D.I.Y. Bahamas Bonefishing trip, a How to do it all yourself
This is part 1 of 2 in the D.I.Y. Bone fishing trip to Long Island Key Bahamas.
This was my 2nd trip to the Bahamas. Compared to many of my photographer associates I am somewhat of a newbie to this concept of traveling and fishing outside of the US.
Though I consider myself a newbie many have not made these trips so I will do my best to help out my fellow fisherman.
I know this because when I come back, I get many questions about how, who, what to bring, cost etc. So this time, instead writing about how cool, interesting and fun the trip was I will make this article towards how you can do it yourself. I think this will prove quite more useful than, oh the fish was great, we had fun.. blah blah..
I will break this down into two parts:
- The Travel: Cost of the travel and the accommodation expected
- The fishing: What clothing and fishing gear to bring
I will do my best to put links up to the services to make it easier for anyone interested.
Though the Bahama is considered international travel, it is one of easiest foreign destination to travel to from Florida. Everyone there speaks English and the US dollar works fine there. No conversion is needed and the value is identical. Since their primary trade is tourism you are treated very nicely every where you go on the island.
90% of the flights to the Bahamas needs to make a pit stop in Nassau. This is the main airport and there you can take a hopper flight to your destination. This trip was to Long island key about 30-40minute south east of the Nassau.
Though there are many airlines flying to Nassau the cheapest one was Spirit Air. Spirit is not the fanciest airline out there but I was only going to be on the plane for only an hour. If you book your tickets 2 weeks or more ahead of time a round trip ticket will only set you back around $200 depending where you are flying in from. Me I was leaving out of Ft. Lauderdale.
The one thing I must warn you is that Spirit Air do charge $25 per extra bags.
Once in Nassau, you will have to get your passport stamped(yes it’s international flight so you will need your passport). The immigration here in relaxed but you still want your paper work in case there is any issue.
After grabbing my luggage it was off to get on the hopper plane through Bahamas Air. The flight was booked online and cost about $100 for a one way ticket to Long Island Key. When you are waiting for a flight, there a a cafeteria style restaurant there that serves some good authentic Bahamian eats. I’m always hungry so this was awesome. Oh, there is also a Wendy’s at the airport for those not so adventurous.
Once you land(Deadman’s Cay airport), the lodge is only 5 minutes away. A quick cab ride works but Long Island Bone fish lodge actually comes out to pick you up and will be waiting for you. This made for a very worry free from airport to lodge trip.
Points to make your travel easier:
- Bring a pen to fill out forms(I’m guilty of forgetting this and keep having to borrow all the time)
- Bring your green card if you are not a US citizen.
- Everyone will need a passport.
- Luggage needs to be under 40lbs per bag.
- Wear comfortable clothes with plenty of pockets. This allows you carry your gear like wallets, passports, phones, etc easily with out fear of loosing things.
- I’ve been wearing Rail Rider Bone fish flats travel shorts the last couple months. They are specifically design for travel and adventure. Super tough, tons of pockets w/ security zippers.
This trip we were staying at the the Long Island bone fish lodge. Though the standard guided trips are available, the lodge specialized in a Do it Yourself trip. This type of trip is geared towards intermediate and up fly fisherman. Basically guys that already know how to fish. Basic knowledge of spotting fish, know how to tie knots, does not have any issues landing and releasing their catch.
Since this is an assisted trip, the cost is much less as well. At $1600 for a 7 day trip with 6 days of fishing included it’s a bargain. This include water front cottages with AC, hot/cold running water, internet access plus three meals a day. The place is pretty much brand new and is better than many of the US hotels I have stayed at. This is an awesome deal considering at non DIY lodges it can cost you over 4k.
The breakfast is to order of the standard, eggs, beacon, fruits, omelets, sausages toast etc. The packed lunch for the boat are usually sandwiches with fruits and chips. The dinners were exceptionally awesome. We had either conch, Nassau grouper or lobster for every meal at the lodge. All this is included in the pricing. The only thing that is not included is the alcohol. Though liquor was available I opted to stay away so I could fish the next morning. I had a few Kalik (the local Bahama beer) it was $4 each.
The food at the lodge every night was either, grouper, conch or lobster!
The lodge is located on the water, so you just wake up, eat and go.
The beach fishing was full of scenic views indeed.
it was hard to take a bad photo.
Glen from Midcurrent was my fishing partner that day
The group gets ready to do some beach sight fishing for bone fish
Dean’s Blue Hole, Deepest blue hole in the world
Awesome sunset views
Fresh conch for the conch salad
A baby Nassau grouper