Saturday, July 30, 2011

Success Before The Storm

With a full moon a few days away, the tides were fluctuating at very high extremes and they occurred at points in the day that were not ideally suited to bonefishing. Nonetheless, we headed out on a falling tide (our favorite) to hit up a local flat we knew held fish. Reliably. What was once a flat was now an exposed region of dead coral and turtle grass leaving only a hundred yard stretch to fish. We had the sun and wind at our backs which helps considerably sighting and fishing to bonefish over deep turtle grass. Thankfully, we found tailing fish in the distance. A school of 2-4 lb. fish moving cautiously towards skinny water and we were there to meet them. The fish were schooling in a circular pattern and the first two times they came our way, an olive spawning shrimp was followed but refused. I switched patterns to a tan kwabbit and found success with a bonefish taking mere feet from my rod tip. It was my first of the trip and my first ever from the difficult flats of my brother's home island. It was a mountain I had been climbing for nearly two weeks and it was the tipping point I needed to find success later on in the trip.

My brother an I exited the flat to give the bones some rest before heading back for another go around. We hit up several sunken vessels along the shoreline of a harbor for some barracuda action. Several small fish came to hand using a jigging minnow pattern without wire leader. As the fly fell apart it was only a matter of time before a larger fish bit through the mono. After peeling line off my reel, I couldn't keep up, and the thin line found the knifelike teeth ending our barracuda session.

Heading back to the flat the water had receded even further and we waded the deeper areas. The school of bones were on the edge and we had to wait a little while before they decided to come on. On top of the wait, they were extremely cautious. My brother casted well ahead of them and had his pattern waiting in the turtle grass for their arrival. A perfect strategy to simulate escaping prey ahead of an advancing school of fish. Connected, he gently cradled his prize in the water. The bone visually displayed its surroundings on its mirror like scales. Colors of green, blue, silver, and white disappeared upon release back to an abode of turtle grass. 

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