Bahamas Legend Passes

Bonefish Folley, celebrity guide and West End icon has died

bonefish folley

bonefish folley

Photo: Bahamas Press / Keith Cooper

Legendary Bahamas guide Israel "Bonefish Folley" Rolle was laid to rest on Saturday, August 18, 2012 in West End, Grand Bahama Island, according to a story in the Bahamas Press.

Prior to interment Rolle’s sons Simon, Thomas and Carl transferred his casketfrom his home to the skiff from which he guided clients, to lead a final flotilla on the way to his final resting place at St. Mary’s Anglican Church.

Israel ‘Bonefish Folley’ Rolle was born in Andros Island. As a young man he learned his trade in Bimini, before settling in West End as tourism developed with the opening of the Jack Tar Hotel.

Folley’s clients included Ernest Hemingway, Curt Gowdy, Lana Turner, Martin Luther King and President Richard Nixon. He is the recipient of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism “Cacique Award” recognizing individuals who have demonstrated exceptional customer service, knowledge of their profession and genuine hospitality to the many customers served throughout their career.

Immortalized in song by Bahamian musician Phil Stubbs who sings about the man who is “meek and lowly, he is the one and only” Bonefish Folley. The song is still a popular tune heard on radio stations and dining establishments throughout The Bahamas. In 2006, Old Bahama Bay Resort and Yacht Harbour dedicated a restaurant in his honor and is a must-stop for boaters who want to view the photos and memorabilia of this great fisherman.