Just returned from the Acklin Island’s in the southern Bahamas, one of the best and unusual bone fishing trips I have ever been on. I have fished most of the islands in the Bahamas and wanted to cross off the Acklins and Crooked Island.
Started researching my options on line with my old fishing buddy Pete. He came across a guy named Fedel Johnson who has lived and guided in the Acklins all his life.
Fedel offered something unique, you fish with him, you share his house, his food and his abundant hospitality. After some correspondence, we decided to book a trip. There would be four guys going, two could stay for a week and Pete and I could fish ten days. The day before we were supposed to leave one of our four guys had a major health emergency and had to drop out. We notified Fedel and he said no problem, will work it out. Since it was a medical emergency Fedel returned the full deposit.
There are two airlines that service the Acklins and Crooked Island. We flew Bahamas Air which makes the trip on Wednesdays and Saturdays. You can also fly Pineapple Air which flys on Mondays and Fridays. On both these airlines you pretty much have to night over in Nassau to catch the early and only flight out to the islands. With a little luck you can make it all the way home on your return flight in one day.
Fedel Johnson and his wife Erika met us at the airport. One of our bags didn’t make it off the plane and there was some badly needed medicine inside for Pete who had major back surgery two months prier. Our guide, Fedel, knew that the plane was headed to the Crooked Island. He called the airport, described the bag, had it put on the ferry boat dock. He then went to Crooked Island by boat and picked it up. What a guy!
Fedel has a really unique bone fishing package going. For $1700 you get room and board in his house for seven nights with two days of guided bone fishing. The other four days you can wade fish on your own or he will drop you off on a flat for a small charge or you can hire him for $350 a day. Another option is to pay $2850 and you get all six days guided.
I’ve hired guides all over the world including Christmas Island, Belize, Los Roques, the Bahamas etc. I have never met a harder worker or nicer guy than Fedel Johnson. He’s up at 4 am getting ready to make this a special day for who ever he is guiding. His flats boat is anchored two miles from the house in a place called Lovely Bay. Fedel usually makes one or two trips there before you even get up. He doesn’t waste a minute of your time or his. If you want to fish from sunup to sunset, no problem mon. He’s not a clock watcher, he will stay out as long as you want!
Erika, his wife is also a real go getter. She will have hot coffee and breakfast ready before you get up. She will make your bed everyday, clean your room and have your dirty clothes washed, folded and sitting on your bed when you get home. She packs your lunch along with cold drinks and a treat. When you return at night, supper is cooking and glasses and ice are waiting.
Fedel and Erika’s house is a simple clean house with tiled floors and three guest bedrooms. One bedroom has its own bathroom with two single beds and a ceiling fan. The other two bedrooms share a bathroom and have two single beds each with air conditioning. They hope to have air in all three bedrooms soon. There is a tv with satellite reception in the living room and they have wireless for your iPads .
Now let’s talk about the fishing. It was sensational! The bonefish seem like they don’t get much pressure. Nine out of ten times they would fight each other to eat your fly. Most bones were in the 3-4 lb. range with a few 5-8 lb. I lost some much bigger bones that broke my fly off or straightened my hook.
Half the time I was fishing from the boat and the other half I was wade fishing, both were productive. We ended up landing about 167 bones between the three of us. I lost track of how many got off.
The flats seemed endless, Fedel said you could fish a different flat everyday and it would take you five years to fish them all.
After spending ten days with Fedel and Erika, I can only say that we all felt welcomed in their home, felt comfortable, secure ,and all had a great time.
I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone who loves bone fishing. There are about 550 people on the island, no stores. Food comes by boat once a week. The week we were there the boat never showed up. Not a problem, we had fresh lobster, conch, cuda, and anything else we trolled for on our way back home ever night .
I am already planning a return trip next year, can’t wait.
To reach Fedel, his cell is 242-464-8084 or you can e-mail him at
fjpurebones (at) gmail