Thursday, August 9, 2012

Good Morning

Morning of day four by myself on the island and I am beginning to feel the affects of the week. A diet of nuts, cookies, pop tarts, and cans of chef boyardee are beginning to take their toll, my feet are rubbed raw from my flats boots, and fishing has been for the most part: slow.

The last two days I have on the island are punctuated by extremely low tides in the beginning of the day that make my favorite places to fish almost un-fishable. I decide to do some wading off the beaches. At the lowest of tides, previously in-accessible areas are now able to be waded. I immediately find some unsuspecting fish.

A pack of four bonefish are spotted coming from a mottled bottom over a patch of sand. They are easily spotted before their colors adjust to the new surroundings. The first cast of the morning produces an average (for here) bonefish. He behaves slightly different than most of the bones I catch, in that he doesn't do the standard two runs. He stays in close, going in and out making circles around me, before going on a short backing run. I bring him in for the land and get some Go Pro stills. What is interesting about these Go Pro stills is that they produce the reverse effect of your typical fly fishing shot. Rather than making a fish look large by extending your reach, the fish appear smaller because your arms are the closest thing to the camera. The fish appears small when it is actually close to six pounds.

After releasing the fish, I spot another bonefish on the same sandy bottom. I make the cast and find myself fighting the mirror image of the previous fish in terms of size and attitude. After I release the second fish, I spot a large barracuda in the vicinity. Is that why they weren't taking off? Either way, I was lucky to not have lost the two bones.

That morning, I made two casts at bonefish and landed both of them. For the next six hours, I don't recall seeing another fish. A band of heavy clouds rolled in, occasionally dropping some rain. They appeared to only come over the small island. To the north and south of the island, there was nothing but clear skies. Overhead, a long line of clouds put a damper on my fishing. For the afternoon session, I had some close quarters combat with some nice bonefish under the heavy cloud cover. With visibility already low from wading in knee to waist deep water, the cloud cover really limits your chances. Often, you'll see your adversary at the last second, sometimes only twenty feet away. By that time, he sees you too, and you can't get a cast off.

Parched and looking for a meal, I spent an hour gathering driftwood along the shore to make a fire. Surprisingly, the wood was bone dry, despite all the rain the past two days. That should give you an idea of how hot it is here.

I made my fire on the beach that night, under the stars and what could be seen of the milky way. I carved a stick with my Gerber survival knife, cracked open a can of Spam, and stuck it on the stick. I gave it a slow roast over the fire. When the outside is extra crispy, you can eat the top layer of the brick and it tastes good. After that first layer, its spam from the can again, and you have to roast it some more. I ate a whole can, lost a few years off my life in the process, but it sure beat chef boyardee.


Unknown said...

Clearly I have missed something along the way, like whay are you on an island? Is it self inforced?

Anyway sounds very nice and great fun. Would you not try for the Baracuda?

Best wishes.

Brent Wilson said...

Top notch, as usual, Mark. Your photos are outstanding. I hear ya though, re: the GoPro stills and fish size.

BTW, I loved the blue crab porn shot. Bummed, however, there was no spam roasting image.

Mark said...

I am there on my own free will for the Cuda, I didn't feel like changing my entire set up and I was a few hundred yards off the beach, so I wouldn't have chanced landing him, since I'd be a thrash away from bleeding out with no medical care....anywhere

Yea, most of the pics in this series of posts are Go Pro stills, best I could do by myself

Glad you enjoyed the crabs, and I uploaded the SPAM shot for you, I forgot about it


Mark Kautz said...

Man, you go to extremes for Bone fish. The extremes being Spam and Chef Boyardee. I agree with Brent on the crab shot.


Carlos Del Rey. said...

Congratulations on the bonefish, are nice.

And also for your blog, is very good, greetings from Spain.

Bjorn said...

Makes me wish I was there... even with the slow fishing.

Unknown said...

I definitely share your "disease" and enjoy your blog. I finally got one going and you can find me at Look forward to following your adventures.