FLATS FISHING ON ANDROS
Guide Points Out an Andros Bonefish
The flats of Andros are a wonder of the fishing world. Nowhere else can you find such endless flats and variety of habitat. Even though Andros seems like one island, it’s technically a series of cays intercut with “creeks” that run east to west, connecting the Atlantic with the Caribbean. In between you’ll find reefs, deep channels, grassy flats, sandy bays, oceanside beaches, and mangrove shoreline. Big Charlie’s is a 5 minute run from the largest of these east-west channels: the North Bight. With it’s proximity to the Tongue of the Ocean, the North Bight is a major bonefish highway for fish heading offshore to spawn. Nearby deep water also means that there’s a fresh supply of cool, oxygenated water and nutrients, ideal conditions to breed monster bonefish, and plenty of them.
The sheer size of Andros is why most guides prefer to fish from a skiff: you can cover more ground to find the fish. Bonefish are not structure-oriented, but move on and off the flats with the tides. Fishing from a skiff does require different skills than wading or river fishing. This is where teamwork between the guide and angler really come into play. High on his platform, the guide is the eyes of the team. A good guide can talk an angler into catching a bonefish the angler never sees; all you’ve got to do is follow their guidance.
There’s nothing like hooking a bonefish in ankle-deep water and watching your fly-line slicing across the flat.
Of course, if you prefer to wade there are endless firm, shallow flats, and our guides will find the best ones for the tide at hand. Wading is a great way to go one-on-one with bonefish and there’s nothing like stalking and hooking a bonefish in ankle-deep water and watching your flyline slicing across the flat toward deeper water.
One of the main attractions for bonefish anglers to the North Bight is the proximity of the West Side. In good weather it’s a 45-min run, but well-worth it. Andros’ West Side is an untouched saltwater paradise: no houses, no roads, no trash and almost signs of people—nothing but shallow water and bonefish as far as the eye can see. During the summer this is also a great place for tarpon. These fish seem to migrate over the Great Bahama Bank on their way to Florida or elsewhere. Fishing the West Side is something every serious bonefish angler needs to do at least once, and using Big Charlie’s as a basecamp is a great way to do it.