Hosted Trip Testimonials
"Just back from Crooked Island 2014---want to let you know how impressed I was with the entire operation. (This comes from someone not entirely enamored with bonefish) Everything about Crooked Island was top notch---starting with Dan who takes the job of host so seriously I was sometimes wondering if he was actually having a good time. Clearly, everyone on Crooked Is. loves him. The accommodations were great. The food was great. Clinton and the guides were also great."
"I’m sorry this is coming so late – it has taken me a full month to find the right words, and still, I can’t quite express what a great time I had.
From the moment we found our way to Orange Hill Dan was an awesome host. That first casting lesson on the wavy/windy/sea-weedy beach was pretty humiliating – but yes, it was instructive. Dan came on our boat the first day, and must have given Mike some pretty clear instructions. Mike put me upwind and within 20 feet of 2 tailing bones. On the third attempt I put the fly right on top of them. They spooked, turned back , and one of them found the fly. If I had a 10ft rod, I wouldn’t have had to cast at all.
Our accommodations were great. Really. You never know what a fisherman’s lodge is going to be like… I am still in awe that someone managed to get all the sand out of our cottage every day. The food was good, the service was great. Actually, a couple of nights, when we had fresh fish, the food was great too.
The guides that Jim and I fished with were all helpful, hardworking and instructive. I understand one or two of the guides are more ‘excitable’ – Dan thoughtfully avoided pairing me with them – my casting is bad enough without excessive pressure.
And my casting did improve. One of the highlights of the trip was “no, no man, you’re casting too far.” First time I ever heard that.
And finally our fellow fisherman were all a pleasure to be with. The experts were modest and the novices learned from them. OK – I look forward to our next trip together."
"Vince, first, sign Dan Pangaldi to a long term contract. Could not have had a better host. Everything else was top shelf too. Pix to follow.
"Hi Vince, once again, Crooked Island 2014 was great! We had some tougher conditions on the flats this year with South and Southwest winds on a few days, but the guides always found us some fish. The Casuarina Villas are a great choice, very comfortable and kept immaculately clean. Willie's food is so good I ended up skipping some meals because, even with all the wading, I couldn't burn up that many calories. The Crooked Islanders are great people. They are always so friendly and ready to help with a ride or just pass the time of day with a stranger. Of course, after all these trips, it seems like everybody knows us. It's unbelievable how the guides can recall past days on the flats that I can hardly remember (how do they do it with so many anglers each year). It was great to reunite with so many of the fellows I've fished with in the past and to meet some great new guys. That is always the most rewarding part of these trips. As always, Dan is a great host. It's hard to say enough about how easy he makes the trip. There's never any problems and he makes sure that our needs are met and the beer is cold. So I guess you won't be surprised that I want to book the 2 weeks again next year for 2015. I look forward to seeing you in Canada."
"Hey Dan & Vince, I finally got off of my camera the few pics that were on it which came out good. You should be able to access them with the dropbox link below. Dan, I think you got a photo of me and that bone I caught that first day back in the creeks. I would love to see it if you can send it my way once youget settled back at home.
Cudos to both of you for putting together and more importantly, pulling off such a great trip. Food was awesome and plentiful and our cottage was clean and comfortable and I personally enjoyed the 10 minute walk to Willie's and back!. On top of the just general friendliness of everyone we encountered Willie and her crew were great and they went out of their way at every turn to make our stay enjoyable. The guides were professional and super hardworking and great teachers. Malcolm's and my casting both improved. They were also quite tolerant when for the 20th time I had to respond "no, sorry" to the question of whether I could see that fish they were pointing to.
Last but not least, our host....Dan, you were the ultimate host/helper/guide/beertender. You easily walked the line between keeping a bunch of hungry/thirsty/tired fisherman happy and maintaining your great relationship with all the locals. In addition, your casting lesson on Nassau with Malcolm was instrumental in his being ready to fish that first day out on the boats. During the course of the week I watched him transition from a beginner caster to a quite confident fly fisherman, all thanks to you and the guides.
Well I hope you guys had a lucrative second week on Crooked and I look forward to fishing with you and everyone I met again. Thanks for a great trip."
"Vince, the late March trip to Crooked was nothing less than spectacular! Although the weather could have been a bit better for bonefishing, the excellence of the Landrail Point guides and their knowledge of the flats and creeks put us on fish everyday. The accommodations at Casuarina Villas coupled with the food at Gibson's Lunchroom, hosted by Willy and Tony, was great. Our CCO host, Dan Pangaldi, made sure everything went according to plan, always showing the greatest concern for all members of our group. As we would say on Cape Cod, "he's a "keepah". Don't let this fellow out of your sight!
I've fished with guides for bones on Andros and did a DIY trip to Long Island but Crooked was the best.
I could go on but will sum it up by requesting you get me the dates for the 2014 trip as soon as they're available. I'd be disappointed if I were shut out next year. Thanks again for pulling together a great trip."
Orleans, MA/ Ft. Myers, FL.
Vince, thank you for a great trip. I hope that we can put together another adventure! What a great cast of characters!
"Vince, 2 weeks is not enough when in a tropical fishing destination. Crooked Island guides, and lunch staff are always there ready to help and the local people greet you with a big smile and wave.
I have been there now a few times, and although the weather was colder than in previous years, the bone fish were on the larger size. Shakey has taken time to explore other Permit fishing locations and has discovered at the end on Long Caye, a spot where we encountered 7 different groups and had opportunities to cast to them. Probably 20 Permit total, singles to up to 4 in one group. We had 2 drifts through the same section. Fishing of the rocks by the Marina was excellent this year. Numerous Horse Eye Jacks, some Blue Runners, a couple of very large Barracuda's, and even Mackerel. You had to be careful and alert when fishing there as the Lemon sharks where hungry and lost a few fish to them. Oh ya, baby Tarpon in the creek leading to the salt pond. All in all, a great trip, and one of my picks for the best overall fishing experience."
"Hi Vince, I wanted to thank you for organizing a truly memorable trip to Crooked Island. This was my second use of your services. Both the Ivels DIY trip and the hosted Crooked Is. trip far exceded my expectations. The guides at C.I. did a great job under difficult weather conditions, one of the more enjoyable days was the day we couldn't Bonefish but instead fished for Mutton Snappers. Its great that there are alternatives. Dan did a fantastic job of coordinating the trip and offering his insights. It was great to have him along on two of the days, 2 guides for the price of one.He and guide Kenny are a lot of laughs when they're together. The food at Willies was A1, with even seconds offered, and probably the best I've experienced in many trips to the Bahamas over the years. The accomodations at the Villas were fine. You can't beat oceanfront. I would surely love to do the trip again."
"Hi Vince, The Fernie trip was an outstanding experience and much fun fishing with Fish, Steve Walsh and the group of gentlemen anglers. I tell people who ask, that I was expecting fabulous fishing success and it was only excellent – poor me. The Michel is a jewel and I will get there again. Fish was a great host and, as usual, a source of consistent and positive angling support. I look forward to another trip."
"Hi Vince, thank you for arranging such a wonderful trip. Everything was outstanding. Although I am a fisherman, I am not an experienced bone fisherman. With Dan's guidance, I was able to identify and work on my skills to help me improve. Dan is a true professional . He went out of his way to ensure that everyone was comfortable and enjoying their stay. I look forward to next year's trip. Thank you! "
"Hi Vince, just got back last night. I know it's a great trip when I'm not ready to come home and both Hans and I agreed we could have stayed another week. Once again, all the guys were great to be with, both the people I'd met before and the new friends I met. Once again, Dan is such a great guy. He really looks after all the little details which goes such a long way in making the trip flawless. I look forward to seeing him again next year. All the guides, Willie and her staff and just any body you meet on the street are so friendly and accommodating that it's like they have been your friends for life. I enjoyed it so much that I would like you to pencil me in for another 2 weeks next year. If it happens that you will be running the Acklins trip either a week before or a week after Crooked Island, I would take a week there too. I'm a glutton for punishment!"
"Vince, I would like to THANK YOU for sponsoring a fantastic trip to Crooked Island in the Bahamas. Our host Dan Pangaldi did an outstanding job in making our trip organized, comfortable, and informative. The accommodations were very clean and pleasant. The dining was an excellent blend of Bahamian and and American cuisine. Willies home made bread was a treat every day. The guides were always on time, informative, and very hard working. They did every thing to make our fishing successful which included teaching and demonstrating correct techniques. Their ability to locate the correct flats to fish was excellent. I had a most enjoyable trip and can't wait for next years trip!"
"Hi Vince, here are some photos of our wonderful trip to Crooked Island. I hope you like them. We are already looking forward to next year. Pencil us in for two weeks. Best, Paul and Gail"
Paul & Gail Gallo--Manhatten, NY
"Hey Dan (Pangaldi) -just wanted to shoot you a note to say thank you for hosting us down on Crooked Island. I really enjoyed the week and was pleased with how everything worked out - I know there's a lot to stay on top of and we had a care-free week down there, which was awesome. I learned a good deal about my salt-water casting and just had an overall fantastic time with everyone - great crowd, good food, fantastic weather - just what the doctor ordered. Hope you are settling in back home, and didn't have too much withdrawal from the trip. I dreamt about bonefish for about two more days before I settled into real life again! Hope to see you next year!"
Hi Vince, Pat and I are in a hotel in Toronto right now as we are getting an early morning flight to the Dominican Republic tomorrow morning. I wanted to thank you for a great time. The fishing (although bloody frustrating) was wonderful. I am pumped to come back next year and may even bring a few buddies along. Deposit (west branch of the Delaware river) is THE place for easy access and with your terrific meals what more can any flyfisher guy ask for. Tell Paul I will beat his ass next time. He ain't seen nothing yet. When I get back after this trip I will send you a few pics too.
The fishing though challenging was totally amazing. BIG trout and LOTS of them make for a perfect experience. This is what flyfishing is all about! Many thanks again for a great time.
Mike (from Canada eh)"
Mike Gough-Ontario Canada
"Vince I had a great time on Crooked Island! Unfortunately the last day was almost a rain out (can't control the weather). I also had my shot at a permit earlier in the week. All the Crooked Island guides are experienced and well prepared for the day's adventure. Attached are a few Pic's you can share. Take care, hope you have me penciled in for 2 weeks next year at Crooked. I also may have a friend that wants to come and I will let you know when when he finally makes up his mind."
"Hi Vince, just got back from Crooked Island and had a great time. The fishing was great and the guides put a lot of effort to put us onto fish. The wind was a challenge, but hopefully on my next trip I will be ready to deal with it. The reef fishing was a nice diversion and would like to do that again. I have attached some photos. Could you book me a spot for Crooked Island for the first week in March 2013. Thanks."
"Hi Vince, I had a great time. Everybody in the group was great. I bunked & fished with Bill Reiher. He was a lot of fun.Dan was a gracious host & did a good job keeping up wit everything. I caught a good number of bone fish & a good size barracuda."
"Hi Vince, my dad and I had a great trip - so many stories to tell. The whole group was great including Dan Pangaldi, who is a class act, Willies, Ruths and Franks, The Guides, The Canadians, The Marina, The Fish Fry, etc. You have to ask my dad about the tour around the island with the mayor. The fishing was a 7 out of 10 - I liked the reef fishing especially and caught my first ladyfish. The guides were very professional and motoring in the boats worked well for my father and I. We had great weather and all together great trip. Thanks for making it happen. Go Sabres!"
"Hi Vince, we had a wonderful time on our trip to Crooked Island. It was everything we hoped it would be. Dan (Pangaldi) was a great host and we had a very compatable and enjoyable group. So besides wonderful fishing with wonderful guides in a stunning environment, we had a lot of fun with our group. For us, it will be a yearly event. We just have to figure out how to stay longer! We have attached some pictures we thought you might be able to use. All the fish are ones we caught, taken in the water, or when we were permitted to hold them briefly for a picture. We are planning a trip to the Cat this year so we will see you in the Fall.
Best, Paul and Gail"
Paul & Gail Gallo--Manhattan, NY
"Hi Vince, Crooked and Acklins were great. Dan Pangaldi was a great host and the guys were a fun bunch to be with. The food at Willy's was over the top and the accommodations at Ruth and Franks were just fine. The owners were very friendly as were all the people on both islands. That was my first time being guided and (even though I am a do it yourselfer by nature) having a guide results in more fish at the boot tops without question. It's mind boggling how far they can pick out fish. I enjoyed fishing wih all the guides and i especially enjoyed Kenny who tried to show me how to cast into a 20 knot wind. I'll have to practice. I never would have believed, without seeing it, that someone could lay out 60 feet straight into the wind and have the line look like it was strung between two telephone poles."
Steve Marsh--St. Thomas, Virgin Island
"Hi Vince, Crooked Island was fantastic. Accommodations and the food at Willy's was great. I enjoyed meeting all the guys, very friendly. Dan Pangaldi was a great host, very organized and kept everyone informed on the next days lineups. The boat rides to the flats were a bit long, and a bit pounding on rough water, the day we left from Turtle sound was much more pleasurable. The one day I tried reef fishing (new to me) was interesting, from catching the live bait, to landing fairly large mutton snapper and losing a 5+foot Barracuda was an experience I will remember. As Steve stated, Kenny was amazing casting into gale force wind, with the few tips and instructions he gave me, my casting has improved, just need to practice more."
Hans Rackow--Calgary, Canada
"Hi Vince, once again, Jill and I thank you for being such a gracious host and guide. In spite of the difficult fishing, we both enjoyed being a part of the group you hosted. Being a retired sporting camp owner, I have had many occasions to work with and arrange guiding services for our guests. Speaking from those experiences, your services excel in terms of quality and dedication to helping to assure your "sports" have a positive exeprience. You are commended for the detail and diligence you put into your work."
"What a great trip (Crooked Island) and great memories! I really enjoyed everyone's company and sharing lots of laughs! I can only know dream of the next trip catching large bonefish, mutton snapper and ladyfish. Take care / pax et bonum, Mike"
"Hey, Vince! And welcome back from Acklins. We had fun imagining you there as we were having withdrawals, and have been slammed with work. Glad you got the box of things. Dave and I want to thank you again for such a fabulous time. We can't imagine a better trip host! And fishing buddy! On every level, I know we'll be spoiled forever. Good--we'll just take lots more trips with you! I want to thank you too for making Mom and Dad feel so welcome, comfortable, and part of everything. They wanted me to say thank you from them, as well.
We sure fell in love with Crooked Island, as you have--the place, people, guides, fish--every bit of it. I needn't have feared being pregnant there. Thanks to your and everyone's care and kindness. I could truly just go on and on!!!" Dave & Sandy Beegle, Loveland CO
"Vince, I wanted to thank you for a GREAT trip. The accommodations, food, company and fishing were perfect. I learned so much from you and the other guys that I will be able to put to good use on future trips. I plan on practicing (and taking lesions) a great deal on my casting over the summer so that next year I can get myself into many more good situations. I’ll get the pictures in the mail to you in the next day or so. Thanks again. Chuck" Charles J. Foster IV, Wilmington DE "Hi Vince! Yeh, we really enjoyed Campeche and Raul and his team. Beautiful area, tons of tarpon... saw and lost several in the 30-40lb range. What amazing fish. I got my Intro to Tarpon 101 class now and want to pursue the 200 level of classes! Some day, for sure! Hope you have a blast with the May trip. PLEASE share our warmest regards with Raul, Laura and Neko.... Ask Neko to see the tarpon hat we gave him! There were times when we changed flies 8-10 times because we couldn't get one to take. I added to the frustration by screwing up several times but I still had snow in my mental waders--- Neko got us on zillions (rough estimate) of fish. I think we had most of our action on 2 1/2 to 3 inch Seaducers and what I used to call Bonito Bunnies, bunny strip and collar in white/red collar, yellow/red collar, purple & black collar. Hook sizes were what you suggested: 1, 2, 1/0's. I had one brute straighten out a 1/0! One piece of advice that is good that I didn't listen to very well was to use really great/sharp hooks. I think part of my numerous missed fish came from hooks that should have been Owner or similar. Tiemco's seemed pretty good. Most activity with Seaducers was yellow with red collar, then white with red or chartruese collar. Neko usually picked the fly out from my fairly extensive collection. I am convinced the color is not the key variable. There were times when those damn fish were completely surrounding us in the boat. You hardly needed to tell time in English or Spanish, just get a Hook in the water! To be honest, we had two days when it was very slow and the fish just weren' eating. I had a lot of fun every day, learned a lot and came back psyched about baby tarpon. Thanks again for your help and support, Vince. Great time! Oh, I forgot.... Dottie speaks great Spanish and was with me two days in the boat which really made it easier. Raul was with me one day and his English is better than mine. If my Spanish was better or Neko 's English better, I think I could have learned faster and maybe done better and probably not created any international incident??? We had a couple of dinners at our hotel which were fine. Really appreciated being able to get breakfast very early at the hotel. Also appreciated little things like the guides rinsing down the rods/reels after each day on the water.... that's classy and typical Raul style. We really enjoyed two dinners with Raul and Laura at his favorite Mexican restaurant- Can't remember the name but Raul takes lots of his clients there- We also explored and found several fun restaurants in Merida. Loved the one day trip to Uxmal and Kabah (had great guides) but we are into the Mayan ruins thing. Recommend it to your other clients! We loved walking around both Merida and Campeche. Hope I took a stab at some of your questions- don't hesitate to holler or ask others if you have 'em. Rip some lips in May!!! All the best" Jim Edler, Cortland Manor NY