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Subscriber Nathaniel Reed was lucky enough to enjoy four separate trips to the Bahamas recently, visiting North Riding Point (http://nrpcbonefish¬ing.com/) three times and Abaco Lodge once (http://www.abacolodge.com/). Here are some highlights from the North Riding point trips:
“February 15–18. The first two days of our trip were partly ruined by 100 percent cloud cover. On the second day, my 19-year-old grandson landed an eight-pound bonefish, his first. Using a spinning rod, he also landed three bar¬racuda weighing 12, 14, and 25 pounds. On the last day, he made a supreme cast at a large bonefish slowly feeding in 24 inches of water, requiring a cast of 55 feet against a 15-plus wind. He landed his fly ahead and to the side of the bonefish, which rushed it. The fight was spectacular—180 yards on the first run due to the shallowness of the water. I caught a pair of seven-pound bonefish, but let him have the majority of the time up front.
“April 18–21. The Jupiter Island Bonefish Club, eight strong, flew over to North Riding Point. The bonefish were in full spawning mode, and they were seen leaving the flats by the hundreds. We still managed to catch two to four fish per day per skiff. The guiding was superb. As usual, fish over 10 pounds were cast to daily. One was landed: about 11 pounds, a once-in-a-lifetime fish.
“May 9–15. I joined a trio that has fished North Riding Point for 12 years. We hit a ‘new moon’ period. Bonefish were again in spawning moods. We caught bonefish daily despite three days of 100 percent cloud cover, wind, and violent thunderstorms. On our last day, my partner and I were guided by the famous Meko, who has left Deep Water, joining his father and other close friends in NRP guiding group. He took us well down the east side of the island where my partner and I each landed eight-pound bonefish in skinny water. They were magnificent fighters due to the shallow water on the flats. Later in the early afternoon we were approached by a school of bonefish returning from spawning. My guide estimated that the school contained over 300 bonefish. Three additional schools followed, about 10 minutes apart, as huge thun¬derstorms erupted both west and east of us. Before fleeing for our lives, we landed six bonefish that averaged seven pounds. I lost a fish to a coral rock cut¬off that was estimated to be in the nine-pound range.
“As usual, the lodge was perfectly managed. The food and the accom¬modations were perfect. The food was better than ever. The guiding has been dramatically improved by Meko and Michael Thayer, who left Deep Water.
Highlights of the Abaco Lodge trip: “May 20–23. Silver Airlines flew us to Marsh Harbor after a one-hour delay in takeoff, so we missed most of the first afternoon. We were well met and driven to Abaco Lodge and warmly greeted. Substantial improvements have been made here. The single rooms with king-sized beds and excellent air-condition¬ing are now matched by excellent food and superb guiding. We fished far away from the sandy marls, going miles to two outlets to the sea. We enjoyed cast¬ing during low tides at ample numbers of two- to three-plus-pound bonefish. Sixteen were landed day one, and 18 landed on day two, including a five-pounder caught by my grandson. Day three we trailered up toward the airport and fished interesting water. My grand¬son cast at two six-plus-pound mutton snappers, a group of six permit feeding, and several large bonefish, all without a take. A very odd weather pattern, high cirrus clouds and a very low barometer obviously influenced the fish.
“Going home, when we arrived at Silver’s check-in area at the terminal, a person there informed us that our plane had to be diverted to replace another plane that had mechanical problems.
We ended up waiting nearly four hours. By the time we finally landed in West Palm Beach, the main airport customs office had closed. We had to go across the field to a small immigration and customs office that is manned to ac¬commodate passengers of private jets arriving through the night. What should have been an easy 90-minute flight altogether turned into a very long ex-perience indeed. Notwithstanding the flight problems, it was an enjoyable trip. As we drove home, we agreed that even though the bonefish were small, it was great fun to have 30-plus casts each day at fish. Abaco Lodge is a very satisfying destination for those who are not concerned over size of the bone¬fish.”