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 Angling Report Editor Emeritus and Founder, Don Causey, filed the following hush-hush report on a giant permit that has been taken in the Bahamas. Mum’s the word!
Here at The Angling Report, we have worked hard over the years to find and then accurately describe great fisheries. In fact, helping subscribers make informed decisions about where to go fishing is more or less what we are all about. Simple, right? And straightforward?
Actually, the provision of where-to-go information is not a simple business at all. I learned that fact decades ago at Outdoor Life magazine when that periodical had a mammoth circulation of 1.7 million. My first job there, as a junior editor, was to head up the regional where-to-go sections that ostensibly let subscribers know their local places for bass fishing, deer hunting, and other activities, but in fact produced little more than lists of public hunting areas, large impoundments, and well-known rivers with seasonally adjusted how-to information.
Impatient with the tried-and-true format of the sections, I pushed regional editors to be more and more specific in their where-to-go recommendations. I was sure that was what subscribers wanted, and I fought hard to get experienced regional editors to look beyond the tired, old rules they had been following. You probably know what happened. In short order, one of the most experienced editors went over my head and threatened to quit unless I backed off of my resource-crushing agenda. Didn’t I care about the resource at all? Didn’t I know that fully half the pleasure of hunting and fishing is the process of looking, seeking, exploring? What I wanted to do was just plain unethical.
That early experience of apologizing to those field editors made an indelible impression on me. It also led me to leave the magazine eventually, as executive editor, and start my own business, which included founding this newsletter and two similar ones on big-game hunting and wing shooting, all three of which focused on the delivery of where-to-go information. It was ethical where-to-go information, mind you, to a limited number of individuals interested in fishing and hunting experiences in areas almost impossible (or at least difficult) for large numbers of people to utilize.
All of this is a roundabout way of justifying my telling you that a giant permit has been taken in the Bahamas at Deep Water Cay Resort on Grand Bahama Island (https://www.deepwatercay.com/) by Paul Vahldiek, a principal at Deep Water Cay. The huge fish weighed 50 pounds, and it took an hour to land him on a 10-weight with a 16-pound tippet. It eclipses all of the other large fish I have heard about at this destination, including a low-40s-plus-pound fish caught by Sandy Moret, and another of about the same size I personally watched David Leake catch back in June 2012. Leake is owner of Tailwaters Flyfishing Company in Dallas (https://tailwatersflyfishing.com/), a fly shop with an in-house travel department.
Obviously, the remote waters where Vahldiek and others have had their success boast a good population of really big permit. Not a lot of little ones, however. Mostly big, world-class fish that Deep Water Cay pursues with the fly only. No bait is allowed. These waters in question are some distance away from Deep Water Cay. You’ll eat up an important part of your day getting there and back, which will give you time to consider that you are about to fish waters that are an international treasure worthy of respect and protection. I am telling you this as an Angling Report subscriber only, mind you, not a town crier or Instagram idiot who will disrespect this information. Publishing this information sits right on the edge of an ethical chasm I have tried to avoid my entire career. Don’t push me over the edge by copying everyone you know with this report, OK?
If you want to try these waters yourself, google Deep Water Cay. A number of agent addresses will come up, including Tailwaters Flyfishing Company, Orvis Travel, and Yellow Dog Fly Fishing. You can also book a trip directly with Deep Water Cay by contacting Mark Weaver at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling him at 970-283-9420. Enjoy!—Don Causey