Eleuthera is justly known for its numerous bonefish flats. In contrast to other Caribbean islands, many of the flats are easily accessible without a boat. For this reason, we know a number of fly fishers who have very good success without a guide. That said, we recommend hiring a guide for the first couple of days.
On Winding Bay, we have hooked bonefish off the beach right in front of the house. And one of the most productive areas on the island is Half Sound, an uninhabited and beautiful reef protected bay within walking distance from Stella di Mare. Bonefish are also plentiful in Ten Bay, Savannah Sound, Tarpum Bay, Rock Sound, Deep Creek and Lighthouse Beach, all of which are in South Eleuthera and within easy driving distance from Winding Bay.
Bonefish are of course tide sensitive, and a unique feature of the Eleuthera is that tides on the Atlantic side of the island are 2 hours earlier than on the Caribbean side. The result? Two more hours of fishing!
As for equipment and tackle, bring a 7wt or 8wt rod loaded with weight forward floating line, fluorocarbon leader material, and 4-6 lb. tippet. Wading shoes are important to protect from sharp coral. And don’t forget waterproof sunblock.
The local bonefish seem to prefer #4 or #6 flies that are tan or pink in colour. The “eyes” should not be too heavy. Flies are best tied onto the tippet using a small no-slip loop as this tends to permit a more natural action.Gotcha and Crazy Charlie patterns work well. If the fish are not taking on these patterns, a Bonefish Bitters pattern is well worth a try. Hooked bonefish must be released, so barbless hooks should always be used.