Grand Bahama Trip Report May 2017

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Posted by Bruce McAuley on 2017-05-06 18:30:06

My fishing buddy and I just returned from 4 days of fishing on Grand Bahama Island. The trip exceeded our expectations in many ways.

We chose Grand Bahama partly because it is easy to get to in a single day of travel from the West Coast. We flew SFO to MIA to Freeport in one day - no overnight stay in Nassau or Fort Lauderdale required as for some of the out islands. Additionally there is a 7PM return flight from Freeport to Miami which got us back to SFO a bit after midnight on the return home - this allows for a full day of fishing and time to get to the airport and then home the same day if desired. We thus had a 4 night trip with 4 full days of fishing.

We stayed at the Pelican Bay Hotel in Freeport and hired independent guides. We fished out of McLean's Town 3 days and on the North side near the airport one day. The fishing was fabulous - the first day we hooked well over 20 fish - landing perhaps 60-70%. The fish were very powerful and made multiple long runs. Most were in the 3-6 pound range. The speed and power of these fish definitely sets the limbic system aglow. I have fished Andros 4 times and Abaco once, and these Grand Bahama fish were something special. The next three days were not as productive in numbers but equally satisfying.

One of our guides speared lobster and gathered conch that we took to E-J's restaurant in McLean's Town where Eva flash fried it and served it to us for our lunch. Best conch of the trip by far. That was certainly a unique guide experience.

The Bahamian people were friendly and gracious. By hiring guides in town, we had continual interactions with townspeople that we may well have missed at a lodge. That was a treat. One possible advantage of a lodge would be that the guides are vetted and that might add an element of comfort. We also were able to sample restaurants and sight see around Freeport/Port Lucaya.

The independent guide route cost us each about $400/day for lodging, car rental and guide fees. Comparable rates at lodge operations are $650 - $1000/day/person. Admittedly, Deep Water Cay looked both amazing and alluring, but a bit beyond our budget. We contemplated a day of wade fishing on our own but quickly realized that on this island it was worth spending the money for a guide. We didn't see much in the way of easily accessible flats from the road.

Overall a very memorable trip that we will likely repeat next year.

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