Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Great Inagua, Bahamas II

Hurricane Joaquin left a huge mark on the Bahamas, just prior to our trip, with homes blown away, and people devastated!  Even the breakwater near our duplex was smashed up even more than when we were here during hurricane Sandy.   

(pictures from hurricane Sandy)

This trip we missed the hurricane, and found poor weather, but great fishing.

Launching through the mangroves.

 The inland lake is an amazing place.  Landlocked species of all kinds swim here, but it is the tarpon and snook that bring us back each year!  Since hurricane Joaquin dumped so much water on Inagua, the lake was very stained, and for some reason, while we were there, we found rolling tarpon everywhere (so were the mosquitoes!).  
In fact, the first day, there were so many fish rolling, our guide, Ezzard, simply poled us to the middle of a huge bay and anchored.  Mike Scott and I had to be ready for a quick, and accurate shot, as the approaching tarpon rolled near us.

It didn't take long to hook up with the typical 25-40 lb. tarpon....but I was surprised to connect with a couple of the bigger residents.

 Ezzard estimated this tarpon to be about 90 lbs. and he informed us this might be the largest tarpon ever taken in the lower lake!  Yes, we were in the right place at the right time!

 This big girl put on quite a show!!

With tarpon rolling everywhere Mike decided to throw a gurgler, and enjoyed the topwater action!

Typical action from "Junior Size" tarpon...

...this particular day was very special for me...
...14 tarpon taken with just one fly...
...the Mujarra Neutralizer!


With high tides we were forced to search out estuary backcountry, for skinny water flats that contained bonefish.  That meant flats with scattered bushes and small mangroves-plenty of obstacles for the speedy bonefish to separate you from your fly!
No broad, white sandy flats here!  It was more like hunting, and a lot of fun!

 Even in the rain, the bonefish were eager to please!

Typical backcountry bonefish

Bonefish AP, again, was my #1 bonefish fly!

 One of the bigger bonefish we found within the estuary.

On the last day we were able to venture
to the "upper lake", in search of snook and tarpon...

...and although we didn't find the bigger snook, we were not disappointed! 

The all-chartreuse Floating Minnow was the fly of choice for these snook!

...and another medium sized snook.

With no restaurants, we typically cook our own meals, and our group did a great job preparing the food!
Many thanks to Walt, Bill and Mike. 

Given the fact that Mike Scott traveled from Alaska, taking 3 days to get to Inagua, I tip my cap.  Mike brought a box of amazing goodies, including his own smoked salmon!  Thanks Mike!  You are a terrific cook, as well as a great fishing partner!

I am thankful for another wonderful adventure on Great Inagua!