We’ll Take a Wedding with a Side of Bonefishing Please

By: Nathan Alexander (Columbia, MO)

My (now) wife and I chose Exuma, Bahamas for our dream destination wedding/honeymon the first week of March this year. A few days into our trip, we were married on the beach – even had some new friends we met on vacation join us for the occasion (Chris & Kara Speicher).

I’m a freshwater crappie fisherman by trade, but as a kid I would watch Walker’s Cay Chronicles on Saturday mornings on ESPN, and always dreamed of fishing the flats of the Caribbean. I started doing a little research before our trip, about fishing in the area, and ran across guide Bonefish Stevie Ferguson. Stevie grew up on the island, and has guided bonefishing trips since he was a teenager. After reading several reviews online from his clients, bragging about their wonderful trips, I booked an all day fishing trip.

Stevie met us early the morning of our fishing trip at our resort (Sandals Emerald Bay), and taxied us to his flats boat about 20 min away. The wind was strong the week we spent in Exuma, so being a novice fly fisherman, I opted for the more familiar spinning tackle – 7 ft medium action rod with 10-lb mono. March falls during the “winter” months in this part of the world, although being a mid-western boy, it sure didn’t feel like it. Stevie explained that the fish were holding in a bit deeper water than during the warmer months, so our tackle of choice was a 1/4 red lead head, with a pumpkinseed colored tube jig (crappie size). Rachael was the first to hook up that morning, with a very nice bonefish. It made several long runs before coming unbuttoned. I hooked up next, with similar results.

We continued fishing, hitting spot after spot. Hooked up with a few more fish, breaking off on a good bone and a small barracuda. Finally, we pulled up to an area where the tide was rushing out between a couple of smaller islands. This was the spot we had been searching for all day. Fishing the deep side of the boat, no bites were to be had. Stevie indicated we would make a couple of more casts, then head on. I spun around and made a cast to the shallow mangroves… BAM! A bonefish smoked the jig and the fight was on. This fish made his way into the boat for a photo op. Over the next 20 minutes we landed five more nice bonefish. It was exactly what I had booked the trip for.

Pound for pound, bonefish are probably one of the best fighting fish I have ever set a hook on. If you want a fun-filled day of fishing, with some of the most breathtaking views on earth, I would highly recommend some light tackle flats fishing in the Caribbean. And if you head down to Exuma, get in touch with Bonefish Stevie for a wonderful fishing trip.