Logger Head CreekRed Bays dock
Charley and Kenney just returning with their load of sponges from their camp near Williams Island. This is the product of almost 2 weeks camping and diving for these sponges. This finished product is the result of lots of time and work. These sponges are sought after world wide. Of course I had to buy a couple of them and they were glad to sell them.
My trip to the west side almost started in disaster. When I got to Red Bays I walked back to the boat and couldn’t believe my eyes. The gas tank on the boat had ruptured and most of the gas was slopping around on the floor of the boat. That could have easily caught fire. Lucky I didn’t throw my cigar butt out the window. The road going north is extremely bad with some pot holes almost turning into blue holes. However all was not lost. My buddy Gerald from Red Bays loaned me his external tank and I was on my way.
The adventuresome spirit in me took over and I actually did little fishing. I was by myself and decided to do a little exploring. I found the two creeks near Logger Head Point. I don’t knowhow many miles I went up the first one but it was a long way. I have no idea how long this creek was but after awhile reality set in. I thought to my self “now I’m way up this creek in the middle of nowhere, alone, if something happens to the boat like the engine quits as does happen with any boat, I’m screwed”. Nobody has a clue where I ‘m at. So I reluctantly turned around. I found the second creek and went up it just a couple miles.
Exploring these creeks is a real hoot. Crusing slowly along watching all the fish along the mangroves and seeing loads of turtles.
The gas tank for the boat is at the Menninite Colony getting fixed and the boat is still up at Red Bays. Weather and wind forecast looks great for early next week so I’m back up there then. Hopefully this time I will have the company of another boat and we can make it all the way down to Williams Island and NorWest Point.
The sponge guys told me exactly where the permit are schooling down there—can’t wait.
I have had some people who have never been to Andros Island ask me if there are any beaches. They heard there were none. Well how about this beach. This is Somerset beach which is just a few miles south of Andros Town. Where are all the people you ask? Well this is the norm. You can walk for miles and not see another soul. What you will see are bonefish, cudas and an occasional shark.
Bahamian guide Tommy Kee told me they had some good shots at some huge permit on the west side. Due to certain circumstances they never got a hookup. They also spotted some tarpon but never got close enough for a shot. Bonefish over there were a gimme.
Weather remains great.
As you can see in this photo that’s a school of over fifty bonefish. I hope you appreciate me taking the time messing with the camera on these fish rather than casting to them.
Actually by the time I took this pic I already had hooked five. Two out of this school and three on doubles and singles. A couple of them were really big and took me well into the backing . This ocean flat was really hot today and I caught the tide just right. I didn’t have to move much but simply waited for them to come in on the tide.
I guess I was in the right spot at the right time. Some times it all works.
These two dolphin followed along the boat for quite awhile. Really cool watching them.
Again the weather here has been ideal. Lots of sun and very light winds.
It was so nice yesterday we decided to go to Young and Bowen Sound. These ocean flats usually hold lots of fish and yesterday was no exception. We saw dozens and dozens of tailing fish on the rising tide. Now I have to admit we didn’t get many but they were there big time.
At one point I saw about twenty tails coming right at me. It was only ankle deep water with the tide just starting to turn. Just before they got within range for some reason they turned as if they knew I was waiting to ambush them. I was standing perfectly still—oh well. It was fun just watching them.
My friend Sandy, aka “Cuda Woman”
My friends Jim and Sandy left yesterday after two weeks of great weather and great fishinng.
Sandy boated a total of 14 cudas while they were here and all on a fly rod. She had on several more that either spit the fly or broke off. While I was with them she had one on that literally bit through the steel leader. This huge cuda made a horizontal jump that was at least 20 feet. It was amazing to watch. I couldn’t believe it when I saw that leader that it bit through.
The weather has been excellent lately with lots of sun and daily temps. in the low 80′s.
I checked the weather at home in Divide, Mt. this morning and at 8:00 am it was -22 compared to 77 here. My neighbor sent me a pic of my great pyrenees dog “Hanna” and she seemed to be loving it. Glad she is and glad I’m here.
Speaking of back home, I got the latest snotel reports and it shows the snowpack in the high country at 123 percent of average. Great news for a good flow on the Big Hole River this coming season.
Plans are in the works for a extended camping trip to the West Side in the near future. I for one am really looking forward to that. Just tweeking a few things on the boat to make sure everything is running perfectly. To break down over there would not be a good thing.
My partner Jim with a nice cuda. We actually had that one for dinner last night. Yesterday however Cuda Woman cleaned his clock with boating three big ones.
On to the ongoing battle of the fish between Hank and I. Three days ago he and I went out and the fight was on. Now this is the honest truth and I know it hurts him but facts are facts. Final count was Al, 28 and Hank, 25.
He want out yesterday with his carpenter and said he caught 62 and his carpenter had 22. I questioned these figures and Hank said to ask Walter the carpenter. Walter agreed and I flat told him, of course he would agree with anything Hank would tell him. He writes his pay checks.
Weather had been absolutely perfect here with warm temps. and very light wind.
Early morning looking over Fresh Creek Harbor with serene calm conditions.
Kinda makes you want to get your fly rods ready and head out to the flats. Perfect morning to spot tailing bonefish. But it’s a little cool this morninng so I’ll wait awhile.
After yesterday I’m kinda fished out. Mutton Fish Gogie and I went outside along the reef. Now as I probably mentioned before, Gogie doesn’t know a thing about fly fishing. But if you want fish for dinner, he be da mon. We went quite a few miles south and conditions could not have been better. Just a slight breeze out of the south. We did about a half dozen drops, mostly concentrating around coral heads. What a day we had. We came back late afternoon with the big cooler full of fish. With five or six big mutton snapper followed by numerous yellow tail, grunts, porgies and trigger fish. Hank was in his boat nearby and also filled his cooler. You should have been there.
I just got back to the island yesterday and boy did I grandstand my return. That’s me in the white shirt after a rather nervous landing at the Andros Airport. I knew we were in trouble when we came in for a landing and a warning buzzer went off. The pilot pulled up and said he had a problem with the nose gear going down. We circled for quite awhile while he tried to crank the nose gear down. He kept pumping on the handle but nothing was happening. It was apparent we had a broken hydraulic line.
There was only two of us on the plane besides the pilot. He told us to go way in the back, buckle up and hang on as he had no choice but to attempt a soft landing. We touched down very softly but when the nose went down, there we went nose grinding down the runway. My only fear was fire.
My hat is off to the pilot as he handled that emergency situation as well as any pilot could. He feathered the engines just before we touched down so the props would be horizontal and not spinning which would most likely started a fire. We finally came to a stop with the nose stuck in the dirt. The other passenger, who I was told was a Bahamian preacher blew out that door and ran like the devil himself was after him.
So now after my grand entry back on the island, it’s time to go fishing.
Due to a family emergency I will be off the island for awhile.
As soon as I return, the fishing reports will continue.
Now if you catch a mess of mutton snapper like Gogie is holding you will have many friends on the island. That is not a real big one but decent and fun catching and more fun eating.
I see by several comments I will have to more discreet in telling certain people about some secret fly patterns. It apprears some of you are are taking after that Snowden fella. So from now on, new secret patterns will remain secret. As for getting off the dock—-why?
I didn’t think the road going north could get much worse than last year but it did. Some of the pot holes are no longer pot holes but blue holes. It is unbelievable how bad it is. Several local guides are no longer going to the Joulters as it is just too rough on their vehicles and trailers. They don’t have to go that far anyway as the fishing up the creek, Bowen Sound, Young Sound etc has been great.