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Grey's Point, Acklins Island, Bahamas 01-22-1998

"Brad Wolfe visited this destination in January. Instead of giving you the company propaganda, we thought we would let you hear his first-hand account.

"I had made casts like this many times before. No problem - 40 feet, I tried to tell myself as I began my false casting. This, however, was no ordinary cast. In my sights was the largest bonefish I had ever been this close to in my ten years of chasing this magical fish. I measured a couple of false casts and tried to gently land the size 2 gotcha in front of the big fellow. The fly came down with just the right amount of splash about two feet in front of the fish. Amazingly, before the fly hit the bottom, the bonefish was on it. He lit up, completely believing that a shrimp from heaven just materialized out of nothing. He sucked it into his big mouth and began to move away. I strip struck putting the point of the hook in his mouth and then absolutely freaked.

He bolted off the flat leaving my reel screaming. For over a minute he blazed off the flat towards the deep channel, not once slowing down. I began calling to my partner for help. I was sure I was going to need a hand landing this critter. The fish finally stopped running at about 230 yards and I began to work him back in. I glanced down at my reel and noticed the black patina of the anodizing shining through with maybe 25-30 yards of backing left on the reel. I felt pretty lucky that he stopped when he did.

I fought him back and forth for about 10-15 more minutes before he finally came to hand. I had my buddy shoot a few photos and we taped a couple of measurements. I slowly revived the great fish and sent him swimming on his way. I was surprised later that day when the measurements we had taken (32 x 18.5) yielded 13.69 pounds! The really incredible thing was that this was the afternoon of our arrival day and we had just walked out in front of the lodge - not 500 yards from our room! So began our trip at Grey's Point Inn on Acklins Island in the southern Bahamas.

The remainder of our trip turned out to be just about as good as the beginning. We had great weather and the guides were able to put us on fish at almost every location we went to visit. The flats are vast and unfished. The bonefish are generally large (average size about 4 lbs) and unsophisticated. A properly placed cast almost always yielded a fish.

Part of the charm of the place is that almost all of the fishing is done while wading, just you and the fish. The flats are sandy and usually hard with losts of rich prey species visible. My traveling companion, Cape Cod Orvis-endorsed guide, Gilbert Berke was very successful with a variety of shrimp patterns and gotchas. I suspect that almost any buggy-looking fly would work with these untrained fish.

The lodge was very clean and comfortable. You must remember, however, that this island is remote and this is not a four star-type resort. They have a phone and electrical power, as well as, an efficient cistern water system. All the meals are home-cooked and fresh from the sea. In fact, one day we caught some tasty fish in one of the channels and had the cook, Lavonda, make a dinner of them. Grey's Point Inn is a remarkable spot. We tallied well over a hundred fish and landed fish 13.6 lbs, 10.4 lbs and several in the 6-8 lb range. We also caught large cuda, one of which was 48 inches long and weighed in at 25 lbs! If you're thinking of a bonefishing trip and want to get off the beaten path, consider trying Grey's Point Inn. Don't miss the opportunity to contribute to the education of these needy bonefish!

Brad Wolfe is the owner and operator of Wellesley Outdoors, a full line Orvis fly shop in the Boston suburb of Wellesley. Feel free to call him for information anytime (617) 237-5554.

A new modern lodge will be completed later this year and the new flats boats will greatly expand fishing opprtunities. The Acklins Island flats, most of which can be waded with bare feet, are incredible both for their size and for numbers of very large bonefish. Come and meet the great team at Acklins Island, and experience one of the Bahamas finest "off the beaten path" bonefish opportunities.

Written by Brad Wolfe



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