May 31, 2012

On The Coast Of Somewhere Beautiful; Nassau Bahamas

We just got back from an amazing adventure in the Bahamas. My wife and I, Along with her parents headed down for some relaxing, beaches, take in the culture, and of course a little fishing. The flight to Nassau was very enjoyable looking down on the artwork that Mother Nature has created. It was very inspiring and made for a great start to the trip.
Once we landed, we took a 45 minute shuttle ride to the Atlantis Resort. Exploring the hundreds of acres of this resort is an adventure all its own. They have some of the largest aquariums in the worlds with thousands of fish to see up close. Some of my favorites were the Sawfish, Goliath Grouper, all of the different sharks, and my number one most wanted; the Tarpon. I also took the chance to pet a nurse shark, but I don't think I was supposed to. The resort also has a water park called aquaventure that has numerous pools, water slides and my favorite, the mile long lazy river that has white water and a tidal wave section. The tube ride that ends with you floating through the shark aquarium is also fantastic. They also had great food there, but it came at a price. My favorite place at the resort was Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill. We had melt-in-your-mouth grouper and mahi-mahi as well as the best pork tenderloin I have ever tasted.
After we spent a several hours enjoying the resort, we got ready and headed to the Kenny Chesney Concert that night. To me, hearing him sing his songs in the Bahamas would be like watching elves make toys at the North Pole; in their element! It was a great show and very layed back. He didn't have a set list of songs, so many that he sang were requests from the crowd. His songs take me back to many fishing memories and vacations with friends and family.
The next day we went into Nassau and explored a bit. We ate at a place called Twin Brothers at the fish fry recommended by locals. It was great food as well and you should check it out if you go to Nassau. We had conch salad which is addicting, as well as grouper fingers and cracked conch. We also walked around down town Nassau and the straw market. The straw market is isle after isle of the same stuff for the most part. This is where you can haggle if you're into that.
While we were there, I booked a fishing trip with Bonefish Simon. He had good reviews and is known for getting his clients on the fish. He handed me a fly rod and I trolled under a bridge for some tarpon bait. I quickly landed three running jacks, which were the first saltwater fish I've ever caught with a fly rod. We then headed to some flats to go after bonefish. Unfortunately, the weather was not ideal to go after bonefish. We had wind and cloud cover which made sight fishing the flats impossible for me. Simon was able to hone in on some and I went with the spinning rod, since I lacked the skill to make accurate casts in the wind with a fly rod. Simon would tell me where to cast, and you had to be right on. I missed my first few attempts, but soon had one that was on the money. I felt my rod tip start to bend and so I set the hook and the fight was on! These bonefish have such great power and they make incredibly long runs. I finally got him to the boat and held my first ever bonefish! This is a species I had wanted to catch for a long time. My Father-in-law snapped a few pictures and I released him back into the water. That was quite an experience! While we were at this spot, we saw a U.S. Coast Guard chopper flying low, back and forth looking for something. They seemed like they were onto someone, and we was them hover very close to the water from a distance. I bet it was drugs or something. Either way, it was interesting to watch.
We then headed into a shallow lake that had schools of bonefish cruising along the edges. You could see them coming because to the wake they would make on the water. My Father-in-law hooked into one here, getting a good fight, but lost him around some debris.
We then headed on a trip that took us around the entire island of Nassau. The fishing was slow, but the sights and beaches were unreal! We did hit a few more schools in front of some popular resorts where I hooked into my last fish of the day. This bonefish made several runs, but I was able to land him for my second and last bonefish. We tried for tarpon, and saw several, but we didn't have any takers. All-in-all, we traveled around more than we fished, but I liked the experience and seeing the entire island.
The rest of the time we spent on the beaches soaking up the sun and stunning views. While swimming at one of the beaches, we had a school of small Permit come in. They were as curious of us as we were of them, and they would even swim up and bump your legs in the water. This was such a relaxing trip and the resort is well worth a visit if you've been thinking about it.
The best views on any flight I've been on!

The Atlantis Resort.
Getting up close and personal with some nurse sharks.

No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems! Kenny Chesney put on a great show.

Of the thousands of fish at Atlantis, This massive Goliath Grouper was one of my favorite.

My favorite place to eat off of the resort.

Conch salad quickly became a dish I craved.
Holy Centipede Batman! This was not at Twin Brothers.

A running jack. My first saltwater catch on a fly rod. He became bait to tarpon.

Hitting the flats with Bonefish Simon.

Landing my first and biggest Bonefish!

One more shot.

When I picture my happy place, it looks something like this...

Another fish on!

Second and last bonefish of the day.

Open-air fish market
The Bahamas have the nicest beaches I have ever seen.
This little guy was a gymnist on the leaves.

Last sunset of the trip. I hope to see you again soon!

1 comment:

  1. What an awesome trip. Those waters just look fishy.