H2O Bonefishing’s new “Bones” Clubhouse at Grand Bahama Island

H2O Bonefishing is proud to introduce to you to their latest addition to their fly fishing program on Grand Bahama Island.

The Bones Bar at Pelican Bay Bonefishing

The new “Bones” clubhouse

The new “Bones” clubhouse and bar is located at the Pelican Bay property at Port Lucaya Marina within a few yards of all the guest rooms  at Pelican Bay Hotel..

The Bones clubhouse will open daily as it would at any fishing lodge worldwide. Bones will be the meeting place for all H2O Bonefishing’s guests on arrival for orientation All H2O Bonefishing clients will receive reserved seating. Bones will serve daily as an ‘ Après Fish ‘ clubhouse for all bonefish anglers to relax, swap stories and the usual shenanigans. Side note: No, bonefish are not served here!The new Bones Bar at H2O Bonefishing

Bones clubhouse provides all anglers bringing their non-angling wives a quality place to enjoy a few sundowner cocktails overlooking the bay.  Also, for Kids to enjoy the pool while parents can ‘ supervise ‘ from the bar. A swim up bar is also part of the clubhouse. Bones is not a restaurant ( yet ) but will have some snack type bar food !!

Also available is an already expanding  retail area selling a selection of fly rods, reels, fly lines, flies, leader, tippet, sun protection items ie Buffs, lip balm and sunscreen and of course clothing, mostly Shirts and hats.

Whether you are an ardent angler seeking fine bonefishing on some of the productive flats in the Bahamas, or in the spirit of compromise, you wish to provide a good vacation for your non-angling companions, then Freeport Grand Bahama Island is the perfect destination to achieve your objective.

H2O Bonefishing is so uncomplicated to get to. For anglers living in the eastern US, there is no reason to go half way around the world when there is incredible fishing in the Bahamas within a single day’s flight. There is no need for a charter flight and no need to spend the night anywhere en route.

You can take a direct flight from many cities in the United States to Ft. Lauderdale, then a 40 minute jump over to Freeport. From the airport, it is a short taxi ride to the Hotel. Also, there are not any specific transfer days at H2O Bonefishing, so you can arrive on any day of the week and visit for as many days you wish.

On Grand Bahama Island the fishing is as good as or better than ever . After a hot day have a cool beer in the Bones Bar!

The northern side of Grand Bahama Island is virtually uninhabited, and has some of the most expansive flats in the Bahamas. This is where you will be fishing. Grand Bahama Island is 96 miles long and 17 miles at the widest point. If you have fished the upper Bahamas before, this area is reminiscent of the middle bights of Andros, the east end of Grand Bahama Island, and the marls of Great Abaco Island. If you are new to this sport, this is where you will find some of the best bonefishing left on the planet.

Port Lucaya one of the few places that has great fishing for the angler and comfort and charm for the non-angler; there are numerous leisure activities the spouse and non-anglers can enjoy in area’s lively retail and restaurant district, casinos and of course the beautiful beaches.

The Port Lucaya Marketplace offers upscale shopping in duty free shops, dining at many fine restaurants and bars, and entertainment. This six-acre waterfront entertainment complex centers on the bandstand at Count Basie Square where local events are frequently held. The legendary jazz pianist built a home in Freeport. If you want to get in on the gambling action, the Lucayan Beach Casino will give you plenty of excitement and action.

Greg Vincent and Jason Franklin, of H2O Bonefishing will continue as they have for many years, operating a first class bonefishing operation.

For the H2O Bonefishing main page  Click Here.

For additional photographs of H2O Bonefishing Click Here.

Click Here for Rates.

Leisure Time Travel – Your best and most knowledgeable choice for fishing the Caribbean

Leisure Time Travel Inc. 531 N. Citrus Ave. Crystal River, Florida 34428 352-795-FISH (3474) 1-800-771-2202

All Photograph’s courtesy of Greg Vincent

Copyright © 2014 Edward R. Johnston & Leisure Time Travel, Inc. 1996-2014

Greg Vincent and Jason Franklin, of H2O Bonefishing will continue as they have for many years a first class bonefishing operation.

H2O Bonefishing’s new “Bones” Clubhouse at Grand Bahama Island

Turneffe Island Resort Belize – A Caribbean Paradise

It’s time to begin a new story filled with adventure on a path less traveled, the rediscovery of a world class fishery and one of the world’s most spectacular marine attractions at Turneffe Island Resort.

Part One of Two.

bonefishing Belize

For the past few years this fishing trip has been an annual pilgrimage to the piscatorial Garden of Eden “Turneffe Island Belize” in search of the elusive permit.

Flats fishing BelizeBelize is an English speaking nation located just south of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Belize is easily accessible by air, as there are daily flights from Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Miami and seasonal flights from Newark and Toronto. Our group of anglers hailed from California, Illinois, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Florida. Most of us converged in Miami and had an uncomplicated uneventful flight to Belize City.

Turneffe Island Resort

We quickly cleared immigration, grabbed our luggage and strolled through customs. A Turneffe Island Hotels staff member was waiting to greet us just outside the customs door. Our luggage was cheerfully loaded into their cargo van and off we went. It is not necessary to touch your luggage again until it is delivered to your room on the island.

Our troop was whisked of the Radisson Hotel Marina on the seaside of Belize City. We gathered at the pool bar and had a few drinks while the remaining visitors arrived and our luggage was loaded.

Our transfer boat was securely ties to the wharf. A light south east breeze pushed a gentle swell which lapped gently on the hull. A few cumulous clouds dappled the sky on an otherwise sunny day, it would be a nice ride.

Radisson Hotel in Belize CityThis was my ninth trip to this Caribbean jewel and my fourth to Turneffe Island Resort. The trip really begins as you head out to sea, lose sight of land, and start your cruise to the Turneffe Atoll.

The transfer time to the island is 1 hour and 30 minutes. Beyond the inside islands you will see only blue water. Gradually you may perceive a haze, then a speck. Finally Turneffe rises magically out of the Caribbean Sea.

Turneffe Island Resort  (also know as Turneffe Island Lodge) is a secluded 14-acre private island located 35 miles off the coast of Belize. Turneffe Resort is located on the southern most part of the atoll among a group of small islands. Here you will find a beautiful tropical setting with a white-sand beach caressed by azure blue waters and the sense of true seclusion on this romantic and unspoiled coral island.

Turneffe Island Resort Manager Ronnie Barreto and cheery staff were waiting on the island pier to provide a warm welcome to their island paradise.

Past visitors will notice many changes and improvements to the property. If you have not visited the lodge in the past ten years, you will be pleasantly surprised. To a large extent, this property was not just remodeled, it has been rebuilt. The original buildings were stripped down the bare structure and refinished while preserving the original charm. The new cabanas were designed to blend in with the existing construction. It’s all pleasing to the eye.

Decisions and more decisions

You may know what you plan to do during your visit, but your spouse and companions will have many unique options to keep them busy and happy, such as; snorkeling the coral reef, visiting the famous Blue Hole, reading a book in a hammock with a spectacular view of the Caribbean, kayaking or sailing a Hobie Cat, perhaps a trip to Half Moon Cay Beach and coral gardens with a visit to the Red Footed Booby Bird Sanctuary, maybe a little pampering at the Serenity Spa, or relaxing on a chaise lounge by the pool sipping on a cool tropical drink and watching the hummingbirds play. That will be your dilemma, choosing between the numerous relaxing options.

Henry David Thoreau once wrote that, “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not the fish they are after.” Henry was right; the fish are a bonus when you are in paradise.

Accommodations

permit fishing BelizeSpacious guest rooms, warm and comfortable, are entirely finish with brightly varnished mahogany floors, wall and ceilings. The rooms are tastefully decorated with simple island furniture finished with eye-catching colorful tropical material.

The rooms have plenty of closet space plus a private bath and shower plus an adjacent enclosed outdoor shower. The lodge utilizes solar panels for hot water.

Fresh water is from reverse osmosis or rain collection which then goes through a purification system and is UV sterilized. You can drink the water right out of the tap in your room, or if you prefer bottled water is available.

A king bed is standard and two beds are available upon request. Each room has a mini-spilt air-conditioning system with a handheld thermostat control to set your own preferred temperature. All windows have screens if you would prefer to enjoy the ocean breeze. There are no phones or televisions in the rooms. The resort has 110 Volt A.C. power; the same as the U.S.

tarpon fishing BelizeThere are many small touches: Each evening you will find a bedside note with words of wisdom plus a weather report for the next day. Each morning your choice of beverage, fresh coffee or tea will be left on your porch. The very early risers can go to the dining room and help themselves.

Your room will be spotlessly cleaned every day.

Food

Cocktail hour appetizers are served at the outdoor tiki bar and include freshly made ceviche, seafood pizza, tapas and other tasty finger foods. The Turneffe tiki bar is a good place to repeat the events of your day, telling stories and planning for your next day.

appetizers at the outdoor tiki bar The dinner menu is comprised of mostly Caribbean and Island classics concentrating on simple culinary delights and local flavorful dishes with a focus on locally sourced fresh ingredients

The good honest food is served family style and is delicious.

Home baked bread and other goodies are served at every meal.

Though there will be little room for dessert, the staff will bring it on.

You will not be underfed here!

Staff

Attentive staff sees to every detail and need with warm island hospitality. Managers and staff were excellent, making us feel like friends, not clients. Nice touches at Turneffe Island Resort

***

You may be interested in reading a previous post  “The Tale of Tacu”  “click Here

To read part two of this report click here.

Additional Pictures are on our Facebook page.

***

We would like to arrange your next trip to Turneffe Island Resort or one of the other fine lodges in Belize.

Edward Johnston, of Leisure Time Travel, Inc. has visited Turneffe Atoll nine times (last trip April 2013) and has caught 21 permit on a fly at Turneffe. (108 permit total in Caribbean).

Why take chances with your precious time? We’ve been there. Remember, There is no substitute for first-hand experience.

Tight lines !

Edward Johnston

Leisure Time Travel – Your best and most knowledgeable choice for fishing the Caribbean

Leisure Time Travel Inc.

531 N. Citrus Ave. Crystal River, Florida 34428

352-795-FISH (3474) 1-800-771-2202

All photographs by Edward R. Johnston

Copyright © 2014 Edward R. Johnston & Leisure Time Travel, Inc. 1996-2014

 

Fine dining at Turneffe Island Resort

 

Turneffe Island Resort – A Caribbean Paradise

 To read part two of this report click here.

Turneffe Island Resort – Fly Fishing for the elusive permit

 

It’s time to continue our story filled with adventure on a path less traveled, the rediscovery of a world class fishery and one of the world’s most spectacular marine attractions.

World class flats fishing on the Turneffe Atoll Belize

The Fishing

For the past few years this fishing trip has been an annual pilgrimage to the piscatorial Garden of Eden “Turneffe Island” in search of the elusive permit.

I do know a thing or two about this part of the world given my beat, so here’s the story.

Edward Johnston with a fine permit

Here on the Turneffe Atoll the fish seem to outnumber the people one-million to one. For permit anglers, this is one of the best places in the Caribbean to have numerous honest shots.

Dependable Dolphin Super Skiffs with 50 Hp 4 Stroke engines provide maximum comfort, and speed you to various fishing sites around the Atoll.

Permit

Permit fishing is different for each individual. Generally, permit are just another exciting flats species. However, for some anglers they are worshipped as the highest form of piscatorial pursuit. It’s a high art attained by many years of experience on the flats plus a fanatical attitude as single minded as samurai.

It’s the relentless pursuit of permit that keeps anglers retuning to places like Turneffe. Unless you have been here there are no words that can adequately describe this beautiful coral atoll. You will find one of the world’s most pristine marine environments the planet. Indeed, most of the best saltwater anglers in the world have come down to pursue the sly permit.

Out here on the Turneffe Atoll the tide tells the time. Every day is a little different.

permit fishingThe guides here are among the most experienced anywhere, especially Tacu whom I have fished with for a very long time.

One particularly beautiful day a constant north east wind ruffled the surface of shallow lagoon. Tacu swung the skiff around and shut down on the lee side of a mangrove island which gave a break from the feathery wind.

We had our spell of intermittent cloudiness however at the moment the sun was brightly shinning. The sandy bottom potholes reflected the tropic sun. Sea fans and sponges wobbled in the current among ledges of beautiful coral. Aside from the calls of the gulls and the slight sound of the coral sand beneath the push pole the tranquility was wonderful

We spied a glassy tail breaking the calm waters surface. I made the cast and slowly stripped until the fly was within a few feet of the permit and was characteristically ignored.Permit fishing

Our guide Tacu really wanted this particular permit very much and was finding fault with my fly presentation and was looking for a degree of perfection in my casting abilities found only in Heaven.

I made another cast, almost head shot. The permit tailed again. I set the hook and the permit took off like a bat out of hell.

The fish were extra spooky on this fine day so I had dropped down to a 12 pound test fluorocarbon leader rigged on a large arbor Able Super 10 with 30 pound Cortland micron backing.

For permit, I usually set the drag at 10% to 15% of the tippet strength which is fine when you have the fish in close. As your line leaves the reel the drag increases due to decreasing spool diameter plus the effect of friction and water resistance.

Larry Fuller with a nice permitThis permit was screaming off toward the horizon and I was quickly running out of backing.

With no time to chase the fish I turned to my boat partner and good friend Bill Rychel and said “Bill, you should never increase the drag on a running fish, but in this case I have no choice” It was just a few seconds after that when the fly parted ways with the line. Tacu was pissed “What the f— did you do that for”? I was having a hard time pleasing the master on this day.

Author’s note: Tacu acts like that around me because we are friends and he holds me to a higher standard. Don’t worry, if you fish with Tacu, he will not berate you!

Tacu stepped down from his observation post atop the polling platform to unload a cooler packed with a delicious lunch prepared by the ladies back at the lodge. Afterward, we all celebrated my misery with cold beers.

***

On this particular 2013 week our five boats really did very well permit fishing. Our group landed 21 permit (average 4.2 per boat) which is considered very good anywhere including Ascension Bay or Espiritu Santo Bay.

In fact, during the past four years, each annual Leisure Time Travel group trip at the Turneffe Island Lodge, our anglers averaged three permit or better per boat for the week. This is exceptional permit fishing !!!

The Fishery

The Turneffe atoll is a vast maze of cays and flats with numerous good looking shorelines and mangrove estuaries.

Out there the sheltered waters are crowded with bonefish, tarpon, snook, grouper, snapper and jacks. In the ocean depths beyond the drop-off swim wahoo, kingfish and billfish.

For the ordinary angler, it’s bewildering dilemma where to start to fish. That’s where your guide comes in. Most of the guides at Turneffe Resort have been fishing these waters for decades.

For the seasoned angler, permit, bonefish, tarpon and snook are in the areas where you would expect to find them. Of course, we all know that is not necessarily true as we are often surprised. That is why I always have another rod ready for my intended species.

Permit inhabit much of the waters of the Turneffe atoll. You will find them inside the reef, in the channels intersecting the perimeter of the island, around mangrove islands and just about everywhere else within the atoll.

Bonefish are primarily found in the shallow waters inside the coral reef. Here you find a crunchy bottom and stealth is really not in your favor. You will also find bonefish in certain areas of the interior of the lagoon, but not usually in the numbers near the reef.

Tarpon are primarily migratory, but there always a few around. Best places seem to be the channels intersecting the perimeter of the island.

Snook are not plentiful but can be found along the mangrove shorelines especially near the deeper creeks. Plus you have Barracuda, jacks, snappers and a multitude of reef fish ….

An Amusing Diversion

Tacu at Turneffe IslandOne evening we made preparations for a run offshore to catch Queen Snapper, one of the most prized and best tasting fish in the ocean. First we needed to secure bait and our guide Tacu knew exactly where to find some live sardines.

After the bait was secured in the bait well we proceeded out to deep water just past where the Sayonara lays on the bottom. The Sayonara was the transport boat for the Turneffe Island Lodge. It was sunk by former Turneffe Lodge owner Dave Bennett in 1985.

We were deep dropping our rigs to 400 feet with three pounds of weight. It was easy dropping the rig down, but not so easy reeling up. Electric reels would have been nice. It did not take long and we had a cooler full of Queenies. Tacu cranked up the engine and we headed home just as the sun was setting.

The following evening the kitchen staff prepared the Queen Snapper. The sizzling fish dish went straight from the kitchen to the table and disappeared almost as quickly as it arrived.

 Tacu with a Queen SnapperSummary

Saturday morning is here. This vacation went way to fast.

I am savoring the last few minutes of this paradise before we depart. Here on the Turneffe Atoll I am standing on the top of a submarine mountain. From my vantage point on the upper deck of the Turneffe lodge I can see a few bonefish happily tailing. Near shore the crystal clear turquoise waters drop off to cobalt green then to cerulean blue and finally deep sapphire indigo. What a place!

Over the top experience! This is truly a paradise. You will arrive as strangers and leave as friends.

We look forward to sharing our experience and expertise to make sure your next fishing vacation is a success.

***

You may be interested in reading a previous post  “The Tale of Tacu”  “click Here

To read part one of this report click here.

Additional Pictures are on our Facebook page.

***

We would like to arrange your next trip to Turneffe Island Resort or one of the other fine lodges in Belize.

Edward Johnston, of Leisure Time Travel, Inc. has visited Turneffe Atoll nine times (last trip April 2013) and has caught 21 permit on a fly at Turneffe. (108 permit total in Caribbean).

You may be interested in reading “The Tale of Tacu – Flats Fishing Turneffe Island Belize” – “Click Here

This post is part two of two. To read part one of this post click here.

Turneffe Flatsw Fishing

Edward Johnston at Turneffe Island April 2013

Why take chances with your precious time? We’ve been there. Remember, There is no substitute for first-hand experience.

Tight lines !

Edward Johnston

Leisure Time Travel – Your best and most knowledgeable choice for fishing the Caribbean

Leisure Time Travel Inc.

531 N. Citrus Ave. Crystal River, Florida 34428

352-795-FISH (3474) 1-800-771-2202

All photographs by Edward R. Johnston

Copyright © 2014 Edward R. Johnston & Leisure Time Travel, Inc. 1996-2014

 John Stout getting off to an early start at Turneffe Island Lodge

Turneffe Island Resort – Fly Fishing for the elusive permit