As we wait out the uncertainty of this pandemic, we take another look back to remember what we have to look forward to in the future. This time our brand ambassador Jimmy Jacobs shares his trip to Acklins Island in the Bahamas in pursuit of bonefish.
Acklins Island is the epitome of “back country” in the The Islands of the Bahamas. Positioned roughly 270 miles south of Nassau, it’s not a place you just stumble across. You have to really want to get there.
The quality of the bonefish action on the surrounding flats provides the impetus for that desire to reach the isle. Making the experience even better is the fact the angling is basically do-it-yourself wade fishing. The DIY part is a bit misleading: you do have a guide, but he is more like a fishing buddy than a guide.
Once we reached the angling destination, he grabbed his fly rod and began fishing. I was free to tag along and get pointers or have him point out fish. On the other hand, if I wanted to stray off to myself, that was fine too. Joseph’s main concern was getting me back to the lodge safely by dinner time.
In this remote area, the bones are plentiful, see virtually no angling pressure, and thus they tend to be less leader-shy and not very picky about fly selection. Some of the pods of fish even proved to be a bit immune to spooking, hanging around even after a bad cast landed near them. Of course, if you splashed the fly down in the middle of school, that was a different story.
There are only two connector flights from Nassau each week. Due to the Bahamas Air flights having early departure times, an overnight layover on New Providence is a necessity.
Once on the island, the staff from Salinas Point provides a van ride to the southern end, along the isle’s only highway. The lodge has its own power grid, comfortable accommodations, good meals and even WiFi connection. There is, however, nothing else to do here but catch fish.
The guide picks you up each morning by boat to motor to one of the many flats holding the bones. For the hardy angler, Acklins Island can provide an experience of a lifetime.
Jimmy Jacobs has been fishing the trout waters of the southeastern states for more than 50 years. He was the editor of Georgia Sportsman magazines for a quarter century before retiring in 2014. He also was the outdoor columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper for eight years and was an on-air fishing reporter for Fox Sports Outdoors for four seasons. Additionally, he served as editor of Southern Saltwater Fly Fishing Magazine.
Today he is a partner in ON THE FLY SOUTH, The Journal of Fly-Fishing Destinations and More in the Southeastern States, Caribbean and Central America.
Jimmy is a member of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association, Georgia Outdoor Writers Association, and Southeastern Outdoor Press Associations. In 2015 he was inducted into the Georgia Outdoor Writers Association Hunting and Fishing Hall of Fame. In 2017 he also was elected to the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians Hall of Fame and the Georgia State University Athletics Hall of Fame.
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