Thursday, May 31, 2007

Looking Forward to Bimini Bay Resort...

I've always felt that the Bimini chain of islands in the Bahamas are so well-perched for productive fishing- sitting on the western edge of the Great Bahama Bank on the east fringe of the Gulf Stream makes memorable angling a daily possibility. Foremost amongst the species are bonefish, blue marlin, and, at times, giant bluefin tuna. This Bahamian island chain is well-known amongst flats fishermen for producing record-sized bonefish.

Bimini can feel proud in the development of the Bimini Bay Resort and Casino ( My first glance tells me that it could well be the crowning jewel that sits on these wonderful fishing grounds, and it's my good fortune to have Bimini Bay Resort in my future itinerary.


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Looking Forward to Gamboa Rainforest Resort....

It's a distinct pleasure to be setting my sights on the delightful and resplendent Gamboa Rainforest Resort in Panama for an upcoming story. Their website is
What's especially alluring is the prospect of catching some scrappy peacocks and maybe a snook or tarpon under such a lush green tropical canopy. Gaze aloft and spy a howler monkey or even a sloth, then return to a destination that sets the standard for service, amenities, and luxury.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Back to Jupiter!...

What would Memorial Day be without "somehow" getting away? The question becomes, getting away from what? Life on the waters of Florida's Gold Coast from Jupiter to Key West (my boundaries) is simply too scrumptious not to attract volumes of visitors as well as riveting residents-both old and new- to our seashore. So perhaps, getting away means leaving our usual haunts and plopping ourselves in some different place geographically, and possibly, demographically. What was fortunate was that our travel plans coincided with a decidedly better turn of weather for the second half of the four day weekend.

Mindful of that, we left oh-so-cool Miami behind and pointed the crosshairs of my SUV towards Jupiter Inlet. Our travel stategy would be to place ourselves where the crowds were not and still enjoy the Inlet's charms in relative peace. That meant a late lunch around 2:00p.m. at Schooners' Restaurant. The "sampler's" plate was hard to beat: scallops, dolphin, shrimp, and chicken over "dirty" rice with a side of cole slaw was pleasing. The meal was topped off with some festive key lime pie.

I'd made early plans with Jupiter Waterfront Inn ( to reserve room 215. This is a second floor studio on the extreme eastern end of the facility. It affords the best view of the water without the besotting sights and sounds of poolside activities and antics. Although the holiday did attract some all-night players, this is usually not the case and the facility delivers a pleasant stay. It's especially quiet during the summer off-season.

The view from this room is worth the stay and the huge amount of holiday boat traffic on the waters of the ICW made the cool depths of my digs the perfect place for reflections and finishing writing assignments. I do suspect, however, that the next time my feet touch down in Jupiter, it'll be on one of Captain Butch Constable's fishing vessels!


Saturday, May 19, 2007

A Week of Bonefishing and More...

Last Friday started the summer travel season with a bang. A quick though tasty booking on Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas was the first venue where ship travel often subverts from the joy of new climes and digs to simply looking for any excuse to pursue new flats. This short cruise became a bit of both.

The first port of call was Nassau. All too often, New Providence for me is simply an in-between stopover or hub before connecting to Andros or Long Island. Not so this time, and I was glad. I'd thought again of one angler/writer's haughty dismissal of Nassau as an "extension(s) of Miami" and chuckled to myself. The day ashore was taken up with shopping and lunching on Bay Street. Although the original Straw Market had burned down, another one had risen close by. This gave me a chance to add more items to my wooden fish sculpture collection. Some of these artisans have been at it for over twenty years. It's always a rare treat to find a well-sculpted bonefish amongst the tipped-down groupers and Bahama Mamas. This day went by like a spooked barracuda or even faster, like Alberto Gonzales' memory.

Since port of call number two was Little Stirrup Cay in the Northern Berry Islands, I'd packed two ultralight spinners and a handful of weighted Gotcha flies. I'd studied the flats carefully and had surmised there had to be some bonefish there: I'm glad to say I was right. The best flats actually appear in the above image: they lie past the extreme jutted-out point of land on the left side of the island (as it was shot). If you're attempting this via cruise ship (and the island changes names to Coco Cay), get away from the crowds and vessels and walk out to what's called Wanderer's Beach. Keep your eyes open and find the two metal stakes offshore. Work the area from there to about two hundred yards west. You'll find the bonefish here are large for the Bahamas, as they average from four to six pounds. Also bring some Steelon leader material for the many barracuda that materialize on these flats as the tide gets up.

Sadly, the cruise was over in another day. I'd grappled with the inevitable post-trip longings by working an oceanside flat a few days later off Miami and had five bonefish to seven pounds released in three hours. The heat of summer's approach is building. But for now, the conditions should keep the grey ghost an all-day affair for another month or so. And what's next? Tarpon Summer!


Monday, May 14, 2007

Back from the Bahamas....

It's always an effort to manage the irresistible draw this bonefish paradise has on me. The fine weather of May tipped the scales and off I went. I'll be writing shortly about the pleasures of returning to Nassau as well as my bonefish expedition to Little Stirrup Cay in the Berry Islands.