(originally published May 9, 2012)
The tarpon was first and that was clearly the pig of the trip. After we finally released that fish we went looking for some bonefish.
We found them.
Really, I think the guides could likely produce bones pretty much all day, but they like chasing the tarpon when they are in, since they don’t stick around all year and the window is about three months long.
The bones weren’t big, maybe 3 pounds, but they fought well and we even had one little cluster Fuque where I got a knot in my running line that went through the guides. Jim worked on getting the knot undone and I hand lined the fish, which meant it had PLENTY of slack. The thing turned around and started swimming leisurely back toward us. The thing came so close to the boat that I just figured I’d wait and pull it’s head out of the water. That’s exactly what happened and we managed to land the bonefish pretty much without the rod.
The next flat we went to was ocean-side and as I got up on deck Jim asked the guide “you ever see any permit here?”
“Sometimes” was the reply, although it should have been “Sure, in about a minute.”
There was Mr. Permit cruising right toward us. No time to switch rods, the bonefish fly would have to do (a Peterson’s Spawning Shrimp). The fish lit up on the fly, started chasing it down doing a little erratic dance behind it. I SWEAR it ate, as did Jim, but I was tight to the fly and there was never any sort of resistance on the line. Just like that it bugged off and I was left, about 2″ from a Cuban Grand Slam.
Kind of cool to come so close. I know it is mostly luck and “right time/right place” that gets you those Grand Slams and I was pretty damn close to getting it right.
That’s why we keep fishing.
Really… I can’t complain at all.