After the initial few days of trying to get to grips with the string wind and the resulting few numbers of triggers on the flats it was time to move the boat and get to an area that we had been eying for the past few years.
From our research it looked like an area that included about 12 small islands, and endless sand and hard bottom flats, as well as some very interesting channels and drop offs.
Despite the strong wind, as we started to approach this area, and the massive flats started to come into view, we could feel the excitement levels on the boat begin to rise.
And so began 4 days of lots of walking and some incredible fishing. To keep things brief I’ll stick to some of the highlights:
To start off with, this is what we found on the flats:
On the Flats: We found good numbers of GTs and bluefins on the flats, as well as Barracuda, bohar and coral trout.
The triggers and bonefish were still only found in few numbers, but these are sure to be there in good numbers in better conditions (This was reiterated by local fisherman we met.). Some interesting finds on the flats included really good numbers of big Napoleons, although they were not as aggressive as one would normally expect. Most of these Napoleons were in the 20 to 35kilo range, and in almost all situations would rush the fly but either turn away at the last second, or be beaten to the fly by the many bluefin that would normally be found with these brutes.
What was encouraging was that a lot of these fish were in areas where we would have definitely landed them, had we connected. Exciting to think about when the conditions are better.
We found big numbers of milkies in shin deep water. Although we managed numerous legitimate shots at these frustrating fish, we couldn’t entice a take. In hindsight we should have spent more time, but it is certainly another great thought for the future. Interestingly, we found good numbers of GT’s around the milkies.
We had a few shots at some really big permit. The sickle tails of these fish sent our heart rates through the roof, but strong winds and bad visibility often made it impossible to get into position for a legitimate shot. Often as soon as they stopped tailing we would loose sight of them. What we know for sure, is that it is only a matter of time before we land some really impressive permit here. Some of these fish were in the 8 to 10 kilo range.
Flat edges: Other fishing that we were blown away by over these four days was the experiences we had on the flat edges. It was apparent that the strong wind, and pressure drop, had pushed lot of fish off the flats and onto the flat edges. Walking these flat edges we had great sight fishing to numerous bluefin, GT’s, Barracuda, coral trout, Bohar and napoleons. Although it isn’t every fly fisherman’s ideal method, we also had mindblowing sessions where we would tease fish up from the depths with hookless plugs. We even managed to tease a small shoal of Doggies in the 8 to 10 kilo range onto the flat. The lead doggie even ate the fly, but we failed to land the fish. For the future we have earmarked a few spots on the nautical charts where we are confident that this may be a realistic possibility in the future.
We also teased up great numbers of GT’s, bluefin, Barracuda, Bohar, coral trout and even some huge napoleons following the tease in. We had some remarkable experiences where some of the fish would chase the tease right to our feet, and get hold of the tease almost on dry land. Shaking it like a dog, with most of their bodies out the water. We had a GT of roughly 35kilos do this at our feet, where we literally used a foot to push it off the tease. Another moment that sticks out in my mind was when Ed was casting the tease, and a massive Bohar chased the tease in. It was so focused on the tease that it chased it into extremely shallow water, and when the little wave receeded, it was almost on dry rock. Amazingly, the bohar was still trying to get to the tease, and as soon as the fly was in front of it, it exploded onto the offering.
Offshore:, we barely touched the potential. The strong wind kept us shore bound, but the couple chances we got to go offshore we found GT’s, Barracuda, Cobia, bohar and Queenfish
Interestingly, towards the end of the week we met some fisherman sheltering in the lee of one of the small islands, and they said that they hadn’t managed to catch anything in the past week since the winds had started.
We had a very interesting conversation about bonefish and Triggers, and they assured us that the area was good for these species. With what we had experienced so far, our minds were wild thinking about if we had a few shots at tailing triggers as well.
The weather had been frustrating, but the potential we saw in this week was superb. Bring on next week and some more exploring.