We set up three pontoons on loan to us from some Austrians for an exploratory adventure into a seldom-fished area. This place has turtle grass flats ringed by ocean-side reefs, deep channles into mangrove-lined lagoons and sandy-bottomed bays dotted with house-sized boulders. The possibilities were endless.
I've started to experiment with the spinning rod lately. There isn't any denying that they're a fun and exciting diversion from the fly every once in a while. I still had the bonefish rod, a gorgeous Pieroway 6wt with an Opti Runner, lashed to the side for the bones I knew we would see.
Old Red needed the most frequent TLC. It was just windy enough that we could position ourselvs upwind of a nice cut or drop-off and just let the wind gently push us down, maintaining perfect position, as we fished areas that would be out of reach if we were on foot.
The Lagoon Entrance
Old Red riding a bit low...
Every once in a while, the most unlikely of casts produces the most unlikely of fish. Matt threw his red-headed Yo-Zuri lure 12ft up into a magrove branch by accident. Upon ripping it out, the lure plopped into the water and was immediately taken by an unseen fish. His drag on the 30lb braid was set high for a strike and this fish took out line like nothing else we'd hooked that day. Ten long seconds later and it was still peeling off line as we laughed our heads off. It was awesome. We still had no idea what it was.
Another run or two later and the fish surfaced near the pontoon. Massive bonefish! The beast had taken a 4" Yo-zuri with twin trebels.
It was the first but won't be the last time we explore that area on the pontoons. I lost another bonefish during the landing attempt that I hooked on the fly earlier in the day, jumped two tarpon that were laid up under some overhanging mangroves, missed a 20lb+ snapper that chased my fly and saw a number of decent sharks cruising about. We will definitely be back.