CAPTAIN JOE PRITCHARD

Captain Joe Pritchard has been fishing the flats in and around Treasure Cay for over 30 years! Explore the flats of Treasure Cay. With literally a hundred miles of flats there is no shortage of flats to roam. If you see another boat on the flat during your day it is the exception rather than the rule. Joe knows all the fishable flats and will put you on the bones.

Joe recalls when he was in training to be a bonefish guide over 30 years ago, that they would fly over the flats to map them and learn the waters. The next step in his training was to get on the water to experience the flats up close and personal. Poling for bonefish truly is an art. If you have ever gotten up on a poling platform you will learn this truth IMMEDIATELY!

Joe is personable and knowledgeable. It is a fun day, whether full or half spent with Joe hunting the bones on the flats!

BONEFISH

One of the most sought after gamefish both fly fishermen and spin fishers seek when traveling to the Bahamas. This powerful fish is what draws most fishermen to the Bahamas. They seem tailor made for fly fishing and light tackle. The bonefish love shallow water in warm environments. They can be a bit spooky, but at the same time but not too hard to catch even for the relative novice, and Joe is very good at getting you hooked up!

In Calm weather a short run off-shore can yield shots at bluewater species like tuna, mahi-mahi and wahoo. The Abaco’s boasts one of the largest barrier reefs in the world and it abounds with grouper, snapper, large jacks, and barracuda just to name a few species.

BONEFISH ON THE FLY

The Abaco’s are deeply connected to the sport of bonefishing. The Treasure Cay Bonefish Club has many active members who get on the flats at every opportunity. As you fly into Marsh Harbor you can see the Marls from the plane. Located on the south side of Great Abaco, we have miles and miles of mangrove flats, the ideal location for bonefish. On any given day you can see a variety of wildlife and fish including many species of birds from blue heron to the native Abaco Parrot. You will see sharks, rays, crab, lobster and juvenile fish of almost every species. But, you will likely see the most turtles you have ever seen! Mostly green turtles of every size.

SPIN FISHING

Of course, spin fishing is still welcome. Ultra-light outfits with smooth drags and plenty of backing will get it done. Rods should be fast action, 7-footers with strung with either high-tech braid or at least 150 yards of 10-20 pound mono. For bonefish the most popular flies are the Crazy Charlie, Gotcha, Puff and Hot-legs Gotcha. Bring your own flies or get some hand tied by local bonefisher Doug. As you can see we fish mostly shrimp patterns that are light in colors like white, tan and pink. Bring a variety of weighted flies to handle varying conditions and water depth. For tarpon you’ll want to add on a few feet of 60-100 pound fluorocarbon bite tippet. Tarpon love flashy spoon and crankbaits (saltwater grade), but they’ll also grab a bonefish jig if fished right. Spinning tackle is also great for targeting large barracudas on the flats, but you’ll need a wire leader for these toothy critters. While they’ll eat tarpon lures, one of our favorite lures is a Cuda-Tube, a long colorful lure with the wire trace built in. Great for site fishing the flats or blind casting deeper channels.

We have a variety of options to fish. From half-day trips to Hills Creek or the Marls, or you can fish a full day on the Marls or head to Cooperstown, a small local village about 20 miles north of Treasure Cay. There are no stock trips here. We cater to discerning anglers who know what they want. Whether you want to simply catch a bunch of bonefish, stalk tailing bones on foot or hunt big bonefish, we’ve got you covered.

We have a couple options for HALF-DAY trips. You have two locations to choose from and two times to choose from as well. You can fish Hills Creek, which is just a short boat ride away. Or, you can opt to fish the Marls with its hundred miles of flats. Both are good fishing on any given day, it is a matter of preference. To get to the Marls is a short car ride a few miles down the highway where the boat gets put in the water.

The morning bonefish session runs from 8 a.m to 12 noon. The afternoon session runs from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. A snack and soda/water will be provided on the half-day trip.

For your full day of bonefishing you have a couple options on where to go. You can fish our famous Marls where there are over a hundred miles of flats to explore. The Marls are great fishing grounds where you will see bonefish, barracuda and lots of juvenile fish of every kind. The entry to access the Marls is only a mile or two down the highway, so very little non-fishing time! After meandering through the mangroves the water opens up to endless flats and fishing possibilities. It is not unusual to see schools of hundreds of bonefish.

The other full day option is to head north to Cooperstown where in addition to accessing the flats with the bonefish, you can also have some shots at permit with proper conditions. Cooperstown flats are also on the south side, but they open up to the ocean where you may find some larger bones and those elusive permit.

For your full day fishing plan on getting started at 8:30 a.m. where you will meet at the dock in the marina. From there you will go to your chosen fishing grounds that will be arranged the day before. You will fish the morning and take a lunch break in the flats boat or a close by cay. You will fish the rest of the day returning to the dock by 5:30 p.m. or so.

THERE’S NOTHING LIKE HOOKING A BONEFISH IN ANKLE-DEEP WATER AND WATCHING YOUR FLY-LINE SLICING ACROSS THE FLAT.

Even when on the boat for the full or half day, if you prefer to wade there are endless firm, shallow flats, and our guides will find the best ones for the tide at hand. Taking that extra person and trading times in the boat and wading makes for a fun day and gets more people on the water. 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.

The question I am most asked is when is the best time to go to the Bahamas. I tend to always answer the same way…whenever you are in the Bahamas it is the best time! However, the bonefish season typically runs from October to June. However, Abaco and especially the Cooperstown area with its proximity of deep, cooler water, makes Abaco a year-round fishery. You might hear that summer is slow season, but that’s not actually referring to the fishing. In fact, that’s referring to the tourist season itself. Summertime is when school is out and many people do family travel and road-trips. Of course, it’s also hurricane season. However, one of the little-known secrets is summer is when you can find tarpon and permit on the flats. Most of the regular bonefishers in the Treasure Cay Bonefish Club are from the northeast area like New Hampshire and Massachusetts. They typically come to avoid the harsh weather at home, and typically stay from October until around the first week of May. That means after May there are endless bonefish flats that you pretty much can have all to yourself, plus maybe some permit and