Deep Water Cay Club – Fly Fishing Paradise Found!
Part Two – If you missed part one click here
Ok, enough said; Let’s get to the fishing! If there is a heaven for fishermen, this pristine piece of Bahamian paradise is it. World class bone fishing on the east end of Grand Bahama Island at Deep Water Cay. Hundreds of square miles of pristine bonefish flats. It just doesn’t get any better than this. If you are interested in bonefishing at Deep Water Cay Club please read on!
There are some lodges that you may visit in the Bahamas with pleasant locations but you still have to get in the truck and trailer the boat 20-30 minutes to get to your boat ramp. One of the nice things about Deep Water Cay Club is that your room is adjacent to the dock so you can realize a lot more fishing time.
The folks at Deep Water Cay claim they have over 250 square miles of flats to fish. Actually that’s where they stopped measuring. If you have studied a map of the east end of Grand Bahama Island you will realize it would takes you weeks of fishing just to explore the area.
Most of your fishing will be from the boat over turtle grass and patchy bottom flats, but there are plenty of places to wade if that’s what you wish to do. The flats that you’ll wade are hard-packed sand with just a little turtle grass on it, and the bones are easier to spot.
Around here, they have two tides depending on which side of the island you are on, so you will always find a good place to fish. However, Deep Water Cay’s guides know the area thoroughly, so this really isn’t an issue. They understand the intricacies of the tides and the way fish behave depending on the water level, therefore, the guides will automatically take you to the right place for the most favorable conditions.
The Deep Water Cay’s fleet of Hell Bay flats’ skiffs is about as good as it gets. The Lodge has five of the Hell Bay Marquesa skiffs , which measure out at 17’-11” and draw about seven inches of water and five of the Hell Bay Professional skiffs which measure out at 17’-8” and draw about five inches of water (mol). Although the boats seem to be about the same size they are not the same.
The owners deliberately purchased two sets of flats skiffs for slightly different fishing situations. The Marquesa is built for a slightly larger engine and is a little wider in the beam and handles rough runs in a chop a little better. The Professional is a lighter craft and built for a shallower draft which allows you to get into skinnier water.
All the comfortable boats are fitted with quiet four-stroke engines, and provide a pleasant ride and stealth in skinny water. The Lodge will make every effort to match their top of the line boats specifically to the conditions that you will experience during your day.
I understand the Lodge kept four of their Dolphin Skiffs in reserve which they have reconditioned. Hulls have been patched; glassed, buffed and new gel coat has been applied to all the decks.
Breakfast is served in the Clubhouse, and features a variety of fresh fruits, cereals, breads, coffee and tea. Some mornings, cold cereal just won’t do and something a little substantial is in order. No problem; eggs are cooked to order and served with bacon, ham, or sausage, toast and fresh pastries. You may opt for a custom made omelet with your choice of fillings.
After a hearty breakfast of omelets and toast we grabbed our gear and headed for the dock.
On this trip we fished with Joseph Pinder Jr. His well-know brothers Jeffery and David guided here at one time, but they have their own fishing business now in Freeport. Just to fish with one of guys is just awesome. I feel fortunate that I have fished with all of them including their distinguished Cousin Paul Pinder on Great Abaco Island.
Joseph Pinder Jr is a friendly good-natured man. The amiable and cordial attitude seems to run in the family. Joseph helped Aaron and I stow our rods and gear and within minutes we were motoring away from the berth. Just outside the dock Joseph turned a hard right and sliped the Hell’s Bay into a wide creek mouth and then east toward the place of our pursuit.
Our first stop was Mangrove Island near Bonefish Cay. Joseph quietly poled the boat alongside a mangrove shoreline and through a maze of young mangrove shoots. In a sandy opening ahead we spied a group of bones happily feeding. Joseph held the Hell’s Bay skiff steady.
My son Aaron hooked the first fish. As always it was a spectacular scene; the bonefish blazing off in the shallow water to the sound of a screaming fly reel and fly line ripping through the water. Nice!
Within an hour or so, Aaron and I land half a dozen decent bonefish alongside the mangrove edge.
A Super King Air had departed the Deep Water Cay airstrip and was on a long low pass and banked hard our way, probably on its way back to the States. The twin-turboprops were at full throttle. The high-pitched sound of all that horsepower was tremendous. The fish didn’t seem to mind the shrill. The plane swiftly went to altitude and quickly faded from sight. The awe-inspiring sight of machinery and technology never ceases to amaze me.
After hearing about the young lady catching the permit and seeing the proof by way of photo’s the evening before, our curiosity was fired up and we were eager to take a look. Aaron has caught several permit and I more than a hundred with a fly, but only two in the Bahamas. The Bahamian permit are just a lot finickier and harder to catch than those of the Yucatan or Belize.
Joseph cranked up the four-stroke and we headed out towards Burroughs and Red Shank Key to look for permit. We were running across a beautiful grass flat with an occasional deep sandy hole, and then all of a sudden we ran across a huge swirling mass of bonefish curled up in one of the holes. The gathering of fish didn’t spook. Aaron made a cast and easily caught one. After a careful release we continued on our way as that’s not our preferred way to capture bonefish.
I’ll make a long story very short. We chased permit for several hours but could not get them to partake in our offerings. They may have fancied a real crab, but a crab fly and various other crustacean imitations they would not eat.
We decided to take a break. Joseph motored over to Burroughs Key and dropped the engine’s skeg into the sand to hold the boat. The ladies in the kitchen had taken good care of us with a nice picnic lunch and cool drinks. Afterward we waded for a while. A line of several barracudas staked out the flat just beyond us waiting for an easy meal for which we did not help provide.
We didn’t venture far that afternoon as we saw bonefish at nearly every place we went. At one time in mid-afternoon we were on a huge sand flat with masses bonefish in virtually every direction with their translucent tails happily flickering in the afternoon sun. We jumped out of the boat, waded and hooked a few.
We were poling out and had a final shot at another rouge permit, but no luck. Personally I would really like to spend some more time down there and try and figure those permit out. Without exaggeration, it was a spectacular day of fishing. It just doesn’t get any better than this.
When you visit Deep Water Cay you will have many opportunities. However, it goes without saying, the number of fish you can expect to catch at any time is directly related to your skill as an angler. The excitement of the hunt and of watching the fish recognize and gobble up your fly is about as good as it gets. It’s pretty hard not to like them.
The ever present sharks and barracudas are always on the prowl for an unlucky bonefish. The speed of the bonefish is amazing, but the sharks and cudas stalk and occasionally hunt them down. A word to the wise: fighting a fish to exhaustion does not help much.
Back at the dock there is a good wash down area to clean your rods. Once that task is taken care of there is general migration by many anglers to grab a seat at the Tiki Bar overlooking the harbor. The Tiki Bar is always well-stocked with cool drinks, Bahamian beers and cocktails to quench your thirst, and some delicious appetizers which will tide you over until dinnertime.
Deep Water Cay is 105 miles east of Miami, 131 miles from Palm Beach and 94 miles from Ft. Lauderdale, on a private island just off the east end of Grand Bahama Island.
You will find a Deep Water Cay Club video here.
At Deep Water Cay Club you can count on comfortable and well appointed accommodations, excellent cuisine, first-class boats, world-class guides, and a staff dedicated to providing superb service and attention to detail. If you have been there then you know already, if you haven’t been, then go now!
Just remember, Edward Johnston told you so……….Book now for the rest of this year and/or reserve your spot in 2013. Please feel free to call us with any questions you may have.
Call us now at 800-771-2202 or 352-795-3474.
Fishing trips and vacation packages for any length of time can be arranged. All trips are completely tailored to fits your requirements. For package rates click here.
We’ll let you know how South Beach was in another story.
Leisure Time Travel – Your best and most knowledgeable choice for fishing the Caribbean
Leisure Time Travel Inc.
531 N. Citrus Avenue
Crystal River, Florida 34428
352-795-FISH (3474) 1-800-771-2202
All Photgraphs by Edward R. Johnston
Copyright © 2012 Edward R. Johnston & Leisure Time Travel, Inc. 1996-2012