Crooked Island Fishing at Crooked Island Lodge
The bonefishing craving was too great to resist. My good friend and fishing buddy, John and I made plans to visit Crooked and Acklins Island in the southern Bahamas and partake in a little Crooked Island Fishing.
The weather was clear and favorable for Crooked Island Fishing. Cold fronts and winds were not on the near horizon. We don’t always have the option to just leave and go fishing at the spur of the moment. I tell my clients to expect three good days of fishing in a week during the winter. During the early spring season, as the northern cold fronts frequently develop every week to ten days. Also, if you strike it just right, the skies after a front are generally clear.
It is also important to consider that while fishing in the very southern part of the Bahamas and Caribbean, especially in the winter months, you are not as susceptible to the cold fronts as in the northern Bahama islands. The weaker cold fronts usually lose their punch and are prone to stall out in the north, most of the time.
We flew Bahamas Air down to Crooked Island. The flights are early on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, so you will need to overnight in Nassau. For a more convenient travel option, if you have a group of four or more, a charter flight will cost is a little more, however, is a good time saving option.
The coastline of Nassau disappeared gradually. Soon, we were at altitude and leveling off in the lumbering ATR. The trip is a little over an hour flight time above sparkling open waters of the Bahamas. Visible in the distance, Crooked and Acklins Islands were outlined by white sandy beaches and water as clear as glass. Tropical palms and Australian pines border the shores. A huge bonefish and permit oasis was visible in the center. Mentally, I was plotting my return before I even got there.
We landed at Colonel Hill Airport, a small non-descript place also known as Crooked Island Airport, which is the main airport on Crooked Island. There is also an 3,500’ airstrip at the Crooked Island Lodge which can handle most propeller-driven private and charter flights.
Crooked Island Lodge manager, Cynthia Williams, and our fishing guide, Jeffery Moss, were waiting for us at the airport. We quickly gather our luggage and off we were to the lodge which was a little less than a 30-minute drive.
With a population of less than 200 people on Crooked Island it is rare to see another car on the road. The largest concentration of cars and vans are naturally at the airport. The residents of Crooked Island are divided mainly into a few small peaceful villages. The island is particularly unspoiled and beautiful and it appears to be lost in time.
The effects of Hurricane Joaguin which wreaked havoc on the Crooked Island in 2015 was still apparent. For the most part, the island has been cleaned up, homes rebuilt and roads repaired. However, you will still see some random hurricane debris here and there, and the occasional car deposited in the woods by high waters.
The small lodge where we stayed is located at the northern of Crooked Island at a place called Pittstown Point overlooking a picturesque beach, coral reefs and a lighthouse in the distance.
The lodge, under manager Cynthia Williams and general manager, Chris Higgs’ guidance provided us with clean rooms, breakfast, a packed lunch, very good dinners and transportation while on the island. All for a very reasonable price.
The guides decide beforehand, depending upon the weather conditions and our choice of species to target, which of the local boats ramps to launch at.
As for transportation, one of the lodge employees would be there to transport us to the boats ramp in the morning and pick us up in the afternoon.
The fishing area is huge. Have you been to South Andros Island? This place is larger. Have you been to Ascension Bay or Espiritu Santo Bay? This place is bigger. The fishing on the south and west side of Crooked Island provides numerous bonefish opportunities on vast white sand and grass flats.
The guides are all fine people, and they work hard to ensure anglers are successful and have fun. They are running a variety of modern flats skiffs equipped with poling platforms, rod holders, radios and cooler for drinks and lunch. Additionally, they are all expert casters & instructors, and a pleasure to spend the day with pursuing fish.
And the Crooked Island Fishing, Lord, Have Mercy; You will consistently see three and four pound fish on the average, larger bonefish than most places anywhere in this hemisphere. Of course, the number of fish you can expect to catch at any time is directly related to your skill as an angler. Bonefish are spooky and the casting has to be accurate. You need to be able to put that fly at 50-60 feet and you have to do without a lot of false casting. Some anglers like to make big long cast that shoot out and land real heavy, which scares the fish. In most cases, this is not necessary. Finesse triumphs over brute strength.
For spin fishermen, you have the added bonus of catching big barracuda , Jacks and reef fish, which are more of a challenge with fly gear.
Our guide, Jeffery Moss, had his shiny skiff in the water each day when we arrived. We wasted no time assembling our travel rods and we were quickly off to the beautiful flats. We tried various places around the islands and every day was different, but all were good! We did see and cast to multiple big permit in slightly deeper water than the bonefish. We did hook one nice permit, however, that fight was short lived.
I can tell you with absolute certainty, having caught more than 130 permit of the fly, Crooked and Acklins Islands are a place that an angler has an honest chance to catch a permit on the fly, if that’s what you desire.
Bordered by a pristine blue water reef just offshore, Crooked Island is one of our favorite places to fish for Big Bonefish and Permit. Crooked Island offers some of the best bonefishing and permit fishing in the Bahamas.
Huge, white sand flats and turtle grass flats reveal, at times, astonishing populations of bonefish. Crooked Island is truly one of the last great, unspoiled bonefish fisheries in the Bahamas.
This is absolutely one of the best flat’s fisheries in the Bahamas. The guides are all are skilled at what they do and they work very hard to ensure your trip is a success.
Overall, Crooked and Acklins are beautiful islands with lots of quality bone fishing opportunities and great people.
If you seek a remote flats fishing destination which is off the beaten and lost in the southern Bahamas, not far from Cuba and the US, but almost off the radar, Crooked and Acklins Islands is the place!
If you have been there then you know already, Crooked Island Fishing is great, 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 2021. Please feel free to call us with any questions you may have.
You will find the rates for Crooked Island Lodge here.
Remember that Leisure Time Travel’s services are completely free and there is no extra cost for our sporting services. When you book a trip with Leisure Time Travel, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge.