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Simon Bain - Bone Fishing, Nassau Bahamas

Fort Walton Beach...
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Simon Bain - Bone Fishing, Nassau Bahamas

We took a trip on May 16th of 2013 with Simon Bain's company. I am not sure I will have enough room here to explain what an absolutely horrible experience it was - but I will try.

A key point was that the day was beautiful with sunny skies, a temperature of about 84, and slightly breezy - this is important when you see Simon's response.

Booking: We booked a trip for 8 people and were scheduled to have 4 boats. For our personal boat, we requested both fly equipment and spinning as we do not have a great deal of fly experience. The day cost $700 per boat - $2,800 total.

Arrival: When we arrived, we were notified that there were only three boats and that one of our crew was going to go on a wading trip (he still was charged the same amount).

Equipment: On the way out, our captain (who was not a regular) asked about our fly fishing experience. We explained our situation and he uttered an expletive and said "Simon didn't tell me that, we don't have bait for spinning". We also only had one fly rod. The other two boats had to split one fly rod between them, but luckily one of the quys brought his own.

Boat:

TILT: Upon arriving at the first flat, we discovered from our captain that the trim on the boat was broken and that we were going to have trouble getting into the flats. To somewhat counter this, he had my friend jam the boat in reverse causing the engine to kick up and then the captain and I jammed a 2x4 between the engine and the transom to gain some tilt. This had to be repeated several times throughout the day and eventually the 2x4 cracked from repeated abuse. Later in the day, we got in the water and manually lifted the engine high enough to use the trailering bracket to keep it high out of the water.

CONSOLE: We were fishing on Simon's ActionCraft, which is a small center console flats boat. In this particular boat, the screws holding the console to the actually hull of the boat were stripped and several were missing. This may not sound like a big deal until the captain stuck his foot in the water at speed causing him to fall back and actually separate the entire console from the boat. We later tried to fix the boat by rounding up screws and reinserting them into the stripped out holes - it didn't work.

BATTERY: On our return trip back to the docks, we encountered some chop that resulted in a somewhat rough ride for us - not a problem in and of itself. The problem arose when we were cruising at speed and the boat came to an abrupt halt causing the captain to tumble over the console. Turns out, the battery cables were not tight and the jolting caused them to separate from the terminals. Probably wouldn't have been a huge issue if we had tools to tighten the clamp. Oops - no tools. We must have encountered this issue at least 10 times before the captain pounded the clamp with a piece of wood, flipped the clamp over and wedged it on the terminal. We made it back.

HULL: While at anchor, the bilge ran almost non-stop. This was due to what must be cracks in the hull that caused it to leak like a sieve. What is funny about this, is that it must have been a known issue because they had created a "hot wire" to the engine so that the battery could run the bilge as needed. To start the engine, the captain did not use a key - he actually had to get into the battery compartment and "hot wire" the boat to start it. WHO DOES THIS?

FISHING: With all this going on, the day probably would have worked out if we had actually seen some fish. We left the dock around 9:00 Thursday morning. We saw our first fish at 3:00 pm. Alright, game on, right? NOT. The fish were tucked back in the mangroves and there was no way to successfully cast at them; if we had actually hooked a fish, there is no way it would have been landed. The only hit all day came from a cast the captain made - the fish popped off in the mangrove.

Prior to posting this for future customers to review, we did reach out via email to Simon to see if we could resolve our issues as he was not waiting for us when we returned to the dock. We explained our day in full and here is his latest response - this is unedited".

"Ever one hook and see bonefish first time also e ver one made it back safe. Please note these clients first time bone fishing. My guides work hard I no that. Yes one boat centre console come lose bad weather. No one got hurt or was kill that day everyone hook bone fish. I was on the beach waiting on all the boat I was it the dock when all the boat leave simon bain catching bonefish nassau

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device available from BTC."

If I had known that a successful fishing trip was based on whether you get hurt or die, then maybe I would have adjusted my expectations prior to leaving the dock.

This is a highly accurate account of our trip and is provided so that hopefully you don't make the same bad mistake we did.

38 replies to this topic
Bernice, Oklahoma
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1. Re: Simon Bain - Bone Fishing, Nassau Bahamas

I had a similar experience with Simon Bain. Prior to our trip, he assured us he had all necessary rods, so we packed no stuff. He had only one rod for the two of us and provided no boat. We landed no bonefish. The only bonefish we hooked was when Simon grabbed the rod from my hand, hooked a small crab on the fly and cast to a bonefish. He handed the rod back to me and barked orders on how to fight the fish. He talked a big game (claimed Oakley paid him 50k annually for endorsement $) but certainly failed to deliver. Bad guide trip, for sure. I couldn't recommend him.

Malvern...
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2. Re: Simon Bain - Bone Fishing, Nassau Bahamas

I had a similar negative experience with Simon. I fished with him on 12/24/2013. To start our day he was 2.5 hours late because supposedly he went to pick me up at the Royal Towers at Atlantis instead of the Reef. He claimed they could not find anyone under my name Dave because it was under David. Didn't buy that excuse. So he finally called me 2.5 hrs later and asked me if I still wanted to fish. Since he already had my money I knew there was no chance to get a refund. So I headed out with Simon and we spend the whole time in the car moving from place to place. I had to break my rod down to move from place to place...what a hassle. I didn't set foot on a boat so not sure what my $700 was paying for. I'm pretty sure he booked his boat for a snorkel trip the same day even though he said he "does not double book". He spent a considerable amount of time on the phone coordinating his snorkel trip. I have had many experiences with Bahamas, Islamorada and other guides and this was the worst guide experience of my life. I would not recommend him to anyone especially for that amount of money. I won't even get into his car needing oil and gas, tracking down a mechanic or sitting at a convenience store for 10 minutes. It is the first fishing adventure that I couldn't wait to be over. It makes for a good crazy guide story, but that's about it. Save your money!

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3. Re: Simon Bain - Bone Fishing, Nassau Bahamas

Any recommendations for a "good" bone-fish trip?

We did (with the family, me, wife, and two 10 year olds), a trolling trip with Born Free Charters in August. We all caught many Yellow-tail Snappers and a really big Mutton Snapper. We gave all the fish to the crew.

Although the boat was a little run down, the captain and mate were excellent, especially with the kids. I would recommend them.

I will be down there next week and would be interested in a Bone fish trip. Any recommendations besides Simon Bain?

Thanks

South Carolina, USA
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4. Re: Simon Bain - Bone Fishing, Nassau Bahamas

Sounds like you have a good fishing story to tell in the future! My husband also booked a bone fish trip with Simon while on a cruise. My husband was fishing alone and it was quite expensive. We went to the pier where he was suppose to meet him, just outside the cruise ship dock and, of course, no Simon. We asked around for at least 1-1/2 hours and every one there knew him and said he should show up soon. Finally, a man said he was a cousin of his and he would take my husband bonefishing and get paid by Simon. My husband said they caught a few bonefish but the bottom line is, he never met Simon and had to wait almost 2 hours for him not show. We also e-mailed him when we returned and he did finally answer saying he had car trouble and he was glad we found someone to take him out.

Doylestown...
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5. Re: Simon Bain - Bone Fishing, Nassau Bahamas

I did fish with Bonefish Simon on Feb 13th, 2014. We went to a land-locked lake (not really, but pretty protected shallow water in some kind of closed community). We saw a lot of bonefish and I caught one after missing a couple. It was my first time using a fly rod and Simon instructed better than I learned, but I got the strip and set down ok - casting will take me some more work. Anyway, he was very patient with me and supportive and I had a good time. Our day got cut in half by thunderstorms, but it was a good experience. It is expensive, but I am OK paying 800 for a memorable day.

Nassau, New...
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6. Re: Simon Bain - Bone Fishing, Nassau Bahamas

THIS is bonefish simon I fish over 500 CLIENTS PER YES FOR OVER 25 YEARS

ONE OFF THE BEST BONEFISH GUIDE IN THE WORLD I READ THIS STORY AND THINK

who is this guy is, he dreaming wow 25 years one bad story less go catching

so one client ,write a bad story about us what happen to the 455 that fish with us every years . am smiling will go catching today/

SORRY FOR THE GUY THAT HAD A BAD DREAM wake up man and go fishing with bonefish simon

Nassau, New...
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7. Re: Simon Bain - Bone Fishing, Nassau Bahamas

who are these client I work hard to fish my clients yes I fish for 25 years and one off the best bonefishing guide in the Bahamas ,who you guys fishing with are you my x wife I do my best with client I am one of the best fly caster in America and the Bahamas are you my x wife?600 clients per year

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Nassau, New...
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8. Re: Simon Bain - Bone Fishing, Nassau Bahamas

sorry for you but we always show up half hour befor are fishing trip 25 years of catching bonefish Nassau Bahamas love my clients they paid my bills catching bonefish Nassau 600 and yes a very book.love to catch bonefish Nassau please wake up writer stop dreaming please stop stop

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Nassau
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Nassau, New...
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9. Re: Simon Bain - Bone Fishing, Nassau Bahamas

thanks bad new away sell what happen to the 599 that I fish every year for 25 years thanks

Nassau, New...
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10. Re: Simon Bain - Bone Fishing, Nassau Bahamas

bad new sell what happen to the next 599 client that I fish every year

two time bonefish champion Bahamas and one of the best fly caster in the world and america

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