May 17

Southern Florida… pretty darn fun

I had a conference to work in Ft. Lauderdale this last week and I packed just about as much fishing in as possible.

I got in late on Tuesday, set up my booth on Wednesday morning and then went fishing. I fished with Dr. John, a doc I have known for a couple years now who was also at the conference. We went out that Wed., looking for water, finding some, but more “No Fishing” signs than we really cared for.

I worked Wed. evening, manning the booth for a couple hours, talking specialized genetic testing for aHUS and ADAMTS-13 activity testing because that’s what I do in my job for the most part.

Thursday morning I fished with Dr. John again. That produced my first peacock bass. I went 1/2 and felt like I was starting to figure out where the fish were and how to present the fly (because the first few attempts were, basically, totally wrong).

On the board

After a couple hours of fishing I manned my booth from 10 AM to 8 PM and then, I went fishing. That was unproductive.

Friday morning I went out solo and managed two peacocks and one Mayan Cichlid (my first of that species), which was pretty. I worked from 10 to 4:30 in the booth and then took it down and got it sent back home.

My third Peacock of the trip.

Friday night Dr. John and I headed down to Biscayne Bay to fish with Capt. Patrick, trying to find some tarpon at night. We did see tarpon, we just didn’t catch any. I picked up one small jack, one of the many busting bait all around us when we pulled up. We had one good tarpon rolling just down current of the skiff which kept us on the water, throwing casts in vain until about 1:00 AM.

The weather had been rough that day and Patrick even suggested maybe we skip the trip, but Dr. John and I didn’t have anything better to do, so we went out anyway. We managed to hide a bit from the wind and it eventually calmed down to reasonable levels. We had fish to throw at and we were very well positioned. As I know all too well, Tarpon fishing in Florida is never a certainty. We were both very happy to be out on the water and glad we connected with Capt. Patrick. It was a good way to spend the evening. If I’m out there again, I’ll try to connect with him again.

Back up to Ft. Lauderdale. Got into bed about 2 with a 5:30 AM alarm set. Made the drive back down to Miami to fish with David, a fairly recent transplant, who showed me some of his water. That water produced a peacock and a chiclid and then I was off to the airport, on my way back West.

A Mayan on David’s water

Last fish of the trip.

What a trip.

This WASN’T a fishing trip. This was a work trip. I have been traveling more, but not fishing on almost any of those trips. This one provided some opportunities and I took full advantage. Just hoping to see more conferences in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale!

Thanks to Thomas Albury for some tips, and David for showing me some water and to Capt. Patrick for putting us in fish catching position.

Southern Florida, you get my blood pumping a little faster with your fishing. Thanks for being you.

Aug 09

The Math of a Bonefishing Trip – Part 2

I am not at that point in my life where I book a stay at a lodge.  My trips are going to be mostly un-guided, DIY, cheap digs, cheap beer kinds of adventures.  Cost is the key factor for me and when you look at cost, the single greatest factor comes down to the essential element of travel.  Airfare.

Looking at likely bonefishing locations for a Spring of 2010 trip, here are the high points of what I’m seeing…

  • Hawaii is just expensive to get to… with Honolulu hitting $657 and Kauai at $755, it remains more expensive to get to these beautiful places than  it really seems like it should.
  • The cheapest flight from SFO is, of course, going to be to Miami ($265), but everyone I talk to says the DIY plan for the Keys is also a CNAW (Catch Nothing All Week) plan… and,  not having DONE it, I can’t say if that is truth or a pack of filthy, dirty lies.
  • Cancun… attractive at $296, although it seems the popular bonefishing is farther south of that resort mecca.
  • Freeport, Grand Bahama hits a bit of a sweet spot… airfare is $382, which isn’t so bad… cheap digs are available and there are at least a few places for the DIY guy/gal to at least spot a fish.  Guides also don’t run the $800 for a full day that seems to happen at least a few other spots.
  • When you start looking at other places… Marsh Harbor, Providenciales, Treasure Cay, Deadman’s Cay, you find the price tag with numbers from $600 to $750.