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Subscriber Bruce Nadelson has weighed in with a report about a self outfitted fishing trip to Acklins Island in the Bahamas, arranged this past January by Vince Tobia of Cattaraugus Creek Outfitters (www.cattarauguscreek outfitters.com). The trip was based out of Grey’s Point Bonefish Inn (www .greyspointbonefishinn.com). We’ve written about Tobia’s low-cost, self-outfitted Bahamas trips before. He offers them to Acklins Island as well as Eleuthera. These all-inclusive outings cover lodging and meals, plus an information and map packet directing anglers where to go for best results. We have a number of reports and previously published articles about Tobia’s Eleuthera trips in our database but almost nothing on his Acklins trips. Hence this extended report on Nadelson’s experience there.
Interestingly, Nadelson spent most of his time on Acklins Island fishing from a canoe within a roughly two-mile radius of Grey’s Point. He describes the experience as follows.
“I solo-canoed every day, right from the inn. I occasionally pushed back into some skinny water way back in the mangroves, but the most productive fishing area was provided by a large, white sand flat that begins about three-quarters of a mile north of the lodge and then runs east for a few miles. The best time to fish this flat was a couple of hours preceding and following low tide. Depending on tide and breeze, I found that I could wade this flat or just drift it, standing in the canoe. When I waded, I usually tied the canoe rope to my waist and let the canoe follow along behind.
“The week I was on Acklins, the tide was low late in the afternoon. This allowed me to wade slowly along, on my way back to the lodge in the afternoon as the sun set and the breeze died, casting to small, tight groups of tailing bonefish, many of them in the five-pound range. The groups were separated by a hundred yards or more, so picking up a fish from one group didn’t spook the next. That was a lot of fun.
“I also spent some time fishing the edge of the aforementioned flat, where it gave way to bluewater. There were some big (more than five-foot), smart barracuda that were hard to catch on flies, plus some small (three-foot) lemon sharks that were aggressive but not so smart. I caught two of the latter on flies in skinny water. I finished playing these from inside the boat, thank you.
“I was really lucky in regard to weather. The breezes ranged from about 15 to 20 knots down to outright calm. It was mostly sunny, too, giving way to periods of broken clouds.
“One of the highlights of my trip was spending time with Shirley and Newton Williamson, the owners and operators of Grey’s Point Bonefish Inn.
They were extremely accommodating. They had coffee ready each day at 6:30 am and a good breakfast on the table at 7:30. For lunches, they provided a nice little cooler for the canoe, which they filled with ham or chicken sandwiches, fruit, chips, drinks, and a candy bar. January was not a busy time for them, and I happened to be the only guest. That suited me fine, but if I go back next year—and I hope I do just that—it will probably be with a friend. We’ll split the fee and go out once or twice with Garron Williamson or another of the reportedly excellent local guides. This trip, I was content with the onyour-own action. I never saw another human soul out there where I was fishing. No boats, no planes, no cars. No trash back in the mangroves. I made good friends with a couple of cranes and a flamingo working the same waters every day. The area was pristine, almost primordial, the same as it was thousands of years ago. I recommend the experience to fellow subscribers.”
Postscript: Nadelson gives the cost of his one-week trip as $1,750, not including the cost of beer, tips, and $140 for one night’s accommodation in Nassau on the way over.