Harbor View Vacation Rental in Exuma

Bonefish Guides

Large Bonefish

We often see him  from our balcony at Harbour View, as he poles his 16 foot Dolphin boat through the shallows of the southern side of Moriah Cay.  Both he and his anxious bonefish client scouring the calm waters with their polaroid sunglasses, searching for that elusive bonefish.

Bonefishing Exuma

We watch closely as Drexel points some 30 yards away, the fisherman nods and starts the rhythmic motion with his fly rod, back and forth, back and forth, each time feeding more line in an arc, then he casts.

 Silence reigns as the line descends into the water. Then suddenly there is a major disturbance as the fish bites, realizes he has a problem and shoots off at maximum speed.   The sound you hear is the reel as it feeds out the line, the fisherman tightens the clutch on the reel just slightly, and the battle begins.

For the next 45 minutes the guide advises the client as the fish continually changes directions, hoping to get into the mangroves,  to double back and get some slack, then another run. All the time the guest is working to keep tension on the line, to keep his catch away from the rocks.

Eventually the fish tires and is drawn to the boat where Drexel uses his net to bring the beautiful victim aboard. A quick high five, a photo shoot, remove the lure and gently lower the fish back  into its habitat.

Bonefish catch
Best of the day

Well that’s the result today but how did this guide know where to take his guest? How did the guide know when to take his guest to that location and how did he see that fish when most of us miss them?

Well twenty plus years ago Drexel Rolle, born and bred in Exuma, had just left school and had his first job working at the Peace and Plenty Bonefish Lodge. The lodge, now a private home, was the hotel on the Northern shore of Exuma across from Moriah Harbour Cay. If fly fishing was your thing, then this was one of the best World class locations. Aficionados from around the world made their way to Exuma and the bonefish lodge.  

Dexelle's   the best

The enthusiasm of the fishermen and the enthusiasm of the guides quickly set Drexel on a course that was to serve him for the rest of his days.  The stories he heard and the excitement they expressed made him decide that he was going to be a renown bonefish guide.

So years of training, how to cast, where the bonefish will be at different states of the tide, how and where they will be at different stages of their lives, what lures get the best results. Safety training, CPR, boat safety, captains license. All the things he needed to master before he could have certification and therefore promote confidence in his clients

bonefishing in Exuma

Move forward to the present day and Drexel Rolle is one of the leading experts and guides in the bonefish industry in Exuma.  Nowadays everybody need a license to fish and bone fishing is a catch and release sport. You can fish for bonefish without a guide, (you still need to get a license ) but you stand a good chance of a long tiring day with little results.

The guides know where, they know when, and they know how. That’s why you pay them the big bucks !

My biggest catch

Bonefish can live for 15 years and as juveniles they tend to stay in shoals, mainly on the flats on the southside of Exuma where they vary between pound and a half up to seven pounds.

As they mature they become more solitary and the larger specimens can be found off Crab Cay, or between Hartswell and Moriah Harbour Cay where they can weigh up to 16 pounds and will give you an arm wrenching two hour battle.

If you want to try this exciting sport give Drexel Rolle a call at 1 242 345 5025 or on his mobile at 357 0243, or better still e mail him. 

Drexel is also available for a fishing trip for a day,  so go search for that Wahoo or Mahi Mahi. Let an expert help you provide the meal of a lifetime.

Our Favourite Beach in Exuma

coastline adventures

Here are our top ten reasons to visit Exuma. 

Here are the top 10 reasons why you should visit the island of Exuma in The Bahamas. Some are well know, some not so well known. Have a look around as we have included photos, videos, information and links. They are in no particular order:

1. Explore Exuma’s Best Beaches

When was the last time you had the opportunity to explore a deserted island?  To travel there under your own power and not see another soul. To walk through warm clear water and see fish of  all sizes.
To walk the powder soft sandy coastline and find one of many sheltered bays each with the gentle waves lapping at your feet.  Of course Moriah Cay is just one of the many beaches we recommend, follow this link to see more Exuma Beaches

2. Day Trip to See Swimming Pigs

We have recommended to almost all of our previous guest that they devote one day to the trip to see the swimming Pigs and without exception they have returned saying it was a trip to treasure for a long time (just check our guest reviews to see their words).

Your all day trip will include passing the Cays bought by the stars, stops to see wild Iguanas, Swim with Nurse Sharks, visit the swimming pigs, and explore Thunderball Cave, but rather than me go on about it, watch the video and see for yourself. want to see more of swimming pigs? Just click on this link

3. Rent A Boat

Minns Water Sports based on Lake Victoria in George Town will rent you a self-drive boat for a day or half day. Enabling you to build your own adventure and explore Elizabeth Harbour. you have many beaches to visit, snorkel areas to explore, and a choice of Restaurants to visit….check out the video.

Or maybe you want to travel outside of Elizabeth Harbour, or just want to rent a boat with a knowledgeable skipper for the day. No problem contact  Coastline Adventures.  Whichever you desire, click here for more information.

coastline adventures
photo by Nelson Ranger of ibababahamas.com

4. Dining Out

One of our favorite ways to spend a day is to lunch out at one of the many beachside restaurants, get a Kalik (local beer) and enjoy a meal such as lobster  at Santanna’s.

On the way there we visit one of the beaches, and if we have the energy, another beach on the way home…heaven!

Talking of restaurants, I invite you to check our Restaurants page.

dining at tropic breeze

5. A Kayak Trip

My perfect day is to be in Exuma and to take my kayak to explore. It could be a trip through the mangroves, It could be around Moriah Cay to the Ocean or past Man O War Cay to the sandbar. I may see a Turtle, a Dolphin or a Sting Ray. Then home with a smile on my face and some good pictures in my camera,
talking of good pictures take a look at our kayaking page.

kayaking

6. Kiteboarding

Over the last few years the sport of Kiteboarding has blossomed and Exuma is the perfect location. Which ever way the wind is blowing there is a shallow coastline to visit. For more about this sport in Exuma follow this link

7. Scuba Diving & Snorkeling

Exuma Scuba have been taking divers on thrilling trips for some years now. With their base on the town dock at the edge of Elizabeth Harbour they are ready to take you on your next adventure. They carry PADI certification and have a wide range of locations to take you.

If you are looking for a snorkel spot we have a list of locations for you.

More information if you go to our Scuba & Snorkel page 

8. Jet Skis in Exuma

Jet skis, you love them or hate them ! Whichever, they are a perfect way to explore the many islands that surround Exuma and also the adjacent string of islands called the Exuma Cays. For more information follow this link

9. Beach Weddings in Exuma

Want a wedding that is laidback and off the charts? We can organize your beach wedding free of charge if you stay at Harbour View for at least a week. We know the rules, we know the cost, we know the locations.

10. Bonefishing in Exuma

One of the areas to bonefish favored by the professional guides is directly in front of our home in the shallows by Moriah Cay. You are allowed to fish alone if you wish but you do need a reasonably priced license. For more videos of this difficult sport visit our bonefish page

https://youtu.be/znd-C9Mf1LY

Snorkeling close to home

coastline adventures

Just yards from our home, Harbour View, and in less than 10 foot of water lies one of the best snorkel spots in Exuma. Located just off shore between Hartswell and Moriah Harbour Cay.  While the area of the reef is not large it is well populated with all sorts of fish, from medium sized Grouper and Permit, to the dreaded Lion Fish, and even some lobsters, It’s a rewarding swim.

Bonefishing with Stevie

bonefish Stevie Exuma
bonefish Stevie
bonefish Stevie

If bonefishing is your pastime then Stevie should be your guide and Exuma your destination. Our island has a worldwide reputation as one of the premier locations to seek out the silver bullets.

Bonefish are one of the most difficult species of fish for anglers to tussle with. Their silver color blends in the sun shining on the Ocean and their skittish nature magnifies the difficulty. Once you have cast your line and got them to bite you can prepare yourself for a  battle. They are renown for their power and stamina and have been known to run out the anglers full line, or find a reed to tangle the line.

Bonefish are to be found throughout the Exuma chain of islands but locally their are two favorite areas that Stevie is likely to take you. His choice will depend on several factors, the main one being the state of the tide. This is because the fish grub for shrimps and crabs in the sand and mud as the tide comes in so you prefer to fish on a rising tide.

“Bonefish Steve” grew up in Hermitage in Exuma and has more than 20 years experience teaching and guiding clients in how to find, how to cast, and how to catch these elusive fish. Bonefish are not for eating, they are strictly catch and release. Thereby not depleting the numbers.

For 10 years Stevie was the go-to guide for the Peace and Plenty Hotel. The story goes, as a young lad he was on the dock one day when the hotels regular fishing guide was missing and Stevie got the chance to show clients where to fish.  The largest number of bonefish are to be found on the south side of the island where the flats stretch for miles and here you find the shoals, mostly juvenile and therefore small to medium size. The fish tends to stay in shoals when young then as they mature they become more solo and move. Often to the North shore of Exuma and one of their favorites is between Hartswell and the south shore of Moriah Harbour Cay, directly in front of our home Harbour View. Here are the big fish and you can fish, either alone wading through the warm water, or with the help and advise of “bonefish Steve”

Steve will take you for a half or full day trip. He picks you up from your accommodation, takes you to his boat, then off to wherever the best prospects are that day, taking into consideration the state of the tide, the wind direction and your experience level.  Good Luck !

To find Steve go online to his website

Fishing License Rules Scrapped

Bonefishing Exuma

The Bahamian government has decided to scrap the rules that the previous government introduced related to the need to have a license to fish when in The Bahamas.

The controversial rules were meant to protect the local fish stocks but bonefish guides have reported that bookings are down by 40%.  They believe the need to provide licenses in The Bahamas puts them at a disadvantage compared to  other countries that do not require any license to fish.

So if you are a keen fisherman you can now practice your hobby, with or without a guide, without having to spend time getting a license.

One very popular area for bonefishing is in the shallows between Moriah Harbour Cay and our rental in Hartswell. So come and experience some of the World’s best bonefishing. We will put you in touch with a qualified guide, or you can now fish alone using one of our kayaks to reach the shallows.

Bonefish in Exuma

bonefishing in Exuma

Bonefish in Exuma are one of the main attractions why anglers who want to test their skills in warm waters head for The Bahamas. If this is your sport then look for accommodation close to the flats where these elusive, strong, silver fish hang out.

That usually means seeking a rental either on the southside of Exuma, where the juvenile fish can be found in shoals. Or a base in Hartswell on the northshore where the adult fish and therefore larger bonefish are to be found.

The bonefish weighs up to 19 lb (8.6 kg) and measures up to 90 cm (35 in) long. The color of bonefish can range from very silver sides and slight darker backs to olive green backs that blend to the silver side. Slight shading on the scales often lead to very soft subtle lines that run the flank of the fish from the gills to the tail. Bonefish in Exuma are caught for sport, not for food, so its catch and release.

Bonefish in Exuma,  live in inshore tropical waters and moves onto shallow flats to feed with the incoming tide. Adults and juveniles may shoal together, and they may be found singly or in pairs.

The bonefish feeds on worms, fry, crustaceans, and molluscs. These are found on edges, drop-offs, and clean, healthy seagrass beds yield abundant small prey such as crabs and shrimp. Bonefish in Exuma have been observed may following stingrays to catch the small animals they root from the substrate.

You are permitted to fish alone, either from a small boat or kayak or simply wading the shallow flats on a rising tide. However you do need a permit which can simply be obtained upon arrival on island for a modest fee.

Alternatively you can rent a guide for a day or half day from one of the qualified guides in the Bonefish guides association. These experts can teach a novice or navigate an experienced angler to the location where the best fishing is found.

Enjoy the following video made by guests who stayed with us at Harbour View. Most of the video is using our kayaks in the waters directly in front of our home.

The Art of Bonefishing

bonefishing

Every year we have many avid fishermen and fisherwomen visit Exuma to participate in their passion, the art of catching bonefish. These skittish and elusive fish are difficult to see,  their silver scales reflect the light along with the sun shining on the wavelets as they glide through the clear Ocean shallows.

There are several areas that the fishermen and their guides favor. The shallows off the coast on the Southside of Exuma extend in places as far offshore as a mile, enabling the angler to wade while searching, or use a shallow boat boat equipped with a elevated platform that the guide can stand on to get a better elevated view of the surroundings as he punts the boat slowly,  not to disturb the unsuspecting prey. Here the fish are young and stay in shoals so the angler has a better chance of getting a catch.

Then on the Northshore between Hartswell and Moriah Cay are more shallows and it is here that the larger bonefish, the adults that have adopted the solitary life, are to be found.

In order to preserve the numbers of fish, it is catch and release, and you are required to purchase a license from the Administrators office. Cost are not excessive, but once you have a license you can fish on your own or hire one of many qualified and licensed guides.

we have had professional fishing journalists stay with us at Harbour View, in fact we have their video on the “top 10” page of this website.

Created by Don

Translate »