Shaking the winter chill in Abaco in April
By the time March rolls around, I am done with the Massachusetts winter. I have passed the time as best I could, and light is at the end of the tunnel. I know my boat will be going in sometime during mid-May, but I always need something to curb the urge. This past April I pacified the desire with a trip to Abaco in the Bahamas to chase Bones on the marls (flats). This was not my first time to the area, but it was the first time my company Cast Away Fishing Adventures offered this particular trip on our destination trip menu. The trip consisted of 3 planned fishing days, all on the crystal-clear marls, sight fishing for Bonefish.
For those of who might be unfamiliar, the marls of Abaco are a 200 square mile area of pristine flats with Bonefish willing and able to test your gear, and your wits. It is an absolutely unreal fishery challenged by really only two factors I could determine – wind and sunlight. However, our guide was amazing and put us on fish even on the most challenging of the 3 days. Over the course of 3 fishing days we only saw 2 other boats, 4 total other anglers.
Bonefish are in a class of their own. That is why they sit atop most fly fisherman’s bucket list. They are explosive. Smart. Strong. Deceiving. Hard to see. They literally embody every characteristic that makes up the perfect game fish. I haven’t caught every saltwater fish in the world, but I have caught a range of species all the way up to Giant Blue Fin Tuna (not on the fly) – and Bonefish rival any species pound for pound.
We go on these trips armed with 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 weight outfits. Given the windier conditions this year, we relied on the 9 weight outfits. I always reach out to my guides before the trip and ask for recommendations on types of flies. Per his feedback, the RiverBum flies we brought down this year were:
- Mangrove Critter
- Kung FU Crab (Brown-Olive)
- Blue Crab
- Orange Bearded Mantis Shrimp (Tan)
- EP’s Improved Spawning Shrimp (Beadchain Eye)
The fan favorite was the EP’s Improved Spawning Shrimp.