Hooked on the Fly in Abaco, episodes 1 & 2

It seems like most of my adventures start with some sort of reference to art or an art project. The TV show “Hooked on the Fly” is no exception. Chris TravisWe got a call one day from the show’s host, Chris Travis, who had just finished filming an episode in Key West and was told by his producer that the hat he was wearing was a trademarked design hat (The Black Fly) and he needed permission to wear it…this was AFTER the show had been finished. Chris called and before the conversation went too much further, we had made a deal to do a show for the 2011 season at Black Fly Bonefish Club in Abaco. If we were really lucky, we would try to catch enough fish for two shows…we’ll see. The real result of Chris calling was finding a new friend.

Capt. Jeffrey CardenasThe TV crew arrived in Abaco while I was out fishing with our guests who were already at the lodge, author, Captain and friend, Jeffery Cardenas and Alan Keough from out west. Alan caught his first bonefish on this trip…and several more. We had a fantastic day, lots of fish, shots at permit and conch ceviche on the boat for lunch. Doesn’t get much better than that! We had a great time that evening, incredible food, telling stories, sharing some rum and catching up on life in the Keys.Vaughn and Alan

The first day of filming was a little slow due to wind and clouds, which we have been battling since January. We caught fish but it was tough. Also on this first day we were joined by my old friend who I hadn’t seen in years, Sue Cocking, outdoor writer for the Miami Herald. I read Sue’s stories online and you should too. She’s one of the best in the business and a VERY good flyrod angler. So this was our crew.

Sue CockingDay two…. windy again but tolerable. Sue caught 2 fish for the day and us guys didn’t do as well. We in our wisdom decided to make a run up to the southern marls to go for numbers. It was the other way around…they had ours! The good thing about our lodge is that even if the fishing is slow, we eat very, very well. Clint Kemp, our general manager is also our chef until the main lodge opens next year. Clint always has a surprise for us at the end of the day. In fact, one of our recent guest said that never in all of his life while on a bonefishing trip did he quit worrying about catching bonefish around 3 o’ clock  and start thinking about what Clint was serving for dinner.
VaughnDay three was epic or “Eptic” as they say in the  Bahamas and we caught more fish than the previous days put together.  One unforgettable event happened in the afternoon as Chris was on the bow and our guide, Paul Pinder (Director of Fishing Operations) spotted a huge permit feeding on a ray. This was the opportunity of a lifetime for anyone who has ever fished for permit and Chris had a bonefish fly on. Chris was throwing at a big brown spot that he thought was the ray and didn’t see the prize not too far away. Finally Chris spotted the big guy and all along I was trying to hand him a permit rod that I had rigged for just such a moment. Chris didn’t want to take the rod thinking there wasn’t enough time to switch….anyway, the permit took off and Chris missed his fish. It was one of the biggest permit I’ve seen in a while.

We managed to get in some of the interviews that were necessary to pull the conservation concepts and the role of Schooner Bay together. Both Clint, Sue and I all talked about our ideas and our relationship to Black Fly, Schooner Bay and the concepts of sustainability in the world of fishing. Good stuff I think and timely for all of us.

Vaughn and a 12 plus pound boneDay four was critical as we had at least one show in the bag and we were working on maybe getting two out of the deal. Sue had a deadline to meet so unfortunately she had to return to Miami…her cat was sick too. I was fishing by myself with Paul and Chris was fishing with Tony Bain. Paul was working along his usual edges and we, or I should say I, had already spooked a few fish that should have eaten. this was not looking good. Then….. here comes my fish!  I got the fly off quickly and it landed right in front of the fish…he took off to the right just like the others and we both were thinking the same thing…oh no, not again. Then, he just turned around and ate the fly, the “King of Abaco”…I couldn’t believe it. As the line was burning my finger I was thinking this was the biggest bonefish I had ever hooked into, Was this possible that I was going to catch this incredible fish…and on film! We got the fish in after about 20 minutes (I think) and I jumped into the water along with camera man Jeff to get the underwater shots done. None us had any sort of measuring tape or a boga grip but I could say for sure it was over 10 lbs and maybe it was more than 12, it doesn’t really matter.

Chris and a nice 8 pound bonefishDay 5 was not good for me because I was on a plane home and Chris was knee deep in bonefish the whole day. We definitely got our two shows for the 2011 season and Chris made up for the permit by catching an 8 pounder on his last day. It was a great trip and I can’t wait to do it again.

Turtle egg poachers beware in Schooner Bay, Abaco

The bad news about pristine and deserted beaches all over the world is that they are deserted and people up to no good can do lots of “no good”.   LIKE…… steal turtle eggs to sell or to use in cooking. It’s hard to believe in this day, natives on some of these islands are still not aware the damage they are doing. Thanks to the efforts of Schooner Bay, an attempt is being made to put a stop to this kind of ecological thievery that affects us all. Read the story. 

16 APRIL 2010

Telltale Turtle Tracks

Telltale Turtle Tracks

DATE: 16 APRIL, 2010
JAMES MALCOLM ‐ Director Marketing & Public Relations/Schooner Bay Ventures
242‐366‐2044 james@lindroth.cc

“Nesting Giant Sea Turtles in South Abaco Face a Real Threat From Human Interference & Pilfering of
Nest Eggs – Cash Reward Now Offered to Help Find Culprits”

We are in that time of year where giant sea turtles (Loggerheads, Hawksbills and Leatherbacks), make their annual migration to the pristine and undeveloped Atlantic shores of South Abaco to feed heavily on the abundance of sea life (such a Portuguese Man‐O‐Wars), then come ashore in order to lay their eggs on the empty beaches. The turtles come ashore mostly at night, lay eggs by the edge of the dune, cover their nests in a near immaculate fashion and then return to the sea via a different path. Their telltale tracks give away the nest locations and thus allowing for certain senseless humans, who display a total lack of respect for nature, to find and pilfer eggs from the nests. One such occurrence took place last week on Schooner Bay beach, as evidenced by the picture below.





In response to this sea turtle nest invasion and destruction, this incident has been reported to a number of local authorities and environmental activist groups, as well as the BNT Executive Committee ‐ who have committed to deal with the matter immediately and seriously. A source at BNT was quoted as commenting something to the effect of; it’s time someone went to jail for this ‐ to send the clear message that this type of thing must and will be ended by our generation. The Schooner Bay developer and its on‐site team of conservationists have decided to put up a $5000 cash reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of those who committed or commit these unlawful acts and senseless crimes on our precious natural resources.
Additionally, the Schooner Bay team has installed a number of high‐tech monitoring instruments and patrols to help ward off such attacks on our sea life and protect it going forward. Things such as night vision motion detectors, geodetic sensors on alarms and infrared cameras that will allow for potential advance warning and photographic evidence of the culprits. This is a very serious matter to all concerned and must not be allowed to continue for all the obvious reasons. Should any person have any information on the recent turtle nest pilfering in South Abaco, please contact:

Mr. Keith Bishop – Park Warden
Schooner Bay Harbour Village

Mr. David Knowles
Chief Park Warden – Abaco
Bahamas National Trust

“Hooked on the Fly” filming at Black Fly Bonefish Club this week

Capt. Vaughn and partners Capt. Clint Kemp and Capt. Paul Pinder are hosting Chris Travis of  the TV show “Hooked on the Fly” and his film crew this week for episodes that will air on the Sportsman Channel. We will post the air dates as soon as they are scheduled.
They began filming on Sunday, April 4th and have had excellent fishing so far with Chris Travis catching several nice fish on Sunday and Monday. Susan Cocking, sports writer for the Miami Herald is also along on the trip and is having good luck as well.
I’m getting scattered reports from Vaughn as he gets time between casting at bonefish and permit to send me an update. The weather is cooperating and so are the fish. Vaughn had shots at some Mutton Snapper up on the flats last Saturday but couldn’t close the deal with a hook up.
Mutton Snapper along with Bonefish, Permit and Tarpon all in the same area, boy for a saltwater flats fisherman with a fly rod it doesn’t get any better than that!

Last week before the film crew arrived on Saturday, noted Key West flats guide, author and good friend Capt. Jeffrey Cardenas spent a few days at the lodge and had a great time. On Wednesday of last week he had one of those days we all envision when we think of the Bahamas, a day of flat calm seas and clear blue sky and he and Clint took full advantage of it.
That day, as Clint pulled away from the dock he pointed the bow of the skiff not in the usual direction leading to the nearby flats, but toward the deep blue water instead. Not long underway, they came upon a rare sighting of a whale enjoying the day by lolling at the surface. After a brief time of whale watching they moved on to find a promising weed line and in short order had two nice mahi mahi in the fish box tagged for the evening meal. Making the run back to the flats they were rewarded with a hour of tailing bonefish before calling it a day.
These are the kind of days that make the fishing at the Black Fly Bonefish Club in Abaco so memorable.

I wish I had some photos of all this activity but these guys are too busy catching fish and enjoying the wonderful spring weather to send me any. As soon as I get some, I’ll add them to this post.