We often see him from our balcony at Harbour View, as he poles his 16 foot Dolphin boat through the shallows of the southern side of Moriah Cay. Both he and his anxious bonefish client scouring the calm waters with their polaroid sunglasses, searching for that elusive bonefish.
We watch closely as Drexel points some 30 yards away, the fisherman nods and starts the rhythmic motion with his fly rod, back and forth, back and forth, each time feeding more line in an arc, then he casts.
Silence reigns as the line descends into the water. Then suddenly there is a major disturbance as the fish bites, realizes he has a problem and shoots off at maximum speed. The sound you hear is the reel as it feeds out the line, the fisherman tightens the clutch on the reel just slightly, and the battle begins.
For the next 45 minutes the guide advises the client as the fish continually changes directions, hoping to get into the mangroves, to double back and get some slack, then another run. All the time the guest is working to keep tension on the line, to keep his catch away from the rocks.
Eventually the fish tires and is drawn to the boat where Drexel uses his net to bring the beautiful victim aboard. A quick high five, a photo shoot, remove the lure and gently lower the fish back into its habitat.
Well that’s the result today but how did this guide know where to take his guest? How did the guide know when to take his guest to that location and how did he see that fish when most of us miss them?
Well twenty plus years ago Drexel Rolle, born and bred in Exuma, had just left school and had his first job working at the Peace and Plenty Bonefish Lodge. The lodge, now a private home, was the hotel on the Northern shore of Exuma across from Moriah Harbour Cay. If fly fishing was your thing, then this was one of the best World class locations. Aficionados from around the world made their way to Exuma and the bonefish lodge.
The enthusiasm of the fishermen and the enthusiasm of the guides quickly set Drexel on a course that was to serve him for the rest of his days. The stories he heard and the excitement they expressed made him decide that he was going to be a renown bonefish guide.
So years of training, how to cast, where the bonefish will be at different states of the tide, how and where they will be at different stages of their lives, what lures get the best results. Safety training, CPR, boat safety, captains license. All the things he needed to master before he could have certification and therefore promote confidence in his clients
Move forward to the present day and Drexel Rolle is one of the leading experts and guides in the bonefish industry in Exuma. Nowadays everybody need a license to fish and bone fishing is a catch and release sport. You can fish for bonefish without a guide, (you still need to get a license ) but you stand a good chance of a long tiring day with little results.
The guides know where, they know when, and they know how. That's why you pay them the big bucks !
Bonefish can live for 15 years and as juveniles they tend to stay in shoals, mainly on the flats on the southside of Exuma where they vary between pound and a half up to seven pounds.
As they mature they become more solitary and the larger specimens can be found off Crab Cay, or between Hartswell and Moriah Harbour Cay where they can weigh up to 16 pounds and will give you an arm wrenching two hour battle.
If you want to try this exciting sport give Drexel Rolle a call at 1 242 345 5025 or on his mobile at 357 0243, or better still e mail him.
Drexel is also available for a fishing trip for a day, so go search for that Wahoo or Mahi Mahi. Let an expert help you provide the meal of a lifetime.