Well we made it back safe and sound from our adventure just a couple hours ago and what an adventure it was.
First of all when we launched the boat early Tuesday afternoon the weather and tide were just perfect. The ocean going toward the Great Bahama Bank was a turquoise blue-green color. Even with our heavy load we had no problem jumping up on a plane coming out of a hole they dug next to a crawl near the dock. The water going out on this side is shallow for a long way out. We ran about 2 miles out from the shore to avoid any rock bars or what ever. It’s a long way down there and it took us about an hour and forty five minutes to get there.
We cruised the shore line until we found a suitable spot to camp. The place we picked turned out to be great.
First thing we did was to set up our little home and be ready for bad weather should it come. We were on a sandy bar with some pine trees behind us for shelter and a nice flat right in front of us. We also had the ring side seat for the sunset over the ocean to the west. Another reason we picked that spot is when we were cruising by I spotted a big tarpon cruising about the same speed between us and the shore and I made the comment that this will do.
After we had camp set up we got in the boat to do a little exploring. About 300 feet south of our camp there was a small creek going into the interior. We puttered up this creek for a ways when Linda said “look at all those little fish going like crazy in front of us”. Then we saw this big wake in front of the boat and saw that this big tarpon was chasing the small fish probably trying to trap them in this creek. By this time the creek got too small for the boat and we headed back out saying to each other “did you see the size of that tarpon”?
Next morning it was dead calm over the ocean and lots of sun. I was laying in the tent being lazy and looking over the water when I saw the wake of bonefish going right in front of the boat. It was time to get up. We skipped breakfast and headed out on the flat. All though these flats are mud bottom they are very wadeable and visibility was good. I was only about a hundred feet from where the boat was anchored when I spotted the first bonefish. It was less than 30 feet away and the fly barely hit the water and he had it. Love those west side bonefish. Linda had just caught up with me and was surprised at how quick I had a hook up. She had never caught a bonefish before. I told her if you can cast out 30 feet you will get one. About five minutes later she was hooked up with her first one and the cast was only about 20 feet, Just a few minutes later she hooked a bigger one but the reel back lashed and it broke off.
Getting closer to that little creek we spotted three big tarpon and they were coming closer. I had the tarpon already rigged up and I was ready. About fifty feet I made the presentation and the fly landed just perfect in front of him. I made a strip and he turned toward the fly and you will not believe what happened next. This big stupid bonefish came out of nowhere and hammered that tarpon fly. I couldn’t believe it, here I was cussing because I caught a big bonefish but didn’t want it. The tarpon was slowly swimming around wondering what happened to that tender morsel he was going to eat.
More on this trip tomorrow and a really scary situation on Billy Island.