PART 2 | IAN & TOM, BAHAMAS TOUROn day two of our stay at the world-famous East End Lodge, we started the day with a killer cup of coffee, warmer temperatures, clear skies, and almost zero wind. After a great dinner and bonfire with guests and staff the previous night, we really didn’t think our stay could get any better or be more productive until we saw this morning’s weather . . . the fly fishing gods were shining down upon us after hitting us with a cold spell.
After breakfast, we hopped in the Dolphin Super Skiff with head guide and lodge partner Cecil Leadon for our final day on the water. Under these ideal conditions, we headed out to the northern flats of Grand Bahama Island for what looked like a would-be day for the books. During the previous days, we saw the east side during some of the most challenging conditions, including high winds and colder temperatures.
But the East End guides and the advantage of the horn’s protection provided us unbelievable bonefishing. This proved what we had heard from all of the guide staff - that this fishery always produces and they can always get anglers into the fish. Our second day, however, was a different deal. Looking out into the ocean towards Abaco Island, it was hard to tell where the ocean stopped and the horizon began.
This was a testament to the fantastic weather that can be had throughout the entire year in the Bahamas. After a quick run, Cecil put us on a spectacular flats systems with white sand bottoms, mangrove shores, zero wind and, most importantly, 4 t0 6 pound bones. We were immediately into large schools and with Cecil’s unbelievable boatmanship and eyes, the backing sang, bringing multiple fish to the boat.
With a great morning session down and water temperatures on the rise, we moved on to deeper flats for shots at larger bonefish, a species synonymous with the east side of Grand Bahama Island. We were immediately taking shots at large single and double cruising bonefish, with a few fish lost in the mangroves, and a few brought to the boat.
We encountered a few large barracuda, which were eager to get ahold of Ian’s well-presented pattern. While we did not see any permit during our day, we could definitely tell they were around due to the incredible habitat—flats systems allowing them to feed and quickly return to deep water.
This is a truly unbelievable fishery, with hundreds of square miles of flats, a diversity of species and a remote setting to maintain healthy angling pressure. After an unbelievable day, we headed back to the lodge to grab our gear before departing for Freeport to check out the town for our final night. Arms sore and thoroughly impressed, we departed East End Lodge hoping to return soon to experience the incredible fishery and spend time with some of the best guides and staff we have seen anywhere in the Bahamas.