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Bonefish, Tarpon, and other Obsessions Turquoise water, silver demons on the fly

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Old 05-23-2010, 01:57 PM
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Long Island Bahamas

I just return from a week of fishing on Long Island. As many of you know I have a severe bonefishing addiction and after visiting most of the island in the Bahamas (including Acklins/Crooked) I fell in love with Long Island. I have recently completed a home in Salt Pond, which is about halfway between Deadman's Cay and the North end, the primary flats areas. I travelled with 3 close friends with similar addictive personalities. We fished 3 days up north with Docky Smith and his brother "Big Dog", and 2 days in Deadman's with Colin Cartwright. The weather was clear, but the wind blew 20-25 mph out of the northeast for the entire visit, keeping the flats exceptional dry, and challanging our casting technique. Despite less than ideal conditions we caught alot of fish ranging from 3 to 10 libs. On a day in Deadman's, Carlos caught 18 bones.

While fishing the outer flat up north the "Big Dog" pointed out a 30 lb permit tailing in 2 feet of water about 200 feet from the area we we wading for bones tailing in 6-8 inches of water. Having never landed a permit on the flats I began my stalk of the permit. The outer portion of the flat had channels running into the turtle grass covered area, and the permit was working the edges of the channels, periodically present its huge forked tail, causing burst of tachycardia and hyperventilation. As I approached to a distance of 70-80 feet, it would slip back into the channel, but consistently worked into the tide which flowed across the shallows. Taking a course further up tide, I set up on the edge of the channel. As I watched the permit, it return to the channel and then vanished. I was crest fallen, and after 5 minutes was about to move on when a large green shadow appeared in the depth of the creek. "Must be a 'cuda", I thoght, but as I watched the 'cuda went to the opposite bank and tailed in a foot and a half of water. I quick cast of a large Mantis Shrimp, to short strips, game on. 25 minutes later the biggest personal bonefish for me was at hand. Sweeet!

So, there are big fish on Long Island. It has great DIY action as well. Anyone interested let me know, I have alot of insights about the Island and the fishing. My home is set up for rental, and is spectacular (yes I am biased), but check it out on VRBO.

(sponsorship in discussion)

Hope all involved with the Clave had a great time.
I will post some pictures of the hog soon.
Capeflydoc
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Last edited by juro; 05-24-2010 at 09:42 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-25-2010, 09:06 PM
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Long Island Hog

Some pictures of the large Bone.
Ed
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:13 AM
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Nice fish Ed.
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:23 AM
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wow - that's a monster bone
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:46 AM
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How big was that bonefish?
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:56 PM
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Bonefish

I have boga gripped an eight pounder, and this guy seemed to be at least a couple of pounds bigger. I think 9 1/2 to 10 is not a full blown fish story.
Ed
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:09 PM
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seems at least that big to me--nice fish!
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:52 PM
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I'd guesstimate it at about 10lbs.
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:22 AM
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That's a great fish. Job well done.
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Where is your bonefish flat?
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:26 AM
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By the way, as I was rereading your report, I noticed you had issues with the wind. I just returned from Grand Bahamas and had the same issue. In fact, it's been an issue on every flats trip I've ever taken. I'm starting to think flats are never truly "flat" and indeed always windy.

Pete, when was the last time you cast to a bone in a 5mph breeze? You seem to have similar experiences lately, too.
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Old 08-17-2010, 02:11 PM
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Tame the Wind

You are sooo right about the breeze on bonefish flats. In fact, I think it's a catch 22: the angler who has trouble with the breeze prays for a calm day only to find the fish spooky as hell without the breeze, ergo, bonefishing can be tough any way you cut it... unless you know how to handle the wind.

My #1 recommendation here is buying, watching, and practicing the principles in "Taming the Wind", by Prescott Smith. Mr. Smith is a Bahamian guide from Andros who has pioneered a bonefishing technique called "into the wind". His techniques are easy to master and are guaranteed to improve your casting in windy situations.

(I know I sound like a total cheesy salesman here, but I promise I get no commissions.) However, using these techniques my dad and I were able to consistently turn over our flies (with #8 rods) into 17-19 mph winds at 40+ ft. We learned to fish on the windy flats of the Caribbean and thought we could handle the wind as well as anyone, but after watching and implementing this DVD our technique improved beyond our wildest hopes.

As for being ready to fish in the breeze, last March we fished Andros with Big Charlie and it never blew less than 15 knots. In fact, it was typically blowing around 20 knots for the 3 days we fished and on the last day it was actually blowing 37 mph---a few mph short of an actual gale. Well, we caught fish, BIG fish, and lots of them. We actually lost count of the number of double-digit bones we got, and we were the only boat in sight. Most of the other sports had stayed at the lodges or headed back into the creeks to fish for baby bones in big schools. But, because we were able to handle the breeze we were into fish all week.
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Old 08-17-2010, 05:44 PM
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Is that the guy that casts off the bow of a skiff with it running wide open?
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Old 08-17-2010, 10:36 PM
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Totally Sick, Bro...

Yup. That's him... not exactly wide open, but up on plane and going at a good clip. At least 20 mph, or something close. Either way, his casting style/technique is--at the risk of raising hackles all over the fly fishing web--revolutionary in it's simplicity.

Not only can I deal with the wind better, but it really doesn't matter what angle the wind is at either. For example, one of the toughest breezes for me to deal with is a very strong breeze on my right shoulder at right angles to my cast. (I'd venture to say the same for the majority of my clients, which is why I avoid it at nearly all cost when I'm guiding.) However, I was just out practicing in the last little tropical wave to pass and I had the same 17-19 mph breeze on my right shoulder with a 11-12 ft leader and I never had a single issue. No windknots. No flies whacking me. No aim issues.

Now, lest the masses think I'm bragging (which, like any fisherman, I'm more than apt to do) let me say that it's not my natural awesomeness that let's me do so. And, no, I'm not even referring to the water-haul cast where you use the surface tension to load the rod and limit yourself to a single cast each time. I'm talking about normal 2-3 false casts and shoot. For me, this was the single biggest deal in the whole thing. I mean, forget being able to cast the whole string or hook a cast at will or whatever. Being able to fish normally and calmly no matter where the wind is coming from is a HUGE deal.
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Old 08-17-2010, 10:42 PM
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PS

Not sure if it's kosher to post a link here to Vimeo, but I did a review of the DVD. It breaks down a couple of the main points and I try to demonstrate (poorly) the difference between his style and the conventional cast.

http://vimeo.com/12031031

If posting that isn't cool, just do a Google search for Taming the Wind Prescott Smith and scroll down to the Vimeo link.
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Old 08-17-2010, 11:37 PM
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Awesome.....very informative stuff
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