Eleuthera Report 2/23 - 3/1/2011 - Fly Fishing Forum
Bonefish, Tarpon, and other Obsessions Turquoise water, silver demons on the fly

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Old 03-03-2011, 03:07 PM
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MartyG MartyG is offline
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Eleuthera Report 2/23 - 3/1/2011

I just returned from a week in North Palmetto Point, next to Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera, Bahamas. It was a perfect week for bonefishing with temps in the lower 80’s and water temps above average. The waters were glassy on the first day and the breeze slowly built to 10-15 from the SE by the end of the week which cooled off the water slightly on the ocean side.

As a novice I looked at this trip as a success and learning experience. It was my third DIY trip to the Bahamas in three years having fished the same Eleuthera waters last year and Cat Island the year before.

Locations:
Beach House rental – By far my most successful location (which I almost completely ignored last year thinking there wouldn’t be bones there) was right out my back door and down the steps. It is a sandy beach front with scattered coral heads. The first morning I saw what I thought were baby tarpon cruising just over the 1.5 foot drop off where the waves start to break. Turns out the 24-26 inch fish were big bones. I was able to cast to them, get follows and takes and unceremoniously break them off. I also did a lot of blindcasting and landed numerous bones as well as palometas, barracuda and jacks. Rays also fed just over the drop off but I didn’t see any bones following.

Savannah Sound – Best fished, in my opinion, at first light on a just rising tide so that their tails betray their location. Early in my trip that was case. However, it being SS, they are still touchy. I managed to get some good casts with follows but got refused time and again with a variety of crab patterns and gotchas. I could see the lives crabs and they are up to 1.25-1.5 inches across, very light and mottled. My flies just didn’t match up. The bones seem to arrive and enter the flats mostly on the right side which is close to the mangroves, has a patchy grassy bottom and is deeper water. Some of them stay there. Others start cruising the edge of the deep drop off and enter the flats. Blindcasting into the deep drop off produced some bones. Large and small. I broke the nail-knotted mono butt off of my fly line on a huge bone that almost spooled me and wrapped around a rock deep in the sound. That also brought the attention of a Bull shark (I believe) to within 20 feet of me. Moving further up to the north and casting from the grass to the deeps will produce tons of mutton snapper if you’re looking for dinner.

Deep Creek – Upon advice of an FFF member I drove quite a distance past Rock Sound to these massive flats that look like the Air Force used them for bombing practice. Surrounded on three sides by mangroves, I saw three big bones but couldn’t get in position in time to get off a cast. A local guy says it’s best at low tide presumably because it concentrates the fish in the channels. I’d like to try this place again.

Balara Beach – Suggested by another local it smells like a toxic waste dump. Used to be a fuel depot. All craggy and sharp rock. No sand. Don’t ever bother.

North of airport (GHB). Again mainly rocky. If you can sneak around onto airport grounds it looks great a mile down the beach. A boat rental could get you there but security might pay you a visit.

Club Med Beach – Beautiful, extra wide, powdery beach. If the wind is down it looks like a great place. I had a tough time casting as my arm was already beat up. Take the wife or girly friend.

Governor’s Harbour – Huge bones great for casting practice but I don’t think they’ll bite unless they don’t know you’re there (fat chance) and your presentation is perfect. But who wants to fish there anyway.

Coco di Mama/Receiver Beach/Alabaster Bay – Another great looking beach with a nice gradual slope perfect for taking a dip. Lot’s of bone sign in the sand but I lost tons of flies on pesky 18 inch cudas. Saw some small bones but got no love.

LESSONS LEARNED:
  • Understand the wind direction and current direction so that you don’t get wrapped up in fly line.
  • Clear your line from your rod tip, rod butt, hands, feet, etc… before the first strip.
  • Knock down the barb so that you don’t get it stuck when you inevitably hit yourself in the shorts, shirt or hat.
  • As soon as you get a take keep your line clear with very light pressure on the line and get the fish on the reel. DO NOT cup the reel on a big fish on the first run.
  • Keep the rod tip high if there are any coral heads in the area

COOL THINGS: After I changed and made a conscious effort to incorporate the above lessons I can say that I caught a good number of fish. Also, since I couldn’t buy any small chartreuse clousers at the local Orvis in Boston I broke out the fly tying kit that my dad got me for Christmas and tried my first dozen flies. They all caught fish! In fact it was those flies that caught the big bones throughout my vacation. Next time I tie two dozen.

Nota Bene: I heard small chartruse clousers are what the bones at Savannah Sound will take. Next year.... or maybe this April I'll find out.

Marty


Last edited by MartyG; 03-03-2011 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 03-03-2011, 04:36 PM
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Great report Marty! Sounds like you had a great time--and great weather.

Post more pics if you have them--I always like to reminisce. First year in 10 we are not going.
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:04 PM
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Jim Miller Jim Miller is offline
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Marty
Sounds like a great Vaca! Makes me want to get back there.
What house did you stay at. Our family stayed at Tropical Impulse a few years ago and really enjoyed the N. Palmetto area. Great snorkeling too!

Glad to hear you had a great trip!
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Old 03-08-2011, 05:34 PM
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MartyG MartyG is offline
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Deep Creek, Eleuthera crabs

Deep Creek, Eleuthera crabs.

Gotta learn to tie up something that looks like these guys.

Marty



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Old 03-08-2011, 06:00 PM
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Jim Miller Jim Miller is offline
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I had good success with a small white Turneffe crab pattern and silver/white mini clousers. (this was in June/July)
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:59 PM
titleguy titleguy is offline
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Nice report Marty- I didn't have any success on bones at Deep Creek ( fun drive there too) But I hammered cudas, jacks, snapper, etc. At the point, out going tide.
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