[Simon Gawesworth is representing the Rio side of the equation in this week’s FarBank equipment testing / photo shoot at Andros South. Here’s his report from Wednesday. It’s a good one and not your average fishing report – read on.]
I am not sure if the Weather God felt sorry for us finally, or if our customary evening toast of “more sun, less wind, more fish” actually paid off, but today it happened! The Weather God was on our side….. mostly! We had a full day of sunshine and warmth, and conditions were PDG (pretty damn good) for fish spotting. Sure, the wind still blew, but without the clouds of day 1 and 3 we at least had a chance of seeing some fish.
A consultation the night before between John Toker, Cameron Miller (our photographer) and the intrepid FarBank anglers determined we were to head South. We were warned it was an hour’s run and that it might be rough, but the promise of white sands, open flats, beautiful islands and heaps of bonefish lured us into accepting the challenge.
As usual LD, the dog, was waiting for us at the dock with a friendly wag of his tail and his usual urge to dry hump a convenient leg. His warning growl to Karen quickly turned into puppy-like frolicking as she produced some cold cuts of meat for his satisfaction and LD and John waved us off with our guides for the day, Josie and Torrie.
We gunned South (on the East side of the island) through a light swell that had us pretty drenched by the time we got to out first stop – an obscure point of land with a deepish channel running into a secluded and remote bay. As the anchors were thrown out Josie spotted a large school of bones heading towards us through the channel. Paul and I jumped out of the boat and waded quickly to intercept them. Despite both of us landing casts in front of them (and the next two huge schools that came by) we failed miserably in our attempts to persuade one of them that our shrimp really was a delicacy. They ignored everything we did and proceeded merrily, if not a little spooked, into the bay.
It was about this point that Josie noticed a large fin waving in the shallow water of the flat and pointed it out to us. The arguments raged about whether it was a marlin, a beached whale or a log so we headed over to investigate. When we got there we found a bottle nosed dolphin, lying on its side, stuck in the shallows, but alive. With some pushing and guiding Paul and Torrie managed to coax the dolphin to deeper water some two hundred yards away and we all watched as it slowly swam away. Now that was a start to the day nobody had envisaged!
The rest of the day was spent gradually heading more and more South, hitting flats and shallow bays that the guides knew. Each place we came to was full of bonefish – not just single and pairs, as we had seen before, but vast schools of them, numbering in the hundreds. Between the rod, line and clothing changes such a photo shoot requires, we all caught plenty of fish, mostly bones up to about 4 lbs, though Paul got a cracking barracuda, that Torrie gleefully landed and took home for dinner. We got the impression he felt a little hard done by that there were no dolphin steaks for dinner and that he was glad to have another source of fresh fish to take home!
The ride home took a little less time and we stayed a lot drier than our outward trip had done. We bulleted home on the West side of the Island, in the lee of the winds and in the calmer waters, watching the endless white sand flats and lush mangrove islands in awe.
I have to say that I have never seen such a beautiful flats destination as this Southern part of South Andros. White sands and dozens of small, deserted islands, with sparkling, jewel-blue water in between and hundreds and hundreds of bonefish… truly this is a paradise and an incredible saltwater destination.
As I write this short blog entry, the Westering sun sinks behind the low, late clouds, tingeing the sky in pink. As a group we sit at the Tiki bar at Andros South, rum cocktails and Kalik (the local beer) in hand and a tray of nibbles on the table in front of us. We watch over the ocean as this evening light mutes the harshness of the day’s sun and promises wonderful things for tomorrow. When John asks us where we would like to go tomorrow, the call is unanimous –“South!”