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Author Topic: Abacos Bonefish  (Read 270 times)

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Chris M

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Abacos Bonefish
« on: March 31, 2017, 08:45:51 AM »

Suzanne and I are back from the Abacos – and it was an awesome time.  The weather was great and really cooperated with our bonefish schedule.  We arrived Friday afternoon in Treasure Cay and spent the next 2 days exploring the area, taking a ferry to Great Guana Cay, and exploring the awesome beach across from our hotel.  We had a window view of the resorts marina and spent time looking at all the sportfishing boats.   On Monday we met our guide Danny Sawyer out of Marsh Harbor who guided out of an immaculately maintained first generation Hells Bay Waterman.  It was a really short drive to the ramp from the hotel and he launched the boat into a maze of mangrove creeks.  He blasted out rather fast which was an adventure in itself as he made tight turns through narrow passages.  We reached the open water and traveled for about 20 minutes before he stopped and got up on the poling platform.  I stepped up to the bow and started to stretch line on a new Scott 8 wt, purchased just for this trip.  It wasn’t long before he started calling out targets, and even with my fish eyes, it took me a bit to acclimate to what we were looking at.  You quickly learned to cast on faith of what Danny was seeing, because you may miss your chance if you always try to find the fish before you made your cast.  I made a couple quick cast and then felt weight, but the fish came in quick for us to see it was a tiny barracuda, that stole my fly before the bonefish got a chance at it.  Released that fish and he poled us around a corner to a huge school of bones tailing.  Launched a few casts fish spooked and darted everywhere.  Eventually I tied into one and quickly saw line burn off the reel.  After a great fight I landed my first bonefish.  Suzanne and I took a number of pics and celebrated.  She then got on the bow with a lightweight spin rod that Danny baited with a small frozen shrimp.  She did well remembering how to accurately cast after our fishing together last summer and within a short period of time, something picked up her bait and started ripping line.  She fought the fish for a while, and tired it out. It was easily larger than mine, which she quickly pointed out to me, and as we went to grab the leader, the line parted right above the hook.  Looked like a clean cut, possibly from a coral head. 
The wind and sun kind of made Dannys job harder throughout the day, but he poled throughout that first day, with a variety of targets to cast to, with long periods of searching.  I caught 2 more bones that day, and Suzanne had a few accurate shots – that were strangely ignored by the passing fish.  We ended the day satisfied at all the scenery and fishing action, and looked forward to the better weather coming on Wednesday for our 2nd day.
The next outing started off much the same, but with better sun and less wind.   Things took a while before we really started to see bonefish targets, and eventually I tied into one that removed the skunk from the boat.  Suzanne got up on the bow, and once again did really well to cast accurately and on faith.  She started to develop fish finding eyes of her own and gaining her confidence.  Danny poled into a huge school of fish, and a few unproductive casts had fish darting all around us.  He told Suzanne to pause and let the bait set.  2 minutes later, she was hooked up, with a bone ripping braided line off of her reel.  She fought the fish well and was able to bring it to hand for some great pics. 
We went on that day with some more great bonefishing, having many chances.  Some memorable moments were where I spotted a fish on my own, led it with the cast, and hooked up and landed.  We also saw a few massive barracuda, where Danny had another spinrod rigged with a green tube lure.  I got in two casts on one cuda that led to an explosive splash attack, with a brief hookup – but the fish got away.  We ended the day with one last bone near the ramp in a narrow marsh creek. 
Ended with 10 hookups 7 bonefish landed, 1 small barracuda
Suzanne had 4 hookups and 2 bonefish landed
Couple of notable items
1.   We saw blacktip sharks, nurse sharks, bonnetheads, sting rays, needlefish, barracuda – tons of life in certain areas
2.   I am surprise how you can seemingly spook the hell out of bonefish, yet they will still eat your fly
3.   Danny’s vision is 20/15 – I think is retinas have somehow polarized on their own
4.   That Hells Bay was one nice boat, even though it was about 20 years old – the way it can run in the shallowest water was just incredible
5.   The Scott Meridian and the Rio tropical texture line really is an awesome setup.  The drag on the Hydros was flawless
6.   Fly selection was so important.  At one time I made 2 well placed casts (with a fly that had caught a bonefish within the previous hour), with no hookup and Danny said “ They are done with that fly, need to change”  A quick change to a flashier fly to the same pile of fish resulted in an immediate hookup. Danny did not like a single fly I had brought – which was a well-rounded selection of flies we all know about.  All fish were caught on unique flies he had brought along.
7.   Everyone needs to go bonefishing at least once
« Last Edit: March 31, 2017, 09:23:09 AM by Chris M »
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Chris M

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Re: Abacos Bonefish
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2017, 08:49:24 AM »

Pic
« Last Edit: March 31, 2017, 08:51:39 AM by Chris M »
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Shakeyfly

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Re: Abacos Bonefish
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2017, 08:50:55 AM »

That is a hell of a nice write up Chris. Hilarious about the flies you brought. I have heard that a lot of guides don't like the flies we bring but that makes sense to me really. They know best usually. It's their water, their time, experience etc.

Really sorry to hear about you having to chase fish with a spinning rod... but it was sort of expected.... :lol
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"A desperate and lasting sadness descends on you when you realize you're a fisherman who's not gonna catch fish today."
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Chris M

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Re: Abacos Bonefish
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2017, 08:54:01 AM »

Pic
« Last Edit: March 31, 2017, 08:58:18 AM by Chris M »
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ginclear

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Re: Abacos Bonefish
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2017, 08:56:36 AM »

Excellent report and big congrats on the successful trip, Chris. Looks like a sh*tload of fun.
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Matt B

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Re: Abacos Bonefish
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2017, 08:57:55 AM »

at least your home in time for more snow  :mellow

awesome pics!  I've always wondered how as fisherman, we can convince ourselves that a fish some how can determine..."nah, i've seen that fly in the past 15 minutes, I want to eat a different one".

very jealous of that warm weather

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Chris M

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Re: Abacos Bonefish
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2017, 09:00:25 AM »

Pics
« Last Edit: March 31, 2017, 09:03:35 AM by Chris M »
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Chris M

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Re: Abacos Bonefish
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2017, 09:04:41 AM »

Pics
« Last Edit: March 31, 2017, 09:07:47 AM by Chris M »
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Shakeyfly

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Re: Abacos Bonefish
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2017, 09:12:54 AM »

Jorts and Socks... that guide is the MAN...
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"A desperate and lasting sadness descends on you when you realize you're a fisherman who's not gonna catch fish today."
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trico22

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Re: Abacos Bonefish
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2017, 10:06:41 AM »

excellent report Chris, glad to hear you were successful!  Those buggers are addictive right?
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Chris M

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Re: Abacos Bonefish
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2017, 10:28:35 AM »

excellent report Chris, glad to hear you were successful!  Those buggers are addictive right?


Amazing fly fishing experience. From start to finish
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k2

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Re: Abacos Bonefish
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2017, 02:10:20 PM »

Congrats on your first bone (giggle).  It sounds like an awesome trip.  I think you can tell a lot about a guide by the way he accommodates the better half while managing the fisherman's expectations.
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Chris M

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Re: Abacos Bonefish
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2017, 02:20:47 PM »

Congrats on your first bone (giggle).  It sounds like an awesome trip.  I think you can tell a lot about a guide by the way he accommodates the better half while managing the fisherman's expectations.

So true Matt. He had an amazing depth of patience for both of us.  Hell of a nice guy
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fishtaco

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Re: Abacos Bonefish
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2017, 05:44:25 PM »

Nice job and write up Chris, I love chasing those things. Hopefully I find some in 6 weeks.

Don't let Shakey throw shade at Suzanne. He never learned how to fish and only switched to being an elitist fly guy so he would have an excuse for not catching.

Congrats again, to you and Suzanne.
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Chris M

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Re: Abacos Bonefish
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2017, 08:33:17 AM »

Nice job and write up Chris, I love chasing those things. Hopefully I find some in 6 weeks.

Don't let Shakey throw shade at Suzanne. He never learned how to fish and only switched to being an elitist fly guy so he would have an excuse for not catching.

Congrats again, to you and Suzanne.
Thanks man.   We had a conversation with Danny that , in summary, told us he appreciates how independent we were relative to other clueless anglers he has guided in the past.  No wild casts into the mangroves, no hooking each other or him, no nuclear knotted rats nests-- he could focus on staying on the poling platform and hunting for cruising fish. I was self sufficient, except for apparently bringing shitty flies, and Suzanne and I worked well to get her hooked up with what targets he called out, so that he didn't feel like we weren't holding up our end of the bargain
« Last Edit: April 01, 2017, 08:35:23 AM by Chris M »
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