Nov 2nd: Despite a week of frequently strong westerly winds that put the Marls out of action completely (think milky coffee or mulligatawny soup), we managed to have a lot of fishing fun in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which seems incongruous, almost obscene, given what the storm went on to do to New Jersey and New York.
The Club beach comes into its own in such conditions, which are relatively rare, and several bonefish were taken, most notably by Archie Macauley from England and Bob Shaunessy from Canada. Bob also bagged a big red snapper, which, to the horror of the chef (who is currently desperate for fresh fish, there having been no fishing boats out during the storm), he released. Archie also caught a decent rainbow runner and lost a good shark in front of an audience of snorkellers (whose feelings were somewhat mixed).
Fishing effort was otherwise focused on Cherokee Sound, where the fish are normally very spooky but which delivered first ever bones for Jack and Sam Gillespie from Belfast and quite a few others besides. There were also small tarpon to be seen in quite large numbers, but nobody managed to jump one.
Cherokee provided Dominic Cox from England with a very good session in which he hooked 13 bones, way up in the creeks behind Winding Bay. Most, however, ran into the dense mangroves so he only managed to bring six to the boat. Donnie, our head guide, said the Cherokee fish seem hungrier than usual, perhaps having been unable to feed on the flats during the hurricane.
That same day, yesterday, three anglers – Archie Macauley, Craig Bacher from Canada and Bob Shaunessy – headed south to Cross Harbour where they took 36 bones between them, all while wading under the guidance of Tony, with Archie bagging the best of them at six pounds. The wading flats in this bay can be stunningly productive and make a great change of scenery.
We are back in business. And we hope to welcome our guides Ishi and Joe back very soon; they have been stranded on Bimini island since Hurricane Sandy, having been on a major lobster fishing expedition when the storm hit.
Postscript: Bob Shaunessy and Archie Macauley followed up yesterday’s success with a further 26 bonefish today. Dominic Cox also matched his tally at Cherokee with a further six fish. We normally say that a fish at Cherokee is worth five in the Marls, due to the difficulty of hooking the former. On that basis, Dominic hooked the equivalent of over 100 Marls bonefish in two days at Cherokee. He, however, remains more modest about his achievements.
Post-postscript, Nov 3rd: Today, we had just two anglers – Craig Bacher & Bob Shaunessy – and they were the first to venture out in the Marls for ten days. The result? Another 36 bonefish boated. The schools are pouring along the western shores. Big smiles all round.