Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The stuff you see when you don't have your 10wt.

Another unexpectedly good thing about being a teacher on this island is having 40 sets of eyes spying all of the bays and inlets around for you at all times. I received word from a 6th grade student that the fry have moved in to a bay near his house. They spend the daylight hours huddled under the dock, subject to marauding tarpon, jacks, snapper and pelicans. At sunset, they disappear into deeper water for the night.

I went there Saturday expecting to slay but was met with empty water. The fry had moved on. Later that weekend, I visited the next beach to the west of where the fry used to be with some friends. I did not have my fly rod with me. As soon as we pulled up, I regretted not bringing it along.

We were greeted with a scene of utter mayhem. More than two dozen pelicans dive-bombed the water only feet from the shore as hundreds, literally hundreds, of tarpon herded the baitball into the shallows and surged through as one with mouths agape.

It could have been the most legendary day of fishing anyone has ever had. Instead, I was reduced to gawking as the tarpon gorged themselves.

Nervous Water rounds the point.

How many tarpon do you see in this photo?

They hunt in packs!

Reminds me of humpback whales engulfing a baitball.

What a missed opportunity...

An incredible number of tarpon.

Dancing bait.

Regrouping for the next open-mouthed surge.

As darkness fell, the action stopped as if someone had flipped a switch. I heard later that the tarpon had been there for 3 days, consistently in a state of feeding frenzy. Alas, the swell is up and the area I was standing for these photos is now in the middle of a pounding shoreline. As soon as it dies down I will spend the weekend in search of this giant baitball and it's attendant predators.

On another day, I was actually ankle-deep in the salt when these bones made an appearance. My 8wt was rigged and ready, but I needed to try for a few shots of tailing fish before I scared them away. Sure as shit, leading a bone by 10ft in four inches of water isn't anywhere near enough. One cast later and they were gone.

Skinny Water.

Street Gang.

Taking tiny shrimp and sea urchins.

1 comment:

Fishing Fury said...

Awesome shots!

I've spent a lot of time camping in Brewers Bay and the exact spot is home to some serious feeding frenzies fairly often.

The most important lesson I ever learned while staying in the BVI is to have your fishing rod with you at all times! I missed out on some serious action just like you did, and those situations dont occur too often!