A short 30 minute flight from Nassau and you arrive at the airport in Georgetown, Great Exuma. Serviced by several airlines, Great Exuma is one of the more southern islands in the Bahamian chain and is a laid back, sleepy island with a few amenities and very friendly people. It is well known as a boaters paradise and though not really known as a DIY bonefishing destination it contains some excellent flats for the DIY fisherman. Beachfront homes can be rented right on the flats where you fish. You should count on cooking and eating most of our meals at home and there are plenty of places throughout the island to buy fish and lobster. There are a number of small restaurants and eateries and it's nice to try a few out for dinners if they are open. There are well stocked grocery stores in Georgetown to do your shopping.
Great Exuma offers the DIY fisherman plenty of areas to explore on your own. I have found most them are best accessed with a kayak or small boat, but there are some flats that can be accessed by car and foot. For the DIY fisherman staying on Great Exuma the fishing areas are divided into two main areas, the windward flats from Georgetown to Moriah Harbour Cay and the leeward flats from the Little Exuma bridge all the way to Barraterre. The windward flats from Georgetown to Moriah Harbour are beautiful and you will be wading on magnificent white sand making it easier to see the bone fish . You need a small boat or kayak to access the area but it is a nice place to bring your lunch and spend the day. The fishing in this section is not as good as the leeward side of Great Exuma, but there are fair numbers of bonefish and we have seen some big ones. The leeward side of the Great Exuma is where you will concentrate most of your fishing and there are some wonderful flats and great mangrove regions where the fish hang out. Most of the guides and DIY fisherman focus on the leeward side. Just south of the Little Exuma bridge is an extensive mangrove region where you will find some wonderful areas to explore and some quality fish. You need a small boat or kayak to access this area effectively. North of the Little Exuma bridge you will find Airport Flats and an extensive easily wadeable flats region with substantiantional numbers of fish. Airport Flats can be accessed via car and then kayak and is located by the "old" airport or just south of that. Between Airport Flats and Mosstown is a chain of cays with some great bonefish areas that are best accessed by kayak or small boat. The area around the cays between airport Flats and Mosstown are dotted with beaches, flats, coves and mangroves. There are an endless number of places to fish. This diversity helps you get out of the wind, fish shallow water, fish deeper water and provides a variety of opportunities. It takes some time to find the spots but they are not heavily fished and the fish are a little less spooky than on Airport Flats. The far north end of Great Exuma is Barraterre which posses a great colection of flats and mangrove regions. This area requires a small boat or kayak to access but has hundreds of little places to explore.
My suggestion is to book your trip to Great Exuma during a neap tide to maximize the time you can fish. Tides vary significantly from the windward to leeward side and can vary two - three hours from Little Exuma to Barraterre.
Fish range from 2-6 pounds with the average fish being 3-4 pounds.
In general we fish somewhat smaller flies on Great Exuma (then other Bahamian islands) and specifically on airport Flats we fish even smaller flies, longer leaders and lighter flourocarbon tippet.
Our favourite tide is the low incoming tide and our fly box contains the normal assortment of Charlie's and Gotcha patterns in the #6-8 size leaning toward cream and tan colours to match the bottom. My go-to fly is the tan Greg's Flats fly in size #6 & #8. Also carry some small crab imitations with my favourite being the Pops Bitter. I have become partial to adding rubber legs on the patterns used in Great Exuma, usually tan silly legs fo the tan patterns and clear sparkle silly legs for the cream patterns.
Serviced by several airline, it is a short 30 minute flight from Nassau to the airport in Georgetown, Great Exuma or you can take the direct flight from Miami to Georgetown on american Eagle. However you get there, Great Exuma is one of the easier Bahamian Islands to reach.
With the highway now paved from Barraterre to Williams Town just rent a car at the airport when you land and you will be free to explore Great Exuma and Little Exuma to your hearts content.
DIY Spouse Rating: 5
Great Exuma is a sleepy laid back kind of place. Georgetwon has some developed amenities including grocery and liquor stores, gas station, etc. But don't go looking for night life. Great Exuma is all about the natual scenery and doing your own thing. There are beautiful white sand beaches and nobody will be on them so they are beautiful to walk, relax and read a book. If you are not a fisherman there are not many organized things to do. There is very limited shopping in Georgetown, you can drive and explore the island and find your own deserted beach, snorkle and some minor dining options in the evening.