Many offshore and flats anglers are all too aware of the excellent fishing that Abaco Island offers in the Bahamas. Although it is considered an "out island", it is only a short one hour flight from Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach available from multiple air carriers.
Though anglers have many parts of this island to choose from, the best "side" for all the combined fisheries of this crescent-shaped destination is on the east side — this is where the deep waters of the Atlantic lie offshore only a short distance from the productive inshore flats. The offshore barrier islands on the Northeast side of Abaco are literally minutes between the gamefish rich deeps and the flats — my favorite island is Green Turtle Cay.
This destination is only a minute from the Treasure Cay airport. From there, a short ferry ride will take you a couple of miles to the Cay, and will drop you off at the dock of any resort or permitted spot they are able.
New Plymouth is the main town of this small 4-mile long island, and it offers wonderful museums, craft shops, and other historic sites. The resorts and guest homes spread out across the entirety of the island and are reachable generally by the ever-present non-polluting golf carts.
My favorite place when I stay on Green Turtle is the Bluff House Beach Resort and Marina. This great destination features great food, activities, and libations. Their rooms are varied and often offer a great view from a cliff side suite on the sea of Abaco, as well as beautiful furnishings. No stay there would be complete without having at least one or two Tranquil Turtles with your meal — have one and you'll understand the basis for the name.
I arrived in the deep of night on the Treasure Cay runway, was scooped up by a taxi to the ferry dock, ferried over to the island in 25 knot winds amidst showering balao in the harbor, and was deposited at Bluff House dock. I quickly called my guide, Capt. Ricky Sawyer, to discuss my arrival and the weather conditions---it was windy and cloudy, and tomorrow should be the same: not surprisingly, our choice was to go! I retired that night into a room with a view of a starry sky and quarter moon: the winds sang a song that sent me into a deep sleep.
After a great night's sleep and a sumptuous Bluff House breakfast of pancakes, eggs, fresh Caribbean fruit and deep-roasted coffee, I walked down to the dock to see Captain Rick idling up in his 17-foot Maverick and Yamaha 4-stroke engine. We shook hands and our battle plan with the lowering windy skies was to fish the wrecks between Green Turtle and the Abaco mainland. Ricky mentioned that the proximity of the cay to the offshore grounds and the multiple passes brought all kinds of offshore fish into this bay-like area.
Ricky was sure to get way upwind of the wreck and let out lots of anchor rode in all of that wind. As soon as we stopped, he baited one of my Spro white bucktails with a balao strip and told me to toss it into the melee of splashes. I opted for 6-pound spin and a 50-pound fluorocarbon leader, since the action was so fast...one cast, one rodjerk and a hookup was instantaneous. After a good 50-yard run, and subsequent shorter ones, we boated and released a nice 6-pound cero mackerel. Suffice it to say that in the next 2 hours, we caught a load of mackerel, yellowtails, mutton snappers, and groupers.
If the wind would "lay down", maybe tomorrow would turn out to be a flats fisherman's dream, but that's another story.