Next up on my island tour was a transfer over to Deep Water Cay. “Deep Water” or “DWC” is located at the far eastern end of Grand Bahama and was a 30-minute or so drive from North Riding Point. Stanley again served as my valet and joked that the NRPC van may not be allowed on the Deep Water property. DWC has constructed a wonderful private welcoming venue/marina for clients. Guests no longer wait at the public dock in McLeans Town. The new facility, a less than 5-minute ferry ride across to Deep Water Cay, is protected from the elements and affords comfortable seating while awaiting your ride. It was at this facility that we met Stanley’s son, Meko. Guiding bonefishermen runs in the Glinton family as Meko is one of the most requested guides on the DWC staff. Meko is shown on our website holding a tremendous lodge record 14.6 pound bone their client Jim E., landed back in March. Meko and I had a nice quick conversation and although I wouldn’t be fishing with him this trip, we promised to get together next time.
Arriving at the Deep Water Cay dock I was greeted by the familiar faces of managers, Buzz and Rose Cox, and my point person for all things DWC, Chris Pipes. I had last seen Buzz and Rose about five years ago when they were managing DWC’s sister lodge, the High Lonesome Ranch in Western Colorado. I hadn’t seen Chris since the Somerset NJ Fly Fishing trade show two years ago. It’s nice to see recognizable faces in foreign countries. Chris showed me to my cottage room quarters and I briefly settled in. Immediately apparent to me was the fresh coat of interior white paint, new plantation shutters, sea grass rugs, bathroom accessories, new bedding and lighting throughout. It’s a noteworthy change from the previous natural wood décor. I really liked it. It felt like the room had doubled in size.
I then met up with the Buzz, Rose and Chris trio at the new Blue Hole Bar and Grill. Centrally located on the property and adjacent to the infinity pool, it’s a friendly and festive area to have a cooling drink and mingle with friends and fellow guests. An impressive collection of photos and articles adorn all walls highlighting the heritage of DWC. With nightfall encroaching, Chris gave me a tour of the remaining unoccupied DWC private homes; many of which were also renovated.
Dinner was a friendly informal affair amongst the two dozen or so guests in attendance. Outdoor Pursuits manager, Muff Roberts, welcomed any new guests personally and highlighted some of the day’s events. Buzz Cox also thanked those in attendance for choosing DWC and thanked me personally for all the business Frontiers has provided them and the ranch. It was a brief speech, but spot on. Buzz is a pro and his comfort in front of guests is impressive. After a good night’s rest, I was looking forward to a day on the water with Chris and long-tenured guide, Mervin. Many of our guests fish with Mervin and he is often requested. It was my first time out with him and I immediately realized why he is sought after. He’s personable, informative and found fish on our very first stop. Chris and I traded shots on these relatively a small flat bringing in four bones between 2-4 pounds to hand. A standard size 4 Gotcha was a winner as it so often is on these trips.
We spent most of the day running from thunderstorms that were rather angry at times. On days like this, I highly value a veteran guide for his meteorologist skills much as I do his fish sighting ability. Not once did we need to reach for the raincoats. The day was spent casting from the bow of the Hells Bay half the time and wading the relatively firm light sand flats the other. The best fish of the day was roughly six pounds that I landed shortly after lunch. Deep Water Cay touts their fishery as being approximately 250 square miles. From what I have seen, they underestimated; it felt like an immense vast space. The guides are great, the fishery massive and fertile, and the equipment top of the line, the staff friendly and knowledgeable, and the facility amazing. It’s no wonder they have such a roster of repeat guests. I’m already looking forward to a return trip whenever it may be.
By: Joe Linscott, Bahamas Senior Program Manager