Andros Island Bonefishing
|Barracuda on tube lures make a good diversion.|
Every time we walked the flats we had a tube lure ready in case we spotted a passing cuda. We rarely did. The locals eat barracuda, and they seem to have put a mighty dent in
the population. Earl and I were surprised at how few cudas we encountered on such an extensive flats system. Maybe that was a seasonal phenomenon, yet I doubt tube lures would ever get much use here.
Fishing the bights, we saw plenty of bonefish but none of the permit or tarpon that also inhabit Andros. Rupert thought we might see a better variety if we fished farther north in Stafford Creek. We'd fish in the creek bays early in the morning, then work our way out toward the flats nearest the ocean.
It's easier to reach Stafford Creek by car, so we trailered the boat for 45 minutes back toward Andros Town. Before this road was paved about a decade ago, it took three ours to travel the 30 miles to the airport there. Now it only takes a half hour. Not all progress is bad.
Trailering to Stafford Creek also allowed us to get a better look at the countryside. We saw a few land crabs scuttling near the roadway. Rupert said that these are a great delicacy, that some locals make enough money harvesting the crabs during the summer months to live the rest of the year. People who catch the crabs sell them to dealers for $1 each.
he dealers in turn sell them for $2. Catch a thousand crabs a night (not impossible) and you would be sitting pretty. We had the opportunity to taste the crabs at dinner a few nights later. An interesting taste.
The farther north on Andros we went, the more we saw the tall skinny Andros pines. It's hard to see how they could be useful, but they have been harvested commercially. With so many
of the tall pines around us at Stafford Creek I was reminded of north Florida where the Gulf cuts into the countryside.
Stafford Creek turned out to have a fairly hard bottom in many sections, quite different from the bights' flats. We fished a perfect tide but the fish were amazingly few. When we did encounter them and they were traveling in 2s or 3s or a school, we tried to cast to a specific fish rather to the whole school.
Smaller fish are usually the more aggressive, and the surest way to take the larger fish is to cast specifically to it. Casting into the middle of a big school sometimes will spook the whole lot.
Rupert has excellent eye-sight, but we did our best to spot fish as well. That gave our boat six eyes instead of just a single pair. A couple of times we actually did see a fish before Rupert.
After landing several fish in the creek, we headed out the channel toward the ocean. High wind kept us from venturing out as far as we would have liked. The flats there are incredibly beautiful, that alternating blend of white sand bottom, bright turquoise and deep channel blue.
We took several good fish there, including the 7-pounder who struck just before it started to rain. But we did not sight the first tarpon or permit. Based on our experience, they don't seem that plentiful.