Pete McDonald was part of the elite (ahem) group of angling writers who fished at Andros South this past May at our inaugural FIBFest event. Among other things, Pete writes a super cool blog about fishing called Fishing Jones.
Today Pete checks in with a few somewhat unusual lessons learned on his trip to Andros South. Isn’t it funny how some of the best writing about fishing isn’t really about fishing?
Things I Learned at Andros South
The drink is called sky juice and it’s a mixture of condensed milk, coconut rum, gin, and whatever other bottles are open at the time. Torrie Bevans mixed it up at the Slack Tide on what happened to be my last night at Andros South and it made the start proper.
I didn’t get to fish with Torrie, but if I go expat and move to Kemp’s Bay I’m inviting him to my Christmas party. In a scene mixed with Olympic medalists and other guides with outsized personalities, he owned the Tiki.
I came in as a third-day interloper and a Western Air scheduling glitch curtailed my fishing time by a full session. As far as bonefish advice, what the hell do I know?
I know you can go out all day with top-level guides or, if you’re Johnny Spillane, you can catch a fat bone while blind casting for snapper under a sailboat. (He was trying to win a contest.)
The flight from Nassau to Congo Town is exactly 17 minutes long. In the air you will notice the contrast between the green water and a band of the darkest blue you have ever seen. This is called the “Tongue of The Ocean” and it extends along the whole eastern coastline of Andros and then hooks like a hockey stick toward the Exumas. The floor of the ocean at its deepest there is two miles down, and its sheer volume dwarves the tidal flats that look so endless when you’re standing on them. It’s a reminder that a fish rooting for crustaceans in five inches of water is a unique event in the scope of oceans, and your casting to it is a singular undertaking whether it eats or not. Better when it eats.
The Lucayan Arawaks lived on Andros before Spanish explorers “discovered” it and made them disappear. That went down five centuries ago but even today Andros is pretty empty. There are a few thousand people born on-island and more from elsewhere classified as driftwood. Over 150,000 acres of land still remain untouched, except maybe in the 80s by things dropped from low flying planes. The unpopulated western coastline is accessible from Andros South by skimming through tidal creeks. The tides never lined up for us to get west, but supposedly the fishing there is crazy good. I thought the flats we did fish were as good as good gets so if that’s true…Jesus.
I read once that as train travel came to pass in the 1800s, science types worried that moving at speeds over 20 mph would drive a man to insanity. My flight from JFK to Nassau peaked at 574 mph, but I came out of it all right. When you watch and feel a bonefish peel line off your reel in 25 mph bursts, though, it definitely touches you in the head. Maybe those 19th century science types had it partly right. Whatever, a drink back at the Slack Tides evens things out.
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Bjorn Stromsness says
That was nice.