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Old 02-23-2005, 01:15 PM
BONITADNC BONITADNC is offline
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Fernandez Bay Village, Cat Island Bahamas report

I have just returned from a five day trip to this beautiful remote out island in the Bahamas. Thanks to members like Bob G for all the useful tips and choice of flies prior to my trip.
I found the resort of Fernandez Bay Village very comfortable with a very friendly and accomodating staff. I especially liked having the "honor system" at the bar. It made life easy to just go to the bar, pour yourself a rum punch, and just enter the drink on your ticket to be charged to your room. (very relaxing atmosphere)
The beach was beautiful and the setting just ideal. The kayaks (free to use), were great to head off to the nearby creek just south of the property to bonefish, or paddle out to the rocks a few hundred yards offshore to snorkel.
The food was excellent and served buffet style. There were normally two entree's a night (one meat dish -lamb curry, chicken,beef tenderloin etc.) - and one seafood dish - grouper, lobster, conch etc.) There was also plenty of delicious salad, bread rolls and a tasty dessert. No matter whether you were the first in line or the last, there was plenty of food. I went back for seconds every night. For those of you who like a respectable wine list, there was enough to choose from in both red and white - reasonably priced too.
As far as the acommodation goes, my wife and I rented the "beach house" with sister and brother in law (two bedrooms-one on each end, with a kitchen/living room in the middle). It was all very comfortable being right on the water. Listening to the water plash on up the beach while you slept took some getting used to though.
All the bathrooms/shower at the resort were outside of your room. The bathroom walls were about five feet high, then it was open to the outside for about two feet, until the roof began. In my bathroom one morning, I decided to reach for the gotcha fly I had left on the top of the wall the previous evening only to come within about 18 inches from the face of a four foot boa constrictor. Yes folks, I nearly soiled myself!!! Well, as you can imagine my wife started using her sisters bathroom. The snake was removed, and all was good again - so we thought!!! Apon entering the bathroom after being on the water all day, we found the snakes mate wrapped around the shower head!!!! This snake was also removed, but my wife was up all night with a flashlight, scowering the walls - and yes, the bathroom at night was a non starter!!! I did mention in comments to the resort that I couldn't understand why the open area was not screened in, to make a critter free enviroment. No telling what was near my legs when I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night in the prior three evenings.
I did fish Smiths bay just north of the resort. Went by bicycle. Vletas's book was right - not alot of fish due to angling pressure. It looked really fishy though. Only a few fish seen - had a shot at two and missed. I did enjoy a few good cigars out on the water and no one else was to be seen.
Renting cars and driving was a non starter as it would have taken about an hour to get up to Bob G's famous orange creek. I decided to do what I could by biking, walking or kayaking within a few miles of the resort.
I spent some time on the creek just south of the resort. This was a good spot to fish (Remember I didn't see any huge schools of fish, but staggered pairs and single). The creek system here is divided into about three or four channels. There are alot of fish up in here, but you just have to work the tide and use a kayak to find the fish. The creek was very narrow, but did offer some good spots to park the kayak and wade. I have to tell BobG that the orange silli puff was denied twice!!!! I went back to the dependable Gotcha!!! As the fish were not in huge schools, I wanted every shot to count. Tan and pink gotchas were also refused. I caught a few fish here, the biggest being about 7lb. My wife was also with me (she likes to accompany me and sun tan while I fish). We drank our share of Kaliks and I also enjoyed a few premium cigars.
On the last day we decided to ride our bikes ($7.00 a day) south to New Bight and find the lagoon Vletas said held some tarpon and bones. The directions from his book were right on. One change I would make, is that once you find the dirt road north of the Bridge Inn (sign for Inn on the road), you need to follow the dirt road north between the two lagoons. Go about 3/4 mile until you see three white rental houses on your left hand side of the road (only houses there!!!) About twenty yards after the third house, take a left on another dirt road. Go about 200 yards and you will come to the entrance of the lagoon into the ocean. Wow!, what a private beach. Friends, the bones were stacked up here like "cord wood". They disappeared when the tide went out. There was a sandy wadable flat here where the lagoon met the ocean. I stood on the rocks, and I swear I could see 'em coming from about 200 yards away. I know one fish I saw just before a cloud came and ruined my shot at it, must have gone 10 to 15 lb. The lagoon is narrow (about 50yards wide) and a couple hundred yards long, but a fun place to fish. Once again they hit the gotcha every time.
I did make it to the North shore one day. Beautiful area. Not much in the way of fishing - did alot of snorkling- I was also there on incoming tide. I caught a few little snappers on a green and white clouser and also hooked briefly about a 20lb barracuda. Glad I lost him - no telling what he would have done to my fly line around the coral!!

All in all a great trip. I hope this post helps anyone wanting to visit this beautiful island. Tight lines,
Mike D
****Not all fisherman are liars,
But some liars do fish****

Last edited by BONITADNC; 02-24-2005 at 10:25 AM..
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Old 02-23-2005, 02:20 PM
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widdoes widdoes is offline
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Thanks Mike

Sounds like a very fun trip (even the snakes will be amusing in time). Thanks for sharing the details with us. Any pics?
-Wild John
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Old 02-23-2005, 03:02 PM
BONITADNC BONITADNC is offline
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Pics!!!

I hope to have a few pics up tonight. A good one of the snake climbing the wall of the shower!!!!
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Old 02-23-2005, 06:01 PM
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Mark Dougherty Mark Dougherty is offline
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Is there a web site for this lodge ? Sounds like a great place..looking forward to the pic's
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Old 02-24-2005, 08:27 AM
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BobG BobG is offline
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Thumbs up

Mike,

I'm so glad to hear you and your wife enjoyed Cat Island. Those out islands have a charm all their own, and it's difficult to describe unless you've been there to experience it.
I'm crushed to hear my Sili-puff was refused! That was a "go-to" fly on my last trip there, and Willard is still taking fish on them at Orange Creek.

Speaking for myself, I never found any of those tarpon Vletas mentioned in his book.
You know Mike, and anyone else interested in this place, Cat is a very fragile place ecologically speaking. Pretty much all the bonefishing is confined to the many creek systems which are scattered throughout the island. Since really nobody offers guide services in these areas, an ocean kayak seems the way to go. Some of those creek systems are vast. Also, due to large, muddy areas, wading is difficult, and often dangerous. Having the ability to paddle way up into these creeks will virtually open you up to virgin waters. I'm convinced most bonefish on Cat never get fished at all.
What is so great about Orange Creek is, it's all hard bottom, and wading is easy. If you get caught on an incoming tide, you can wade the mangroves back to a road (it's like Marine boot camp) and walk back to your car.

Mike, GREAT REPORT!
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Old 02-24-2005, 09:52 PM
distant angler distant angler is offline
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Thumbs up fernandez bay

that is a beautiful place!
is donna and mark still there?
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Old 02-24-2005, 11:21 PM
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Henry Henry is offline
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Location: Oshawa, Ontario Canada on the north central shore of Lake Ontario
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Great report,

Cat Island is on my "short-list" of bonefishing destinations. It'll be especially interesting bringing our inflatable kayak there. Sounds like there are just loads of out of the way places to snoop around for bones.

Henry
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Henry Will Catching bones is great...but the real fun and excitement for me is the "Game" and just being there.
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Old 02-25-2005, 08:12 AM
BONITADNC BONITADNC is offline
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Yes, Donna and Mark are still there. Mark was not too pleased that I got the info about the lagoon south of the resort from Vletas's bonefish book. I think all the DIY anglers take business from him. I don't know about the rest of you, but I have a hard time paying $300 a day for a guide, when I can explore on my own even if I catch less fish.
Henry - inflatable kayaks would be great at FBV although they do provide free double and single ocean pro kayaks for you to use. Like Bob G said, the sand is a little soft, but it is wadable about everywhere at FBV even in the mangroves in the creeks. You sometimes sink 2 to 4 inches.
Mike
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