Eventful Fall Bahamas Family Fly Fishing Trip

Abaco Bonefish

The first week of our annual family Bahamas Bonefishing Trip has been a wild one. We have had all types of weather, more flights than we bargained for, and some good fishing.

Bahamas Bonefish

We have been coming to the Bahamian Island of Abaco now since 1993, staying in a variety of locals from Marsh Harbor to Sandy Point and even Moores Island. Children have been in the picture for the past 7 years and we have really enjoyed the small settlement of Casuarina Point.

Casuarina has a great beach, walk and boat to fishing, and numerous house rentals that will accommodate small and large groups. This year we were joined by another family of six so there were a total of 10 of us. Kathy Heacock has two very nice beach side homes, easily the nicest in Casuarina. You can view them at AbacoPalms.com. The homes come fully equipped with every thing you need including a van, boat and sea kayaks that you can use to explore fishing, diving or touring the island of Abaco. There are other homes for rent on the beach as well, some quite inexpensive and designed for 1-5 budget minded anlgers.

We arrived on the 26th flying in from West Palm Beach via Portland and Houston on the red eye. The first couple of days were spent enjoying the beach and getting supplies. The grocery store in Marsh Harbor is really much improved, and although it’s very expensive it does allow you to get outfitted with most things you might want. We usually augment things with cooler from home as checked luggage maxed out at 50lbs with quality meat and other pre-prepped meals. The rest of the group arrived on the 28th and quickly settled in beaching, snorkeling, fishing, and going guided fishing with JR’s Albury of JR’s BonefishAbaco.

Bahamas bonefish release

Both JR and his nephew Robin are excellent guides and take us to the middle Marls a short car ride and then boat ride out to an area of about 50 square miles of flats, mangroves, and plenty of unspoiled bonefishing.

Middle Marls Bahamas

Bonefish Release

We had five children in the group this year so Halloween must go on. One of our guides/friend Robin also has a 4 year old so we met his wife and son for a quick trick or treat around Cherokee Sound. Cherokee is a village of 150 folks. Like Casuarina it has a great beach, and walk to Bonefishing out front. The people of Casuarina are very friendly and we walked around town with 30 others going from house to house filling our makeshift trick or treat bags. It had been raining all day and the evening broke just in time for pirates to get out and collect their booty.

Halloween in the Bahamas

Halloween Abaco Island Bahamas

A couple more days of Bahamas fun and then things got interesting. Our son Cash loses his balance and launches himself backwards off the bed landing squarely and the floor. The back of his head meeting the tile way to hard. The sound resembles dropping a bowling ball from 20 feet onto a tile or concrete surface. Everyone in the house jumps and runs to him. He cries for a while but seems fine and goes about his day playing on the beach with the other kids.

At 4pm Cash has his first bout of headache coupled with vomiting. Two more of these bouts and we call to the Marsh Harbor Clinic for some consult. By 8pm we are off to the clinic were a local Doctor has a look at him. Although there is nothing conclusive, the possibility of a swelling/bleeding brain is present. The the doc recommends we get a CT Scan as soon as possible. Time is critical with regard to head injuries so we get to work on making that happen as soon as possible. The folks at the clinic in Marsh Harbor were very helpful and kept the clinic open until 12:30am that night for us. From 8:30pm to 12:30 we coordinated an exit to Jo Dimaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood Florida.

In Marsh Harbor medical technology is limited and the closest local for a CT scan is Nassau. We figured if we were going to get flown somewhere it may as well be a U.S hospital where our insurance might have a shot at covering something.

At 12:30am the lights were flicked on at the Marsh Harbor Airport so a learjet operated by Trinity Air Ambulance could pick us up and take us to Florida.

Now this blows the fishing budget for about 10 years unless you have some sort of evacuation insurance. If you travel to places were you may need medical attention in a hurry please get Diver’s Alert Network Accident Insurance. DAN’s service was amazing, they coordinated the flight, transport to the hospital from the tarmac in Ft. Lauderdale, the entrance to the ER and additional medical advice. In addition they covered the cost of coming back to the Bahamas to meet the rest of our group and finish out our trip.

We were admitted to the ER in Hollywood Florida. Dr. Peter Antevy was great, and immediately got the CT scan. A concussion, no bleeding or swelling, whew!! Out of the ER by 7am. A kind nurse transports us to the Miami Airport where we catch the American Flight back to Marsh Harbor. By 3:30pm we are on the beach. Slightly strung out as we saw every minute of November 2nd.


Beach Bonefish abaco

Highlights of the trip so far are obviously having a child without a head injury. Watching 20,000 Bonefish pass by in one day and only catching 20 of them. Pete’s Pub in Little Harbor (a must see bar/restaurant). Beaching in the sun with the perfect amount of wind to keep the bugs down. Watching your son reel in a bonefish on the beach with his new spinning rod.

Gear Used on This Trip

Bonefishing is an excellent test of your equipment and this year I had a chance to try some new gear. The new Sage One Rod specifically the 9’6″ 7wt 4pc, Nautilus N/V 10/11 Reel with G9 Spool and Mastery Textured Saltwater fly line became the preferred outfit.

Bonefish Gear

Bonefishing Bahamas Sage One Fly Rods

Nautilus Reels Bonefish

The Sage 9ft 7wt Xi3, Sage 8’9″ 5wt Xi3, Rio Bonefish lines and Rio Bonefish leaders also performed well.

Best flies for Abaco Bonefishing
Barrett’s Four Eyed Charlies
Pink Puff
Hairy Legged Bonefish Toad
Permit Crab

Barrett's Bonefish Tarantula Hairy Legged Toad

This entry was posted in Fishing Reports, Fly Fishing Gear Review, Fly Fishing Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Eventful Fall Bahamas Family Fly Fishing Trip

  1. Tom Lambert says:

    Glad your sons ok, what a great looking trip. I’ve been to Rickmon Lodge, very nice place. Awesome bone fishing. Regards, Tom

  2. rick allen says:

    I’m glad your O.K Cash! Talk about a scary Halloween! Eeeeek!

  3. rick allen says:

    Oh yeah, Nice fish kid!

  4. David Jensen says:

    Glad you are upright and fishing. Tell your dad I’ve got a hockey helmet to loan you for next year. Tell your Grandpa, Harold, hello.
    Tight lines, tight loops.

  5. Kathleen Walker says:

    Hi – Sounds like an eventful vacation. Kids can add that element of “excitement”. We were thinking of booking the smaller beach house Kathy H has in Causarina. We live in Sandy, OR. I would love to get some more info on visiting the area and fishing, snorkeling, etc. Please let me know. Thanks!

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