Saltwater Series opens 2009 in picturesque Abaco

ABACO, Bahamas — With more than 700 islands in the Bahamas, its not an easy task choosing a destination. Nassau gets the most pub and other areas are considered hot spots. But one could do worse than visiting Abaco.

Flanked by beauty and missing the air of commercialization, Abaco represents the place you crave when searching for a honeymoon or vacation spot.

But despite the vibe of relaxation you feel throughout your stay, there is business to be accomplished this weekend here. Anglers launched today in search of the elusive bonefish at the season-opening event of the ESPN Outdoors Saltwater Series presented by TakeMeFishing.org.

They are here for the Baker's Bay Marsh Harbour Bonefish Classic, part of the Redbone Series of events. The bite is on according to many of the participants and competitors are licking their chops at the prospect of getting out on the water.

The two-day event will be scored based on the number of bonefish landed by two-angler teams. In the competition, teams are paired with guides, who play a large role in determining an angler's success.

The field of anglers includes Mark Cooper, ex-Denver Broncos player, and Jose Wejebe, the host of the ESPN2 coverage of the Series. And considering no one needs an excuse to travel to the Bahamas, the participant field is littered with competitors from across the United States.

The ESPN Outdoors Saltwater Series, in its second season, is gaining momentum. Associating with the Redbone tournament series and visiting exotic locations like the Bahamas certainly helps.

In another sign of success for the fledgling series, this week marks the debut of the ESPN2 coverage of the Series. Charged to show the lifestyle associated with saltwater events, the coverage, set for Sunday at 8:30 a.m. on ESPN2, will chronicle the action from a 2008 EOSS event out of Key Largo, Fla.