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canyonwren

Advice for Spanish Wells

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New to the forum. So Ole' asks Sven, "Why do scuba divers always fall backwards off 'der boats?"

 

To which Sven replies, "Well, you know, if they fell forwards they'd still

be in 'da freakin' boat!"

 

Now that I got that done, I would like to know recommended patterns and suggested tippet sizes for fishing bonefish in the Bahamas, preferably around Spanish Wells?

 

I have been fly fishing for about 25 years, Idaho, Montana, and Washington, fishing steelhead, rainbows and the lot on light rods and big guns. I have never attempted bonefish. I do have a very good rod and reel set-up that my wife gave me for fishing saltwater. Thanks for any advice you may want to impart.

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For bonefish on a 8/9 wt I use Lefty's 50% leader formula. Simple and works well for all saltwater fishing. Leave a few inches on the measurements to tie your knots. Uni to Uni or blood knots are fine and a double surgeon's to attach the tippet.

 

9 foot - 48" 40# + 24" 30" + 12" 20# + 24" 12#(tippet)

 

12 foot - 62" 40# + 35" 30" + 22" 20# + 28" 12#(tippet)

 

Google Captain Ned Small, Everglades Sight Fishing. He has a great article on saltwater leaders and rod setup. Also, First Coast Fly Fishers, FCFF, has two pdf files on the site for tying Lefty's 50% rule leaders.

Hope this Helps...............Ron

 

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View PostFor bonefish on a 8/9 wt I use Lefty's 50% leader formula. Simple and works well for all saltwater fishing. Leave a few inches on the measurements to tie your knots. Uni to Uni or blood knots are fine and a double surgeon's to attach the tippet.

 

 

9 foot - 48" 40# + 24" 30" + 12" 20# + 24" 12#(tippet)

 

 

12 foot - 62" 40# + 35" 30" + 22" 20# + 28" 12#(tippet)

 

 

Google Captain Ned Small, Everglades Sight Fishing. He has a great article on saltwater leaders and rod setup. Also, First Coast Fly Fishers, FCFF, has two pdf files on the site for tying Lefty's 50% rule leaders.

 

Hope this Helps...............Ron

 

 

 

FTG1, how do you feel about the store bought leaders for bonefish etc? with a tippet attached to the end?

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I recall an article stating that for the Bahamas bonefish ties should be a little smaller then in the Keys. I think that means #4 and smaller .... the Kwan, small clousers, the Bonefish Puff, the Horror -the simplest fly in salt water - any shrimp you might name. There will be more in the Fly Tying Forum next door.

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I've fished all over Eleuthera, but never Spanish Wells. Bonefish on Eleuthera see LOTS of pressure. It's a very popular DIY destination. As a result the fish are educated and shy.

Charlie's did so-so for me there. On tailers, they really went for a classic mini-puff in a big way. I tied many "blind" versions (without the beadchain eyes) and those seemed to do better b/c they made less noise hitting the water when the fish were tailing in skinny water. I also did well on small Borski Sliders.

 

I know on my last bonefish trip, I began adding small amounts of Sili-legs to all my patterns, and those undulating rubber legs really seem to attract bones. Even wary ones.wink.gif

On our last trip there, we did take the water taxi out to Spanish Wells for the day. Not fishing, just sight seeing. I did see quite a few guys fishing on the flats. So, you might not be alone.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Well I wasnt fly-fishing, but I'll post my report here anyway since this was pretty much the only thread on Spanish Wells on the Internet I could find.

 

Went out on a boat with a guide (cheating) the first day and did some reef fishing. Caught enough fish in 15-20 minutes for 3 meals. Kept 4 strawberry grouper and 2 Triggerfish. I'd never had Triggerfish before. The skin is impossible to cut through, so you cook them whole. Wrap in foil, set the grill on low, and 30-min on each side. It was outstanding. The cheek meat was the best (very greasy and chewy - like a fine cut of steak).

 

IMG-2775.JPG.ce449a64fe1e3d770f2ca2079c0e855e.JPG

 

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We stayed on the beach side of the island which is basically just a GIANT flat. You could literally walk miles out to sea and the water was only knee/waist/chest deep depending on tide. I caught some little stuff here (snappers and grunts) throwing bait (shrimp, fish chunks) on a small, unweighted hook along the grass-lines at high tide, but I found it way too expansive to actually wade and find anything of significance. My best catch here was a nice sized needle fish.

 

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I was only here a week, so I'm sure I barely scratched the surface, but I found 2 spots from shore that I liked to fish. The first was a rock jetty / pier on the South side of Russell Island. I got lots of bites on bait along the rocks, but I didn't have the right gear to keep them out. Anything of size would run back into the rocks and get snagged or break me off. I finally connected with a nice mutton snapper by throwing a big rapala sinking stick bait across the water to the rocks on the other side. That way I was pulling them away from the rocks.

 

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The other place I really liked to fish was at the Eastern tip of Spanish Wells (by the Shipyard Restaurant) where a small spit of land jutted out into the sea at lower tide. You really needed to time this right to catch fish. The water needed to be just coming over the flats (just as the tips of the grass were going underwater). I was there at the "right time" and caught fish (grouper, snapper, etc) on every cast for 30-40 minutes. I was also there at the "wrong time" and couldnt get a bump. Caught this guy on 4-piece 9ft rod rigged with a 6" rapala that I bombed a mile out. What a blast!

 

(Just a word of caution here, the raised spot I walked out to had deeper water behind me (once the tide came in) and apparently there were sharks cruising all around me (I saw the ones in front of me, but not behind me) and the waitresses at the bar were all freaking out when I got out of the water. As a fisherman, I understand that there are sharks in the water, but I was more cautious from then on.) 

 

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You could pretty much walk around the island anywhere and catch a cuda for the obligatory "hero pic".

 

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I also paddled a kayak out to some islands off-shore and fished a smaller flat on the backside. We pulled up to the flat and my daughter spotted a school of fish before I even got out of the boat. She thought they were "baby sharks" because they all had their fins out of the water. I knew better. Took me about 30-40 minutes of stalking the herd, but I eventually caught my first ever sight-casted bonefish! Got this on a 4-piece 7ft rod rigged with a piece of shrimp on a small unweighted hook.

 

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As you can probably guess, I had my GoPro with me at all times and took lots of video. I actually have the whole bonefish catch on video. Hope to have it processed soon.

 

 

 

Edited by Wheeler

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