Sunday, July 29, 2007

Native Bimini Images by Captain Jon Cooper...

First of all, another hearty thanks to freelance photographer Captain Jon Cooper ( 1-954-592-9638 ) for all the magnificent visual imagery of the magical and historically-resplendent island of Bimini as well as its newest flagship resort and destination, Bimini Bay Resort and Marina.
The first image is the omnipresent grillfish stand that offers the freshly-prepared delights of conch salad, fried fish, grilled lobster, conch fritters and ice-cold Kalik beer. These dishes seem to taste best when consumed at these roadside eateries, particularly after a solid day of fishing around Bimini.
The next three images are street and restaurant scenes of old Bailey and Alice Towns. I love these places- if you go there, I think you will, too!
The next image is of Ashley Saunder's famous Dolphin House, which is an artistic work-in-progress. He is a fascinating man who further builds on the dignity and standing of his family's famous name with his creativity in the arts and history- I feel he is the island's Picasso.
The next three images are of bonefish legend and icon Ansil Saunders, who guided Jerry Lavenstein to his 16 plus-pound bonefish world record. One is of Ansil's posing with an inscription by the wife of Martin Luther King, Coretta. The next two are of his hand-built wooden bonefish skiff, Jewel.
The final image is of Bimini bonefish guide, Eagle Eyes, posing alongside one of Ansil's bonefish skiffs currently under construction.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bimini Bay Resort and Marina Images by Captain Jon Cooper

One of the highlights of this trip was the day we fished the mouth of Bimini inlet. The boat traffic had no effect whatsoever on the fishy action. The incoming tide was perfect for my 1/2 ounce Spro prime bucktail jig, which I favor in white. At times, I tippped the jig with shrimp- other times, I fished it "pure." Here's what we caught on these great lures:
*Horseye jacks to 8 pounds.
*Bar jack to 4 pounds.
*Mangrove snappers to 3 pounds.
*Margates to 3 pounds.
*Schoolmaster snapper to 2 pounds.
*Silk snapper to 3 pounds.
*Triggerfish to 3 pounds.
We had some huge mutton snapper grab our Spros at the surface, then blast for the bottom in seconds -some of these fish topped 15 pounds. We also lost countless large barracuda, since I refused to go to wire and reduce the numerous strikes.

Photo Credit: Captain Jon Cooper 1-954-592-9638

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Grand Time at Bimini Bay Resort and Marina...

As the SOFLA sun celebrates the time of its' highest radiance, there was no better time to celebrate fishing at what is sure to be the Bahama's largest ownership/rental/hotel resort destination: Bimini Bay Resort and Marina ( The setting could not be more ideal where such a "small" Bahamian island could have such a huge impact on angling history: Van Campen Heilner, Hemingway, Lerner, Farrington- the list goes on and on. It became clear to me that more angling history will occur as this island enjoys such exciting reinvigoration as Bimini Bay's expansive marinas beckon the shining sportfishing boats back with snug harbors and amenities just minutes from the Gulf Stream's eastern edge.

My mind seized on the merry-go-round of images that awaited me. The gin-clear waters, historic hotels, reefs, the Bimini Roads, bonefish, jacks, grouper and snapper went up and down like wooden horses in the carnival of pre-trip excitements.

The day arrived in a stretch of sunny, calm, cloudless weather that bore that Gulfstream plane gently across cobalt seas and eased us onto the landing strip in South Bimini. A quick ferry to north Bimini and I was whisked away by the Grand Damme of the island, Antoinette Rolle. I quickly recognized her pedigreed Bahamian name that shared the lofty perchs in the sun with the Saunders, Pinders, Sawyers, and so many other families of deep island roots.

The rooms and decor at the resort were beautifully tropical and Floribbean and kept me in the mood in the land of beaches, swaying palms, pine forests, and sunken tresure from who-knows-where. I was picked up for dinner and dined on a lobster bisque, spinach salad, and grilled yellowfin tuna over a vegetable puree. The meal was served with a Red Diamond cabernet. The resort's restaurant is called Casa Lyon- I preferred to call it Casa Prima!

After walking back to my room under a star-filled salt-scented night, I glanced at the itinerary that Allison Robbins of Bimini Bay had in store for me. It included two days of flats fishing with one of Bimini's finest- Captain Tommy Sewell and a third offshore day with gentleman Captain Jerome of the Miss Bonita charter vessel.

It would turn out that all these fishing trips would be great experiences as would our explorations, but that belongs to another installment of the fun at Bimini Bay Resort....


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Back from Bimini Bay!

Despite overwhelming summer heat, Bimini Bay Resort and Marina ( did an incredible job of setting us up with three days of excellent light tackle angling. Stay tuned for the story!...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Bimini Bay Resort and Sea Vee Boats

July 19-22: Sea Vee Bimini Bash! This is the most family-friendly event we know of. The BASH has events for the entire family including:
- Snorkeling the Sapona Wreck- Feeding the stingrays at Honeymoon Harbor- Beach BBQ- Castaway Games- Poker Tournament- Fishing Tournament- Open bars and great food too!!!Rooms are limited and with the great weather, expect there to be MANY late comers. Call Sea Vee to register and secure your spot: 305-759-6419

(Courtesy Sea Vee Boats)

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Bonefish of High Summer...

In another slap in the face of superstition, Friday the 13th was a gem of a day featuring cloudless bluebird skies, light winds, and excellent flats fishing. The juxtaposition of new moon stronger tides that were high early in the morning promised cooler water lapping the shorelines as the dawn sun made its debut in SOFLA for another day. These conditions are especially important during our hottest months as they give the temperate-loving species like bonefish a feeding slot for the day in the shallows that will no doubt in a few hours start to bake as El Sol rises high in the sky accompanied by the whirring chirping symphony of cicadas nestled in the shoreline Australian pines.

My preparations for these kinds of days begin in the wee hours and my arrival on the flats is still in enough remaining darkness that my running lights have to be on. As I anticipated the location of bonefish movements, I "chummed and soaked" flats waters that were impossible to see into until King Egg Yolk rose past my head-height. This early method yielded two bonefish of six pounds. As the visibility into the water grew, I repositioned the boat over a white patch in the middle of a Thallasia field and waited to spot the actual fish pushing into the last hour of the incoming tide. I feel that bones coming off the grassy pastures are sometimes better takers than fish crossing a long sandy expanse. This period yielded two more bonefish of the same size as well as a boxfish of ten pounds that I simply could not -or would not- resist casting to: the run of a huge boxfish can exceed one hundred yards- and it did! I particularly like its' striking adrenal colorations as the fish is brought alongside for release.

By 10 a.m., all the ambient heat and sunbeams reduced me to a sweaty reddish-tinged raisin; enough of a kick-in-the-head signal that it was time to quit. An afternoon of trip planning for distant shores in air conditioned comfort with my pals PC and Diet Coke was a welcome prospect!