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Mayaguana Bonefishing

Sean Visintainer - 05/10/13

Mayaguana Bonefish. Photo by Michael Visintainer

The Out Islands of The Bahamas

After a long winter in the Inland Northwest, my brother Mike and I had just about enough of the snow and cold temperatures we could handle. While day dreaming about doing another trip to warmer tropical climates, Mike stumbled across an article in Saltwater Fly Fishing Magazine about some DIY (Do-It-Yourself) bonefishing to a locale called Mayaguana. The most Easterly and remote of all the Bahamas Islands and home to some very large bonefish.

After some quick research (which there isn't a lot of info btw on) and an email to Brian O'keefe who had been there before, we found ourselves lusting after warmer climates, remote flats, and saltwater fish. I told Mike in order for us to go you would have to raise the money, owning a fly shop in the winter time is not exactly a lucrative business. So after countless hours and many long nights, Mike sold through extra car and Stihl Chainsaw parts he had accumulated over the years, worked a few side jobs, and pinched some pennies so we could go on a much needed vacation. And for that I am forever grateful!

Mayaguana Curtis Creek Flats. Photo by Michael Visintainer

Mayaguana Bahamas truly feels like an undiscovered place. With roughly only 300 people inhabiting the 25 mile long island and only 3 settlements, it was rare to see anyone while we were fishing. The folks of Mayaguana are probably some of the most friendly we have ever encountered and it's as if the island is one big family.

Perhaps because the island is so sparsely populated and very few anglers venture that far out to Mayaguana, the flats around the island are home to some very impressive size bonefish. Most bonefish on Mayaguana average 4-5lbs and a fair amount are in the 7-8lb range. Almost daily we would see a bonefish in the 30" class, with one in particular approaching the mid 30" range...the biggest I have ever seen. Unfortunately we couldn't get a clean shot at it even though it was probably only 15' away, guess he will just remain a fish story. Most fish traveled alone or with a partner and a couple days we found some larger schools. The lone rangers though are always the biggest. And if the wind wasn't blowing 15-30mph (no joke) every day those rangers could certainly be had with a good size 2 or 4 crab or shrimp imitation.

Sean Visintainer and a nice bonefish. Photo by Michael Visintainer

If you ever get a chance to head to Mayaguana we highly recommend staying at The Baycaner Resort... pretty much one of the only places you can stay at with a few modern conveniences. The owner "Shorty" and his staff take outstanding care of their guest and run a first rate operation. While Mike and I opted to chase bones on our own, there is one guide on Mayaguana whom we met our last day named "Scully" Cartwright. After a short conversation with him, I'd say it would be worth hiring him during your stay, he was a wealth of local knowledge.

Releasing a bonefish. Photo by Michael Visintainer

Miles of deserted beaches, flats, warm weather, friendly people, and big bonefish... my kinda place!

Thanks Mike for a truly amazing trip!

Photos by Michael Visintainer Mayaguana Lizard. Closeup of a Mayaguana Bonefish. Abandoned NASA/Military Thor Missle and Astronaut Tracking Site. Mike Visintainer with a Bonefish. Mayaguana Google Map. Mayaguana Google Maps. Mayaguana Airport.
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