We took a roundabout route to go from Black Point to Georgetown. We wanted to arrive in Georgetown to enter an inlet that has a reputation as dangerous during daylight, and the trip is about 10 hours. So we left Black Point in late morning, and headed out to spend part of the night at “Tanor Bank”, a local seamount that had promise for good fishing.
The trip over was delightful. On the way we were treated to a large pod of spotted dolphin who thought Harmonie was the coolest thing on the ocean, for about15 minutes!
Tanor Bank is either a seamount, or a failed island depending on your perspective. It rises from over 4000 feet deep to within 50 feet of the surface. Any kind of structure like this attracts lots of fish of all sizes. The weather was delightful and unusually amenable to drift fishing at night.
One of the more entertaining things we have added to Harmonie has been the bright arch light that illuminates the water right behind the boat. You might be thinking we are easily amused, and you could just be right… We use the light to attract the evening’s entertainment. The previous night in Black Point it was a large school of 6 inch long squid hunting plankton attracted by the lights. Out here in the middle of the dark ocean the most interesting visitors were several large (3 foot) needlefish chasing flying fish across the surface of the water.
Fishing at the bank was both successful and not. I was vertical jigging in 50 to 200 feet of water. It is hard work racing the one pound jig up and down, making it dart enticingly. It can be a fun and exciting way to fish, because you have no idea what the next fish to bite might be!
I hooked a wahoo and lost him when his teeth chomped through the line. Then I hooked–and landed–two horse-eyed trevallies. A member of the jack family they put up a strong and dogged fight. I put them back in the ocean because we know from past experience that Karen does not care for the taste.
I have no idea what the last fish I hooked was. At first there wasn’t much of a reaction, just a heavy weight and a slow tug. After a few seconds he realized that things were not right, and lit the afterburners. Line peeled off the reel into the darkness. Since I can’t tell you what this fish was, you have already figured out the outcome, he broke off after about 15 minutes of arm numbing struggle. A 50% landing ratio is just not satisfactory–even with these big strong ocean fish. I have to up my game here if I am going to keep the freezer full!
We are now in Georgetown on Great Exuma Island. The anchorage here is relatively empty–only 200 boats! Sometimes it is over 400. It is a different kind of cruising experience. We generally prefer places that are isolated, if we are the only boat in the harbor we are happy. This is more of a social world where people are here to party and meet and great. The radio buzzes all day with things like people needing to set up playdates for their dogs. We have some business to attend to here. Hopefully we can tolerate the crowds for as long as it takes!