Heads Or Tails In The Tropics

Capt. Mike Genoun February 15, 2011

This hidden utopia may just be the farthest blip on the radar when considering bonefishing in The Bahamas. Situated in the southeastern reaches of the tropical archipelago, Acklins Island topography is both hilly and eerily desolate, with strange rock formations and native vegetation encompassing the entire land mass. Along its interior coastline are numerous secluded coves and remote cays distinguished only by a number of colorful settlements along the way.

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Photo: FSF Mag

Acklins Island is separated from its sister Crooked Island by a wide, shallow lagoon known as the Bight of Acklins and along with Castle Island and Long Cay (pronounced Long Key), Acklins is one of four islands forming an atoll around the expansive, 100 sq. mi. bight. It’s virgin territory like this bonefish enthusiasts picture when imagining heaven on earth.

Practically untouched by modern civilization, Acklins Island is a traveling angler’s dream. The bonefishing here is as good as it gets because other than a handful of visiting anglers, there is absolutely no tourism. Throw in the island’s remote location and limited flight schedule and it’s easy to see why this picture-perfect paradise is virtually untouched.

Unlike larger islands closer to home, Acklins is as authentic as it was when The Bahamas were first discovered. Thoroughly exploring this entire system of native flats, creeks, channels and mangrove marls would take two lifetimes, which is exactly why sight-fishermen searching for somewhere truly special will find Acklins Island a premier destination. I can tell you from personal experience the expansive flats offer everything one could ask for and then some. Fishable waters are vast and with weather patterns typically favorable this far south, flat calm conditions are the norm. If that’s not enough, during any month of the year visitors can expect to encounter multiple shots within walking distance of the lodge.

Situated smack dab at the center of this extraordinary fishery, the “lodge” I am referring to is Grey’s Point Bonefish Inn. What makes this comfortable facility so special is the fact that wadable flats are just feet from your doorstep. Grey’s Point offers offshore and reef fishing trips aboard a 23-foot center console for those interested in tangling with grouper, snapper, wahoo and tuna, too. However make no mistake; this is a genuine bonefish lodge through and through with the average fish a serious reel screamer. Plus, their staff of exceptionally knowledgeable guides will lead you to shots at true trophies with the lodge record holding strong at 16-pounds! Along with quality, quantity also ranks high on the agenda with tailing fish abundant. On more than one occasion I counted well over a hundred fish cruising in my direction.

After a brief stop on Crooked Island, you’ll firmly plant your feet on Acklins Island where Newton Williamson will pick you up at Spring Point Airport. As the owner of the lodge his gentle, personable nature will reveal the first clue at what you can expect—a family run operation that prides itself in making your trip as relaxing and memorable as possible with more than comfortable accommodations and genuine family-like hospitality. Traveling the 20-miles north from the airport to the guest house you’ll get a peek at the sheer number of vast flats that await you. You’ll be amazed at the unspoiled beauty of the area and if there’s one thing you can count on it’s that your heart will be racing with anticipation by the time you reach your temporary home away from home. Resist pulling out your camera because you have seen anything yet!

During lunch orientation will cover everything you need to know about the facility, the immediate area and the local bonefish. Afterwards, spend a couple hours wade-fishing as tomorrow is a big day, or kayak across the channel to the flats directly across from the lodge. It’s only a few minute trip and well worth the effort. Of course, another option exists; kicking back, cracking open a cold one and simply enjoying the spectacular view.

Regardless if you are a dedicated ghost hunter who’s only goal is to spend every waking minute on the flats, or if you are someone just looking for a fun getaway, everyone will enjoy the solitude and natural beauty of Acklins Island and Grey’s Point Bonefish Inn. Particularly with an ice cold Kalik in hand while sharing fish tales during a grilled lobster dinner with the other lodge guests.

Tackle To Go

  • 8 or 9-weight fly-fishing outfit w/200 yards of 20lb. backing.
  • Weight-forward floating saltwater bonefish line.
  • Tapered 9-foot leader with 10lb. or 12lb. tippet.
  • #4, #6 & #8 Clousers, Gotchas, Crazy Charlies, Pink Puffs, Bunny Bones. Include pink, brown, beige and white flies (eyeless, bead eyes & lead eyes).
  • 7-foot medium-action spinning outfit w/10lb. line.
  • 1/8oz. Wiggle Jigs and jighead/grub combos in pink, tan, white/tan.
  • Polarized sunglasses
  • Long billed hat
  • Light rain gear
  • Waterproof bag
  • Fanny pack or wading vest
  • Wading boots
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun block
  • Multi-tool

Getting There

The major transportation hub in The Bahamas is Nassau. From there, book a flight on Bahamasair (bahamasair.com) to Spring Point Airport on Acklins Island. Flights arrive and depart on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Should you decide to extend your Bahamian experience and enjoy some of the culture and history the islands have to offer, consider spending a few days in Nassau.

If you’re island hopping The Bahamas by boat and would like to fish at Grey’s Point, the lodge staff will pilot you to a safe harbor within a short distance of the lodge where guides, lodging and dining are available.

Grey’s Point Bonefish Inn
954.323.2064
greyspointbonefishinn.com

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