Capt. Rick Grassett's Andros South, Bahamas Fishing Report
Capt. Rick Grassett
May 18, 2008
Andros - Saltwater Fishing Report
I hosted a group of 9 other anglers during the week of May 3rd through 10th at Andros South Bonefish Lodge on South Andros in the Bahamas. This was my 6th trip to Andros and my 3rd visit to Andros South, one of the best lodges that I have visited anywhere. My brother, Kirk Grassett from Middletown, DE, Bill King from Osprey, FL, Hal Lutz from Parrish, FL, Walt Durkin from Tampa, FL, Frank Rhodes from Auburndale, FL, Harry Davis and Dan Combs from Dalton, GA and Richard Miller and David Dempsey from Atlanta, GA joined me for the week.
The group met at the Ft. Lauderdale International Airport on Saturday morning and anxiously awaited our 1-hour Lynx Air flight over to Congo Town. The level of anticipation was high as group members swapped stories, compared flies and checked their gear over. After arriving, we were picked up at the airport and driven 20-minutes south to the lodge. Andros South is located in the settlement of Kemp's Bay on the eastern shore of South Andros Island in the western Bahamas. South Andros is the southernmost portion of Andros Island, the largest and least-inhabited island in the Bahamas.
South Andros is flanked to the east by The Tongue of the Ocean, a deep-water trough that drops to more than five thousand feet not more than a mile offshore. Along the edge of the drop lies the third largest barrier reef in the world. South Andros Island itself is riddled with innumerable tidal creeks and inland flats, all home to hundreds of thousands of hungry bonefish.
After getting settled, we learned that legendary singer and songwriter, Jimmy Buffett and a few friends would also be visiting for most of the week. Although they would be staying on his 130-foot yacht, the Continental Drifter III, they would be sharing guides with us. Jimmy's yacht arrived on Saturday afternoon followed by his Grumman Goose and Cessna Caravan float planes and private jet. Although we never had a chance to meet him, we did meet his 1st mate Brian and had numerous fly bys during the week. Frank and I along with our guide, Fredlon, drove up to the yacht, anchored off Jackfish Channel, on the way back to the lodge one afternoon and were in awe of the huge yacht and the Hell's Bay Marquesas flats boat tethered to its stern. Although we hoped to meet and share a Landshark beer with him, it was fun keeping up with their daily catches through guides Josie and Charlie.
We had a lot of fun during the week. Fishing was fantastic some days and just like anywhere else, was slow a few days. Most anglers averaged 4 or 5 fish per person per day. Some of the best parts of the trip were the fantastic meals, sharing a cool drink at the Slack Tide Tiki bar each evening and swapping fish tales.
Some of the more memorable events of the week were when Richard jumped an 85-pound tarpon on a bonefish fly with an 8-weight while fishing with guide Lonix. Richard and Dan also had non-stop action while wading a lagoon with Torrie one day. Richard and I fished the Jackfish Channel flats, Water and Curly Cut Cays with guide Fredlon on our last day and had lots of action. We doubled several times while working a large school of bones at the Water Cays. David and Harry fished with guide Torrie one day and David landed a memorable 4-pounder that ran into the mangroves but was still landed. Harry also had a good day that day landing a 7-pound fish, one of the largest of the trip. David and Harry encountered some permit while fishing with guide Ellie and Harry saved the day by grabbing Ellie's push pole out of mid air as it bounced out of the boat while they were running.
Hal and Bill fished a few days with guide Torrie and Hal landed a 4-pound bone on his first day with his new Orvis Helios rod. Bill also caught a nice bonefish of 4 ½ -pounds that snuck up on them while they were targeting tarpon. My brother Kirk and I fished together with guide Josie on the first day. We waded all morning long on a large flat in Grassy Creek and encountered a large school of bones on a point. Kirk caught a big single that day and together we caught and released 12 to 15 quality fish. Kirk also caught a couple of big ‘cudas on top water plugs with spinning tackle. Josie was cleaning one at the boat when a big shark charged from under the boat cutting the ‘cuda in half only 10" from his hand!
Dan caught 4 nice bonefish out of one school while fishing with Harry and guide Josie. He also fished with guide Norman one day and got some helpful casting tips. Walt had several good days. He landed a 5' blacktip shark one day and hooked another that had to be over 7' in length and more than 100-pounds on a popper with a 10-weight rod while he and I fished with guide Lonix. He also hooked a legitimate double digit bonefish one day. Walt and Kirk fished with guide Ellie and had nonstop action with a school of over 500 bonefish on a point. They also encountered some tailing permit that day.
Frank and I had one of the best days of the trip when we fished the "airplane flat" on the southwest corner of Andros with guide Fredlon. The broad flat, which is well offshore of Fish Key, has a crashed airplane on it left over from past drug smuggling days. We fished one of the largest schools of bonefish that I have ever seen-thousands of fish! We caught about 30 fish each for the day and most were 3-pounds or more. Frank stood in one spot and cast 17 times and landed 17 bones-a great day! David and I had a good day fishing the west side with guide Norman. One of the more memorable fish was when Dan and I fished Grassy Creek with guide Timothy. I cast to 3 large bonefish that were cruising a mangrove shoreline on a flood tide. A wind gust pushed the end of my fly line over a small mangrove bush just as I released the cast, but that didn't stop the biggest fish in the group from charging and eating my Peterson's Spawning Shrimp fly. Then the real fun began as the fish weaved its way through another 5 or 6 mangrove bushes. I bailed out of the boat and ran the fish down finally landing it way up in the mangroves!
A few other memorable events of the trip were the multiple "blue holes" with sharks, tarpon, jacks, ‘cudas and more in them, Gloria's cooking, taking care of LD (short for Little Dog) with leftovers at Little Creek each day, stalking big bonefish singles, doubles and massive schools. Torrie saying at the end of the day, can't you hear that sound, "Kalik-Kalik", coming from the cooler? Frank has been to many fishing destinations around the world and he rates Andros South as one of the best lodges he has visited. All in all it was a great trip. I can't wait to go back again next year! I should have a full slide show posted on my web site within the next few days.
Capt. Rick Grassett
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
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