Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Great Days.

After our first-ever guided trip, Adam picked us up at the dock in the rental and we headed back to the flats. We were there to fish, after all.

A blown-apart low pressure system was making its way through the area, giving us some incredible weather phenomena during our times spent wading the shallows. Intermittent sun and glare-filled shade caused a start-stop-start-stop shuffling routine on the flats. No use in moving when you can't see what's out there to spook.

Wading the flats with two others is an interesting experience. Long stretches of silence are punctuated by terse statements or rhetorical questions. "Shark over here." "Nettles are kicking my ass." "Look at that cloud."

The longer the last spoken words ricochet around in your head the more abstract they become. The less real. Who said them? Did anyone really say anything? Probably not. After an hour of silently ruminating on something stupid one of you might have said while baby-stepping through a muddy, shoe sucking lowland, your mind becomes blank. You aren't thinking. Some ancient lobe of your brain scans the landscape from your eyes looking for prey items, but you aren't aware of it. All the better.

And then you see a bonefish.

We hit a tiny bridge as the tide emptied, looking for something to ambush and played with a few over enthusiastic ladyfish.

A blacktip chased one of the ladyfish down but missed. Mark had him on the next cast. They fight very well.

Mark got another blacktip 30 minutes later.

As the sun set, we explored some abandoned condos. Adam rescued this heron that was trapped in a closet. We saw on the leaning porch and ate our ravioli, cold and straight from the can. The low pressure system made for an incredible sunset.

That night, we set up the tent on the sand and headed back to the ferry dock for some tarpon. As lightning illuminated the horizon, we hooked and landed a whole bunch of tarpon. Adam slayed, as usual, with four tarpon in one night.

Polished steel.

We were now about halfway through our entire trip. We had one more day on this island before the ferry took us home. It was an incredible day, starting on our first guided trip and ending with some tarpon at the dock. As we crawled into the tent as the wind howled around, we only looked forward to our last day there, and the more than a week we had left on our home island.


Blake said...

Thats awesome. Looks like a trip to remember.

Ryan said...

What great pictures! Beautiful! Our season has just ended in Michigan and that looks SO good.

The Average Joe Fisherman

Mark said...

Thanks all, absolutely a trip that is going to be hard to top!