We awoke early on day two of the sailing trip swaying back and forth in our hammocks on the deck of the sail boat. The weather was pristine on this day and we were all excited for a great day of action. Once again, it was decided that we were to man the dinghy and take it to the east end of the island. This time, the winds were more calm in the morning but we pushed further east arriving 8 miles and 90 minutes later. Not wanting to spook the fish, we took the dinghy to the edge and then walked her the remaining quarter mile onto the flat. Hard work that would be repeated multiple times that day.
Minutes After Departure: Soaked To The Bone.
Our plan was to fish a larger area of the flat from than the previous day that saw good action in the afternoon hours. This time we would have the sun and wind at our backs. The first hour saw several trunk fish come to hand simply because the bonefish weren't around. After a brief walk back to the dinghy for lunch (vienna sausages!) I spotted a broader silhouette approaching in the distance that soon stopped. The broad black sickle of a tail stuck out of the surface and a wry smile stretched across my face. Permit.
Everyday We're Shufflin.
The Only Species In Sight All Day Long.
The perm was only about fifty feet away and heading straight for the dinghy. My brother and I were not rigged for permit and I contemplated changing the mink shrimp I had on for a delicious crab but there wasn't any time. I softly moved into position while letting out line. I dropped the fly in the fish's path and she made a beeline in that general direction. She followed a full ten feet never taking my fly despite my varied retrieve. As I stripped in leader, she finally saw us and casually turned and faded into the distance. Permit 1, Mark 0.
Wishing, Watching, Waiting.
We Became Masters of the Trunk.
The rest of the day saw us ferrying and walking the dinghy on and off several flats trying to find the fish. With so much pristine habitat, they eluded us. In our desperate and dehydrated state, shadows and coral suddenly became moving bonefish as we imagined the images we so eagerly sought. Soon we began cracking, and Matt rested his eyes and legs on the dinghy. A descending sun beckoned us back to the mothership but not before experiencing an engine problem that stranded us for twenty minutes. A quick fix left us with barely 20% power and we limped home arriving almost two hours after our departure with another long hot day on the flats coming to an end.
Watching The Sunset As Our Dinghy Drifted Aimlessly.