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Rod Hamilton

September 14, 2017

Permit and Bonefish in Great Inagua, Bahamas

Region: Bahamas

General Info: At 45 miles long and 25 miles wide, Great Inagua is the third largest island in the Bahamian Archipelago. Located 370 miles southeast of Nassau and 50 miles east of Cuba this southern island offers some of the most unique fishing opportunities in the Bahamas. One of the main attractions on Great Inagua is the Bahamas National Trust Park and Wildlife Sanctuary administered by the Bahamas National Trust. This 183,000 acre National Park is a bird watchers paradise where rare birds and reptiles thrive. It is the breeding ground for approx 50,000 West Indian flamingo’s, recognized as the worlds largest breeding colony. Within the park is 12 mile long Lake Windsor where you can find Tri-coloured Herons, Great Egrets, Roseate Spoonbills, Brown Pelican, White Cheeked Pintails and West Indian Whistling ducks.”Salt” is the business of Inagua with a large Morton’s salt plant providing virtually all of the employment for the islands 1,000 residents. The weather on Great Inagua is ideal for salt production as it is normally hot and dry and has more cacti than anywhere else in the Bahamas.

Great Inagua has virtually no infrastructure for tourists and only a few places to stay for a visiting fisherman. There are a couple of small restaurants and on Friday and Saturday nights there may be one or two small road side shacks cooking ribs, chicken or donkey!!!

Fishing Areas: Though the bone fishing can be good it is limited by the small number of flats and difficult access. There are some flats around the lighthouse that can be reached by car, but most of the flats and creek systems can only be reached by boat. It’s fair to say that no more than six anglers at a time can comfortably fish Great Inagua.Flamingo’sThe island has one guide who has fished the island for years and knows the flats and creeks intimately. He trailers his boat to very rustic “boat ramps” that he has constructed throughout the island to minimize the length of time it takes to reach the fishing grounds.

The guide, Ezzard Cartwright can be called directly at 242-339-1362 and he takes care of everything including housing, meals and transportation. Adjacent to his home are two duplex style cottages that he owns and rents out to visiting fishermen. Each cottage is well equipped and more than comfortable enough for the typical angler.

Ezzard picks you up at the cottage each morning and drives you from 30 -60 minutes to one of his favourite spots. You fish out of an aluminum jon boat powered by a 30 h.p. Yamaha.

Lake Windsor contains some nice tarpon to 60 pounds along with snook and bonefish, but can only be fished by boat and Ezzard is one of the few locals with access to the lake.

Fishing Information: Great Inagua is truly one of the great fishing adventures in the Bahamas.GI3With your guide, an experienced fisherman has a real chance at the Grand Slam. If your timing is right Ezzard can set you up with numerous shots at permit and Lake Windsor holds a good population of tarpon from 10 – 60 pounds. The bonefishing is very good with bones averaging 4-8 pounds.With the limited number of flats on Great Inagua and the difficult access, the best way to fish the island is booking through Ezzard. He is booked up to one year in advance, so you are best to get your reservation in well ahead of your trip.

Getting Around: Matthew Town on Great Inagua is serviced three days a week by Bahamas Air. Other than right in Matthew Town the roads are dirt, pot holed tracks which mean you are not going to get anywhere fast.You can rent a car from Sam & Renee Car Rental in Matthew Town at 242-339-2149.

Accommodation choices are limited but you can rent from Ezzard Cartwright himself who owns the Sunset Apartments at 242-339-1362. These air conditioned, duplex style cottages were built by Ezzard for the traveling fisherman. Each side comes equipped with two bedrooms, one bath a functional kitchen and a living room equipped with satelitte T.V.

There are a couple of other places in town to rent but I can only recommend Enrica’s Inn at 242-339-2127. These homes can accommodate up to six anglers each.

Where to stay:

Sunset Apartments
Enrica’s Inn

Where dine:

Guides:

Ezzard Cartwright

DIY Spouse Rating: 1

Miscellaneous Information: There are very few amenities on Great Inagua and I would not recommend it for any spouse or non-fishing partner other than the most adventurist.

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