In late 2019, I had a phone call with Carl Allen, the new owner of Walker’s Cay in the Bahamas. He related that while conditions remained difficult throughout the region, his team was doing everything possible to get the people of Little Grand Cay and elsewhere in the Abacos back up and running after Hurricane Dorian. Restoring power and fresh water were the immediate goals at the time. And while there wasn’t much on Walker’s Cay to be affected by Dorian, Allen did mention that the chapel made it through virtually unscathed, just as it has done for several decades (perhaps with some divine interventi­on at work). He also felt that the marina at Walker’s would be ready by December 2020 if all goes well.

Allen touched on a key point during our conversati­on. After resupplyin­g and rebuilding, the third step is to help revitalize those hard-hit islands, and that means tourism. To assist in those efforts, Marlin will be producing a series of features on the fishing opportunit­ies throughout the Bahamas; in this issue, we visit the Pocket off Chub Cay. If you’ve been there a dozen times in the past, you probably won’t learn anything new, but if you’re one of those people who has always wanted to fish the area on your own boat and just haven’t had the opportunit­y to do so, now is the time. Springtime in the Pocket offers a great shot at blue and white marlin, plus terrific dolphin fishing, and it’s only about 130 miles from southern Florida.

Rebuilding efforts have really ramped up throughout the Abacos. Tournament director Capt. Skip Smith has vowed to return to Marsh Harbour with the Custom Shootout; he acknowledg­es that lodging will be very limited and some of the amenities they once enjoyed there will probably not be available, but he is adamant that the tournament will not only take place, but will also serve as an economic driver for the people of the Abacos—the hardest-hit of all Dorian’s victims. The rebuilding and recovery of the northern Bahamas will continue for years, and we truly appreciate the efforts of all those involved.

Speaking of recognitio­n, one area where the media can do a better job is in honoring the legends of sport fishing while they’re still with us. In the past few years, I’ve had the unenviable task of eulogizing people once they have died, and it’s the wrong approach. Let’s recognize these folks while they’re still with us. Please don’t mistake it for a misguided sense of hero worship, but rather that our human existence is often a fleeting one. We need to make the time to say, “Thanks for your contributi­ons,” because one day the opportunit­y might not be there. Hawaiian lure-maker Joe Yee certainly falls into that category. Yee is widely considered the father of modern lure-making, and his Super Plunger is one of those timeless designs that will catch just as many blue marlin a hundred years from now as it does today. So, Joe, thank you for what you’ve done for us all.

I’ve always felt that, as fishermen, we are more connected to the natural world than most others. We pay closer attention to the weather, the winds and the tides. That connection also causes a more visceral reaction to natural disasters. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Australia, who as of this writing are dealing with horrific wildfires throughout

much of their country. Better days are ahead. Sam White Editor-in-Chief

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