Fishipedia Report: Mount Pleasant Lodge, Andros – Day 2

August 26th, 2011| No Comments

Alone With the Bones: One angler, one week, alone on the flats of Andros Island. The second of seven reports, in which Rory Batho serializes his week spent fishing the waters around Mount Pleasant Lodge, Bahamas

Sunrise over Andros


Day 2: Conversations with Clarke

Some things I know for certain – one of them is that my wife is pretty special. That’s what I was thinking on Sunday morning as I sat watching the sun rise over Mount Pleasant Lodge and Andros Island beyond. This I already knew, obviously, but when at six months pregnant she green-lighted my Bahamas trip, concurring with my wisdom about needing one last adventure before our daughter was born, confirmation was cemented into place forever more.

Having been the only passenger on the puddle-jumper between Nassau and Andros, I now found myself the sole guest at the lodge for the entire week. For some this would probably be a shortcut to depression, but I’m one of those people who’s more than happy in their own company. And the thought of a whole week chasing bones around the flats, knowing I wouldn’t have to share the fishing with anyone was, from a purely selfish point of view, an incredible prospect.

Mount Pleasant Lodge And Mount Pleasant is as good place to do that as I can imagine. Just north of Cargill Creek, one mile down a dusty track, this collection of four ocean-front cottages nestled on a white sand beach has something special going for it – grade-A bonefishing right on its doorstep. This is one of the few bonefish lodges on the island offering DIY bonefishing, beginning with the Lodge Flat right out the front and extending through the Three Fingers Flat to the awesome White Bight in the north. It also does a good line in that most Bahamian concoction of easy-going charm and unpretentious hospitality.

For my first full day, the folks at the lodge fixed me up with a wade guide to induct me in the secrets of the local flats. As it happened, we ended up fishing a lot of the areas I’d sussed out the day before, but no matter.

Clarke: veteran Mount Pleasant wade guide

Clarke was worth meeting. One of the elder statesmen of Andros’ bonefishing community, Clarke had the bearing of a man who’s been there, seen the school and caught biggest fish out of it. We didn’t always understand each other though – here’s a man who takes the local dialect, turns into his own signature mumble (often while facing the other way with the wind at his back) and speaks nineteen to the dozen – but we conversed, as all anglers do, in the language of fishing.

Strangely, bones were hard to come by initially. As we waded through deserted mangroves, both growing ever more indignant at the lack action, he filled me in on the times he fished with Lefty Kreh and chatted with Prince Charles in Eleuthera. I suppressed a grin, wondering how old Charlie Boy would have got on with Clarke’s goombay patter. It wasn’t until much later in the afternoon that we saw our first fish.

It was worth waiting for though – as the tide retreated from the White Bight, pods of fish (usually 10, sometimes 20) materialized on the flat. These grey bars flickered over the white sands, teasing you from a safe distance, only deigning to move within mathematical reach when a nasty right-to-left crosswind was in the offing.

Just occasionally, however, their radar failed. And when it did, Clarke was ready.


Sure enough, 20 fish start moving towards us out of the north. In this shallow water on the White Bight, the trick is to lead the fish, so I drop the gotcha 30 feet ahead of what I anticipate/hope will be their path, and wait.

And then it happens. A bonefish peels off from the school, grabs the No6 gotcha and his friends scatter. As ever, once the fish is on, you start to wonder whether this bonefishing thing is easy after all. I look to my left and Clark, arms folded across his chest, chuckles to himself and mumbles something I don’t quite get.

A mount Pleasant bonefish

Check out other instalments from Alone with the Bones: 
Day 1,  Day 2,  Day 3Day 4,  Day 5Day 6,  The Journey Home

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