The calm before the gale: Bootle Bay 1/18/17-1/22/17
The "UpTick" crew flew into West End on 1/18 in perfect weather. After the five minute drive through West End village (still a mess after hurricane Matthew) we got to Bootle Bay and launched the Ocean Master for the quick ride up to Old Bahama Bay to put on fuel. The credit card machine to buy fuel worked but took over 20 minutes to process. Our last trip in December was cash only at the pumps. After fueling up we stopped on a couple of spots in 50' to catch some tasty lane and yellowtail snapper for dinner. Thursday greeted us with near perfect weather especially for this time of year and we ran north to Memory Rock as we had promised a couple of barracuda for the customs officer, Colby. . We then ran north of Memory and fished what the locals call the "feather bottom" in 25-30' as well as a wreck and did real well with the grouper and snapper as well as a giant AJ that ate a live yellowtail on a stinger rig. . We then ran down to the east of Memory to dive some conch for dinner and rounded up some conch as well as a few lobster for dinner.. The water temperature on the Bank was right at 74 degrees and was closer to 78 degrees offshore. Four other boats came into Bootle Bay on Thursday and scored some wahoo and a stud grouper. . . Quite the scene at Bootle on Thursday night with five boats in and everyone having a terrific time. . The weather was very good on Friday morning and when ran north again and ran into a nice bunch of mutton snapper on some shallow rocks in about 28'. . The winds began to blow later on Friday ahead of the storm. Two boats headed back across on Friday and two boats crossed safely on Saturday morning. As the weather turned snotty Saturday afternoon we put the Ocean Master back up on the trailer, did some maintenance and put her safely away in the storage building just in time for one of LaShanda's great closing night meals at the Lodge. We flew back first thing on Sunday as we knew the gale force winds were coming!! All in all a great trip although cut short by a day or so but that's how it goes this time of the year.