get to some we had to walk down old roads for close to a mile and some we had to wade accross waist deep channels and some almost right off the road. The wind was 15 to 20mph all week except for friday. It was cloudy for the most part during the mornings when the tide was right. The conditions were not ideal but we did manage to catch fish each day with a low of 3 and a high of 8. I know with better conditions and with what we learned we could do much better. The fish were larger than I expected. Averageing 2 to 4 lbs with a couple in the 6 to 8lb range and that big one that we saw that was easily double digits. We saw no permit. We did see a few nice cudas but were not prepared for them at the time. We saw no other fishermen other than locals after conch or other fish the whole time we were there.

It was an extreemly fast week.

Vince 11-26-2008 06:57 AM

Sounds like a great DIY place! Did you explore the interior lakes for tarpon? I hear they have some there.

Swalt 11-26-2008 12:26 PM

We did not get a chance to check out the lakes. I had heard there were tarpon in them but I think you would need a boat to fish them. The ones we saw from the roads did not look like live lakes. There does not appear to be water flowing in and out of them like on Inagua so I don''t know if they hold fish or not.

jimS 11-26-2008 01:09 PM

Swalt, thanks for the info on your trip. I have flown into and over San Salvador, and wondered what the fishing would be like on the island. I believe there is a Club Med on the island, which implied to me that it was a high rent district. You allayed my concern.

Swalt 11-26-2008 01:30 PM

There is a Club Med there and a diving center both in the NE part of the island. If you fish the southern creek flats you may see a couple of skiffs taking people on lagoon tours and to my horror we did see jet ski's one day but they were not around for long. Fishing the northern creek flats we saw noone else. Saw no other fishermen the whole week other than locals after conch.
If interested I can give you Rochelle Hanna's email. PM me.

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