Experienced anglers and our good friends, Julie and J.P. Albrecht, signed on to do a true exploratory trip in the Bahamas aboard the Destiny II with their children Abby and Tyler. In June, they left from Georgetown in the Exumas and traveled sailed to the remote and pristine Jumento Cays (home of legendary Ragged Island). On their trip, they explored numerous small cays and islands vis snorkeling, beachcombing and of course, fishing. As you can see from their report, they had a great time!. If you are a flats fisherman and this report doesn't spark your imagination, you should probably take up another sport! (Please notice the photo of Abby with bonefish swimming all around her!!)
Thanks Julie and J.P. for sharing your report! By the way, we will be doing a few trips to this area in the Fall of 2011 and again in the Spring of 2012, so give us a call if you want more information. Here is their report:
Great trip. It was fun, safe and full of adventure. My family loves our boating vacations (and our Costa Rican adventures). The snorkeling was spectacular with many schools of fish (and cuda and a few sharks). The Jumetos Cays are a special place- rugged and wild. Perfect.
The whole family enjoyed every snorkel. The blue holes around Water Cay were pretty cool and also full of fish. Great snorkeling spots seemed to be found at each anchorage. The whole family had an epic day on the flats that was a real trip (life) highlight. The kids started by spending about 30 minutes finding several sand dollars, then spent 30 minutes or so looking for conch and getting close to mating nurse sharks, then spent a couple hours reeling in lots (they will tell you 17...who knows...over 10 each for sure) of bonefish. It was fun for Julie and I to see the kids eyes light up each time a bonefish made its first run. They couldn't believe how fast the bonefish could swim and how fast the fly reel spun. They also had no idea how slimy a bonefish could be. Releasing the fish, and watching them swim away was a family highlight.
After the kids tired of catching bonefish they put on their goggles and had an incredible time snorkeling with the schools of bonefish. The process was simple. After approaching a school of bonefish the kids would basically float in knee deep water and the nearby school would come and swim circles around them. At one time I believe there were easily more than 100 bonefish and 4 small lemon sharks encircling the kids. Even when Julie caught a couple of the bones from the encircling school, the bonefish did not alter course. The kids loved watching the underwater action. A great way to spend an hour.
The kids then moved on to the edge of a creek channel directly behind us to do some more fish watching. For about an hour the kids stayed put. It was mid tide plus with the tide coming in. I had to keep radioing Dave to postpone our dinghy pickup time because we were having so much fun. (Julie and I were also still catching bonefish). When it was time for us to get picked up the kids told us they saw lots of fish swim by in the creek channel. The kids also say they saw a school of permit. I don't know. I did hear Abby yell to Tyler 'Permit'! They know what permit are but could have confused them with jacks.
What a great first bonefish experience for the kids. If your first date was with a super model would you still appreciate it? No doubt the kids had a great time and Julie and I sure enjoyed watching their growing excitement. On the reef we caught mostly cuda, but did manage a nice Jack and a very tasty mutton snapper. I likely reeled in over 30+ cuda while trolling from anchorage to anchorage. Why do 'cuda get such a bad rap to catch? Even I was guilty of saying 'oh no, not another 'cuda...'. These 'cuda were decent enough sized, made the reel scream and often put on an aerial display. Oh well, I wish I was reeling in a 'cuda right now. The mutton snapper was my family's favorite meal. Dave also speared a couple hogfish that were delicious. We enjoyed finding hogfish when we snorkeled. That is a weird looking fish. Finding conch was not a problem. Fresh conch is also delicious. We never cracked the blue water code. The Destiny II is a great boat, and it was great to see Dave and Trish again. Felt like we were sailing with friends. I believe everyone enjoyed. My family sure did. Some pictures from the trip are attached.