No words I write will correctly describe the events that took place today…but I will try. I started the day out excited about the perfect conditions that were forecasted. I launched to overcast skies and glass calm water. I had high hopes even though I haven’t seen a bonefish since September. I poled and I poled and I poled. Over two miles one way. 4 hours later I was still poling and had lost all faith. There was still time in the tide left but I was contemplating heading home. I decided to just sit and enjoy the scenery in hopes something might happen. I put on some Pandora radio from the iPhone and sat still for nearly 20 minutes….nothing. I decided now would be a great time to practice casting my fly rod in hopes that one day I will figure it out (still trying to teach myself). I spotted a feather floating on the surface and I crept up on it as though it were a huge tailer…I blew three shots on the feather. I thought to myself, jeez…what am I going to do when I see a bonefish. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the unmistakable, unfamiliar sight of a tail pop up. OMG!!! It’s a bone! I dropped that fly rod so fast it wasn’t funny. I launched the jumbo shrimp a country mile and it landed right on his nose….Crap! I spooked him. I sat there with my head held low and rod at my waist. As I began to reel up to regain composure to relocate him I noticed something wasn’t right….ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! I have caught 8 bonefish before and none of them sang like this one! 250yds no lie…there was a football field worth of grass on my line. I was already preparing myself for failure at this point. I chased like crazy pedaling my hobie as fast as it would go and reeling like a mad man to keep constant pressure. He was headed directly for a crab trap but somehow decided to turn in my favor! Things were looking better with each moment. As the fight turned to little short bursts I could see just how huge this fish was. It did not look natural…Gigantic! I caught 2 fish over 10lbs in the summer and this one was much bigger. I felt like I would never get him to my hand as we played back in forth for what felt like eternity! I scooped him up and he was mine! My guess is 12lbs. Finally the monkey was off my back. 3 months of heart ache and disappointment erased in nearly 5 minutes. I was as high as I have ever been fishing. I frantically played the catch photo and release game as bonefish can’t be out of the water too long. One solution I have found for this is to snap a quick iphone shot the second I catch him just for proof and then put him back in the water still hooked so he can swim around while I prepare the camera. I have had a lot of success with this method and sometimes they are so frisky I can barley hold them for the picture. I snapped two pictures both of which came out like crap for some reason…maybe all the clouds and water looking the same. This was really one of about 3 fish in my life I didn’t want to let go because I was so happy just capturing him…He swam right out of my hands…absolutely incredible! Hopefully it is not another 3 months until I experience it again but that is what makes them so special. The sweet is never as sweet without the sour!
You can look at more pictures of my kayak Bonefish, Tarpon, Permit and Redfish here http://www.flickr.com/photos/team-mayhem/