The crossing over the pass at Boca Grande is rough. There is a lot of slamming down of the boat and spraying of the face with saltwater. The run is about 40 minutes and the reason you go there is because there are schools and schools of big, massive tarpon pouring through.
But sometimes, they don’t.
Today… not so much.
We went across the pass and staked out waiting for the tarpon waves to show, but they just didn’t. We had 2 singles to cast to, which we did with no results. It was a lot of sitting around, but I was fishing with Chris Santella and we had some good conversations and the time was certainly not wasted.
We eventually left the tarpon grounds and looked for bonefish. The first flat was just beautiful, but totally devoid of bones. It was picture perfect. Really, I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect flat, but the fish just were not home.
The second flat I was on the bow and I looked over and said, “Man, that looks just like a bunch of bonefish over there.” The guide agreed. It was redemption time. We traded off picking off the bones from that and another school of bonefish for a while and the day was very much saved. The final fish was on a 70 foot cast where the fish ate on the first strip. It felt awesome.
The guide (Leonardo) tagged several of the bonefish, which really underscores the conservation ethic that they have here.
Back at the boat it was Cuba Libres and a great dinner. A good, if challenging day. A good reminder that this stuff isn’t easy and that the fish just don’t give it up, even in a place like this where hardly anyone gets to go. This stuff is hard and challenging and that is why it is rewarding.
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