View Full Version : Do it Yourself Bonefish

07-23-2004, 02:05 PM
Anyone who has had a good or bad experience on their own tell me about it. Beginning to plan a trip and don't know where i want to go. Done it myself at boca paila twice, hired a guide once. i can vouch that it is a good place.


Mark Dougherty
07-24-2004, 09:09 AM
Some thoughts: 1st, depending on your experience level, a guide may be the way to go for at least a portion of the trip. I have fished Andros guided and Abaco guided. Last trip to Cherokee, Abaco Island I guided 3 days and DIY for 3 days. I used an independent guide whom I consider a good friend and the best in the business. My 3 days of DIY were great....my guide directed me to the DIY locations...indeed we recon'd and fished the areas first...I suspect most guides will just point in the general direction of good DIY water and wish you luck....There are some very reasonable yet spartan accomodations in Cherokee and I recommend a local lady cook the evening meal...I put on 10 pounds....cost was $15 a night for the best Bahamian fare I ever tasted !!! House was fully equiped and cost $75 a night...boat dock was 25 yards away from the house (no rental car needed).....let me know if I can be of assistance in any way....Mark :-%

08-10-2004, 08:56 AM
Hi rugeley,

I have been lucky enough to fish with and without a guide. I have also fished with the best and the worst guide of the Spanish speaking world :brow
The fact that you pay for the guide service does not necessarily mean that you will get service worth your investment! So in order to avoid the fiasco with a guided tour you either investigate, interrogate, check and verify or.. take a lot of beer with you.... :-%

When it comes to fishing on your own I think that you have to search your soul and honestly answer a question... How good am I?

* How good am I ... to find the right fly? Some of the them just know it... you call it experience, intuition, knowledge... whatever it is .. they just know. This is something that can be helped by reading books and magazines, listening to experienced fisherman, asking the locals.

* How good am I .... to see the signs? Can I see the nervous waters, tailing fish or mudding? Without these skills one is pretty powerless.

* How good am I .... to spot the fish under the water? Polarized glasses or not some of us just do not see them. Personally I have big problems with that. I can spot a tailing fish from 500 yards (OK, it happened once) but I can pass by a fish, which stands still just 20 feet away.

How patient am I? Am I of a type that rushes form place to place if I nothing happens for 10 minutes or am I able to sit down and wait? While fishing Abacos this spring I encountered fish periodically. For hours I have been wading without seeing a single tail... and then I could be fishing for 2 - 3 hours constantly.

A guide will usually give you access to a boat and will be able to transport you swiftly between the hot spots. When you're on your own you either do not have a boat - then the patience is a prerequisite. If you are fortunate enough to have a boat to your disposition ... then the next problem will be .. where am I supposed to fish and will I find the spot? We had GPS in Abaco and a rented boat but it took us two attempts to find Snake Cays :rolleyes:

I think that how you do will depend on a bit of luck, your experience and skills and how well you are prepared. It is not easy to catch a fish if you do not know how and where.

On the other hand if you do it yourself the total experience and the sense of achievement are great.

Peter Ross