Window of Opportunity

by Oliver Rogers January 12, 2014 0 Comments

I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year, and I hope that 2014 brings tight lines to all.  Over my Christmas Break, I was able to take a trip down to the Bahamas with one of my best friends, Charlie Greivell.  The main purpose of this trip was to work on finishing the remodel of my father’s house on Long Island; although we all know fishing had to be squeezed in there somewhere.

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To get down to the island, we decided last minute to go big and rent this through Net Jets.

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Big joke… We took this little guy down there.

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Upon arrival, it was a 20-minute drive to get to our turn off on the Queen’s Highway.  The view of the house coming down the driveway never ceases to amaze me.

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That afternoon we sat on this here deck and enjoyed some Kaliks. We sat and debated as to which flats we wanted to fish in the next few days.

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The next morning came painfully fast due to the consumption of “multiple” Kaliks the previous night.  The day was filled with monotonous work;  and what do you know, it’s blowing 5 knots and flat as a board on the Atlantic side.  It was painful to look at the pristine Bahamian water as we struggled to unload 2 tractor-trailers of furniture, appliances, and random things into the house.  That night we came to the realization that we had one day of good weather until it turned to straight shit, so we moved our schedule around and planned to get on the water the following day.  It was our window of opportunity.  Charlie and I prepped our gear for the upcoming morning along with a few ultimate rum punches to accompany us.  My Dad keeps this secret drink recipe in a safe surrounded by lasers, above a tank with 3 great whites, and 4 cracked-out marine snipers on watch at all times.  Needless to say there’s a reason its kept a secret.

We met Elvis Knowles at 8 am at an old boat ramp on the Southern end of the Island.  Elvis is one of our good friends on the island and a local bonefish guide.  Charlie and I were ecstatic as we jumped aboard his skiff and made our way to the large flat we could see on the horizon.  My mind was racing with the images of silver ghosts tailing out of the mangroves on the outgoing tide.  I was already shaking.

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Within the first five minutes of wading, I could hear Charlie cheering as he just hooked a nice bone 200 yards away from me.  Another hundred feet of quiet walking, I hooked up on my first fish of the day as well.  The stars must have aligned this morning because the fish just never stopped coming.  The majority came in schools of 5-10, and most were being very skittish due to the calm and very shallow conditions.  We fished this flat all morning and the fish kept pouring out of the small surrounding creeks and right into casting range.   The fish on the flat all seemed to average 2-4 lbs, but a few mumbo jumbos cruised around with their tails sticking out of the 10 inch deep water.  Here is one of my smaller bones that was willing to be photogenic for me as I could barely take the #heroshot with my slimy bonefish fingers.  I unfortunately lost my mono pod somewhere in the Nassau Airport.  So if you find one it is mine…

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The afternoon brought the incoming tide and some great fish for both Charlie and me.  I lost what would have been my personal best fish nearing double digits as she took me into my backing within 10 seconds and succeeded to straighten out the hook on my little epoxy shrimp.  Just after this happened, I stepped barefoot on what seemed like the 12th crab of the day,

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I stripped my line in as fast as possible as I saw a pair of 6 pounders cruising up the bank.  Shaking after that last unfortunate episode, I finished my loop knot on another epoxy shrimp and got this guy to eat instantly.  I couldn’t for the life of me get a good selfie with this fish, but she sure was a fatty.

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The biggest fish of the trip swimming off to join his little buddies to feast some more.

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We ended the day with 11 and 12 fish; Charlie beating me, of course.  On the car ride back, we stopped for a drink at Max’s Conch Bar, a famous Long Island joint.

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Within the next few days, the wind started blowing around 25 knots, which made the work on the house a little easier knowing the fishing would have been miserably difficult.  This was the sunrise view off of our deck as the large swells crashed against the reef.  The storm was close to making landfall.

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The inclement weather had me going crazy and all I could take photos of was my gear.  Which one would you choose?

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We enjoyed some incredible dinners at Chez Pierre, where you can get hands down the best pizza in the Bahamas (if not the world).  Pierre let me hangout in the kitchen with him and get some action shots of the Chef at work.

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Mouth watering…

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Five days later, my 12-year old brother Harrison came out with us to do some DIY bone fishing.  Man is it wild seeing how much his fly-casting has improved in such a small amount of time.  This day proved to be tough with a steady blow of 15 knot winds.  The wind most certainly didn’t scare the bones away, however, as they were tailing everywhere you looked.  Just seeing so many fish was unbelievable.  Charlie and I stalked and casted at a few big solos until his backcast spooked a school of about 50 behind us.  We had no idea they were 20 feet behind us since we were locked in on the fish in front.  I manned up and brought my Nikon on one flat with me and carefully got a few nice shots of Charlie’s bonefish.

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A little slap on the ass and she was off.

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Me and one of my bones from the day.

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And it proved to be another stellar day of bone fishing despite the mediocre weather.

On the last evening of the trip, the wind died out and a beautiful sunset showed itself.  Harrison searched for lobster whips sticking above the surface, but unfortunately he came back empty handed.

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The trip as a whole was a huge success.  Not only did we finish up our large punchbowl list of to-do items for the house, we were able to get some great bone fishing in.

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Until next time Long Island,

 

Oliver Rogers








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