Buffett, Bonefish and Boat Drinks!
My wife and I headed down to Exumas, Bahamas in January of 2016 for a little rest and relaxation, which was also a wonderful time to escape the cold in Charleston, SC for a few days. We stayed at Staniel Cay Yacht Club and couldn’t have picked a better place to spend a few days relaxing and exploring the other nearby Cays. Staniel Cay is also one of Jimmy Buffett‘s 10 Best Bars of the Caribbean for those of you out there that like to marry fly fishing and a good cocktail! Hope you enjoy these excerpts from my journal….
January 16, 2016
We had the good fortune of arriving to Staniel Cay with beautiful weather, and once we were checked-in we had a delicious lunch of conch and mahi washed down with a couple of Kalik‘s before we headed out for the afternoon. One of the coolest things about Staniel Cay is that your bungalow comes with a 13 ft. skiff and a map so that you can explore on your own time, and the map also indicates where there are bonefish flats. I didn’t have any success in finding bonefish on day one, but the scenery was amazing!
January 17, 2016
The wind was howling at 30+ MPH and we were not allowed to take the boats out, but we made the most of it biking around the island, sipping rum punches and taking a nice nap. When we woke up from our most fitful slumber a storm was rolling in, so we headed to the bar for more boat drinks!
January 18, 2016
After breakfast we took our skiff and headed north in search of the famous swimming pigs of the Exumas, bonefish and paradise in general. We saw the wind turbines at Over Yonder Cay, which has 3 wind turbines and a 1.5 acre solar field and produces 96% of its energy with renewable energy! Incredible and a great example of how to lessen the impacts of ocean acidification from climate change.
We stopped at Pipe Cay so I could fish and this was probably the most beautiful spot we have ever been. The water was aqua blue and crystal clear with a white sand flat, which was stunning. We arrived at dead low tide and fished an incoming tide. I found some bonefish cruising the flat, but couldn’t get them to eat a clear and white Crazy Charlie, so I switched to a pink Crazy Charlie that paid off.
I found some single bones cruising, but I cast poorly to three different bonefish. I had several casts at each and they would either dart just out of casting distance, or completely blow up out of sight. My wife, Jodie, started waving me back to the boat where she was relaxing on the boat for about an hour, taking in the view and enjoying a Kalik.
I intentionally took my sweet time wading back to the boat as I was still hoping to get lucky and every step I took I knew my window of opportunity was shrinking. Jodie walked out to meet me and we were probably 20 yards from the boat when I spotted three bonefish cruising together and moving right to left. Naturally, the wind started gusting as I released my first cast and it fell ten feet short. The fish kept moving right to left and were within 20 feet and my adrenaline got the best of me and I made an absolutely terrible cast! However, on my third cast I put the fly about 3 feet in front of the three bonefish as they were moving away from me and 2 of them darted off, but one turned on a dime. As I watched him accelerate towards my fly with his dorsal fin and tail splashing out of the clear water my heart moved into my throat, and then he ate!
I strip-set and he took off like a heat-sinking missile and took me into my backing, then made two shorter runs and I worked him to my hand and landed him. The tug is the drug, as they say! I revived and released him, but that will go down as one of the most memorable takes I have ever witnessed, especially since Jodie was standing next to me and got photos of the whole thing!
We celebrated with a couple of cold Kalik’s and absorbed our surroundings and headed further north and ended the day with a couple more rum drinks at one of Jimmy Buffett’s favorite bars at Staniel Cay. As we sat bellied up at the bar, the lyrics to “The weather is here, wish you were beautiful!” played in my head as we relived the day. I couldn’t have asked for a better day on the water and scenery was something out of my dreams. It was a good day to be alive! Until next time…Cheers!