May 31, 2012
I should have known something was up. My whole crew was having a hard time keeping a straight face when we pulled up to the fuel dock at Boat Harbour Marina last week. For the first time ever the Dos Amigos was flying four marlin flags, and I suspect there may have been a toast performed below, while I was making the arduous three and a half mile run to the marina from where we released our fourth marlin.
The dockmaster surely had a funny look on his face when Barri Vickers, the boats owner, asked for, "five dollars worth please." It seems the crew had a plan to cruise through every marina in the Abacos showing off our flags, and they figured if we bought five dollars worth of diesel at each stop, eventually we'd be full. Yeah, now that I think about it, there must be a stash of Abaco rum hidden aboard somewhere.
When Barri and I partnered up some 11 years ago, I proposed to him we'd get a group together to go fish some exotic places to hone our billfish skills. I didn't really understand it when he told me he'd always dreamed of catching big fish on his own boat, with his tackle and his friends, and had little interest in being a charter customer in Costa Rica or anywhere else.
He was exactly right. After catching 4 blues and 2 whites in 3 days fishing off Marsh Harbour last week, it was a thrill that we never could have matched on a charter boat.
The truth is, I believe the billfishing in the Abacos has been improving for at least the last 4 years. While we were there last week, the Custom Boat Shootout was going on, where 37 boats released an amazing 99 billfish (92 marlin).
The best part of all from my point of view, is that it's an easy days run from Fort Pierce to almost anywhere in the Abacos. Come to think of it, I know a few kingfish fishermen that make runs longer than Fort Pierce to Boat Harbour to chase a stupid old... oops. Better not go there.
So, if you're like Barri and I, and you think catching 4 marlin in 1 day on your boat, with your family is the ultimate. Beat it to Boat Harbour. We love the marina there, but there are properties all throughout the Abacos, where you can rent a house with a slip, or stay in any number of cool places. For those of you younger than we are, there are anchorages available where you can spend the night aboard, in the lee from any direction.
Marlin fishing is improving in the Bahamas. I'm certain of it, and I'm going to desperately try to rack up some more memories before July comes, and the summer doldrums set in. I'm warning you though. The stretch of water from South Man O War to just east of the Hopetown Light has been closed by me, purely in the interest of "homeland security." Only the Dos Amigos is allowed to troll there!