This past week Larry Zarrella and I had the opportunity to spend 3 days with Rick at his Grandma’s house on Chub Cay. Northeast winds of up to 35 mph hit our face each day, as well as a consistent dark cloud cover. Conditions like this would normally spell disaster on your typical Bahamian bonefish trip, however, I must say, this was one world class experience that I won’t soon forget.
We boarded Rick’s Cessna at Tamiami airport at 8 am, and, after a short 40 minute flight, the dirt strip was in sight. A quick check through Customs and then a 20 minute ride to other end of the island brought us to Grammy’s.
Rick’s Grandfather built this house in 1972. It has stood the test of time and several hurricanes, and is perfectly situated on the lee side of the island, facing miles of white sand and grass flats that rarely ever see a skiff (in 3 days of fishing we never saw another fisherman). A Hewes Redfisher is kept at the house, and is luxurious by Bahamian standards.
What I really loved about this trip was the flexibility and that we weren’t tied to a “lodge schedule”. Andros Island Bonefish Club has for years been my favorite Bahamian destination, and I’ll continue to go there to fish with Rupert and Nick and chase those famous west side giants. But the feel at Grammy’s place was totally different.
The first day we ran literally 300 yards from the house to the “Grammy Flat”. Larry’s first cast produced a nice 9 1/2 lb. weight fish, and, two hours later, we had caught 10 bones from shots at singles, pairs, and schools. I waded, Larry stayed on the boat, and it was just an incredible start! Rick then insisted we run over to an inshore reef to catch dinner. On the first cast using a gulp shrimp I caught a 10 lb cubera, then Rick caught a 5 lb yellowtail, then Larry caught a nice 12 lb mutton – dinner is served.
After a great day of fishing the second day, we got back to the house, dropped Rick off to clean the night’s dinner, and Larry and I went back out to bonefish. Flexibility. The tide was huge in the morning, so we slept in. Dinner was fish, so we caught it. Snapper ala Kathy, fried snapper, ceviche, sashimi. The trip was just perfect.
The last morning, we woke to clear and sunny skies, and only a 15 knot wind. We took the time to make another incredible big country breakfast, and, knowing the tide would be falling at about 10 AM, we made the run out to one of the many big fish flats. Rick poled for about two minutes when the first tailer was spotted, then another, then another – to my amazement, the white sand flat that I was looking at, which stretched at least two miles, contained an uncountable number of bonefish. I’m talking hundreds, singles, schools of 50, 100, just unreal. We all jumped out and had one of the most incredible two hours of bonefishing I can ever remember.
I was also very impressed by the size of the fish on Chub. I did not catch a bone that didn’t take me into my backing. The fish there are typically 4-7 lbs., with the opportunity to catch big 10 lb. plus giants. Oh, and by the way, Chub Cay bonefish love the white crab. Check out the video of Rick’s skinny tailer. I think that fish is one of the longest bones I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, he was skinny. Catching a fish over 12 lbs on Chub is not uncommon.
Bottom line, I’ll be back. I’m already working on Rick. July(calm). October. This place is going to become one of my regular trips. Bonefishing as it should be – easy and fun, no stress. And fried mutton snapper.
This weekend I’m fishing with Charlie Johnson from Maverick on Saturday and Mark Krowka on Sunday. Hopefully, I’ll have something to talk about.
So, until then,