Bahamas DIY Bonfishing

Sean Visintainer - 01/19/12

Sean holding up a nice Long Island, Bahamas Bonefish. Photo by Michael Visintainer

Long Island, Bahamas

Anyone that has ever had the chance to go on a saltwater trip knows how addicting this type of fly fishing can be. After hosting a few trips to Belize I find myself dreaming of saltwater very often... especially as this past winter seemed to last an eternity here in the Inland NW. After a particularly wet and windy Gear Swap event in May, I was recapping the weekends business with my brother Mike and made the decision that it was time for a break to get the heck outta dodge. The weather combined with my addiction for flats fishing and the fact that Mike has never taken a vacation found us on a southern Bahamas Island 3 weeks later.

This particular area was brought to my attention a few years earlier for a great location for some Do-It-Yourself style bonefishing by our friend Brian O'Keefe. I figured if Brian has been here approximately 13 times then it must be good! The island is home to bonefish, tarpon, ladyfish, jacks, barracuda, snapper and a host of other fish and is very well known for it's off shore bluewater fishing. We were primarily after the bonefish and tarpon which there were certainly no shortage of.

Casting for Sharks! Photo by Michael Visintainer

To give you a quick recap of the trip, our first 5 days was spent bouncing from one flat to another only to find ourselves getting blown off or dumped on by rain once we found some bonefish. Numerous storms were moving through the area and made it almost impossible to make any sort attempt to get within range of fish without spooking them. Luckily the south end of the island is an old salt / shrimp operation so all the salt pond flats are connected by canals which are now inhabited by baby tarpon, ladyfish, cudas, and snapper to keep us entertained. Once the rain and 30mph wind settled down the next week of fishing was game on. Average bonefish we hooked was in the 2-5lb range and we had spotted even larger. I even managed to hook a few tarpon in the 20lb range but couldn't keep them buttoned so no money shots for the website... sorry Mike!

Well despite the brutal weather the first half of the trip the moon, stars, and fish aligned for the second half to make it a great adventure. I know I've at least created an addict out of my brother because he hasn't said no to a fishing trip since then.

Check out our photos if you too also need a quick break from reality.

Gimme us a shout if you need some info on doing a saltwater trip yourself!

Long Island Tarpon. Photo by Michael Visintainer Long Island Bonefish. Photo by Michael Visintainer