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That book on do-it-yourself bonefishing that I’ve been telling you about for more than a year has finally been published. It’s by subscriber Rod Hamilton, and it’s called Do It Yourself Bonefishing. We have 20 copies available in the office on a first-come, first-served basis. You can order it on our Web site (www.anglingreport.com) or by calling the office at 800-272-5656/305- 253-5301. Ask for Edi Bell.
I’ve mentioned Rod Hamilton quite a few times in these pages over the last two years because he has helped push the envelope on angling travel, or at least one corner of that business. The emergence of his book and the increasing popularity of his blog (www .diybonefishing.com) are going to push it even farther, I think. Since he started writing about this subject, a good half dozen lodges have begun to direct some of their marketing effort toward on-your-own anglers. Others are looking for ways to enter the business without undermining their more lucrative guided fishing business. I think it’s a matter of time before some lodges begin to offer on-your-own bonefishing schools.
I should note before going any further that Rod Hamilton was preceded in this area of angling interest by Vince Tobia of Cattaraugus Creek Outfitters (www.ccoflyfishing.com), who started offering do-it-yourself bonefishing trips in the Bahamas a good five years ago. He now offers trips to three different islands in the Bahamas. He was the business’s innovator; Rod Hamilton has popularized it.
But getting back to Hamilton’s book, you can rest assured it is not just a collection of fishing yarns. More than 200 pages of Do It Yourself Bonefishing consist of hard-core information about where and how to fish various waters on your own. More than 100 pages are devoted to the Bahamas, followed by chapters on Mexico, Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos. There’s even a chapter on waters in the United States, which discusses places to fish in Biscayne Bay, the Florida Keys, and Hawaii. Here, from the section on Long Island in the Bahamas, is a small indication of the depth and specificity of the information Hamilton provides:
“Adderley Bay. This large bay is one of my favorite spots to fish on Long Island and always seems to be productive on the incoming tide. It is directly across from the Stella Maris sign. At low tide, the water completely leaves the mangroves and the fish are somewhere out in the bay. If the tide is low in the morning or evening, this is an ideal area to look for tails. On the incoming tide the fish are eager to get back into the mangroves, and it’s possible to set perfect intersection points while walking the mangrove edge. It is a large bay so the fish can be spread out and a little difficult to find at times, but they are there. You can park on a short dirt road on the north end of the bay that gets close to the water or just park beside the highway and make the short walk through the mangroves to the water.”
All of the above, mind you, is just one of 30 entries on places to fish on Long Island. You get the picture. Some hard work went into this book. As for the how-to material, I don’t agree with all of it, but it is generally solid information that will get you way down the learning curve on this difficult sport. Hamilton’s comments about how to spot bonefish are particularly useful, as is the “spousal rating” provided for every place he fishes. Long Island gets a 7. Great Inagua gets a 1. I’ll let you guess how Hawaii ranks.
Buy this book. You will enjoy it. – Don Causey.