Birthday Bone

Birthday Bone

Tracy&James | Sunday, 19 November 2023

The last five weeks fishing have been tough however I have had a few outstanding bonefish to remember. The first quite early in the holiday when I hooked a big tailing bone in the shallows of a lagoon with James close by watching. It was hooked following one cast accurately placed in front of it and it moved rapidly to eat the fly. The take is always one of the best things with bonefishing, but also the run they make, as for their size they can take a lot of backing.

At another location, I had another big bonefish take my fly and then take me down deep into my backing, the yellow 'dust' on my fingers being testament to me not using this bit of backing much in the past. This was an ocean flat and we reckoned these fish were fitter as they had to regularly outrun sharks there (this was the same flat where James hooked the 'Usain Bolt' of the bonefish world last year). Later that day I did have to spook a small shark who was intently following the fish I was playing, as did James on the same flat.


The third memorable bonefish was on the last full day of fishing. It came after three days of rain, strong winds and thunderstorms where we had only fished for jacks and snappers on the beach near where we stayed. So we decided whatever the weather we were going to a flat to find bones – it was also my Birthday. The weather when we arrived was good, sunny with mild winds, though there was a deep darkness on the horizon. We found that just before the torrential rain arrived, there would be a time of flat calm and it was during these gaps we fished one of our favourite flats – an inner lagoon. However, we did get absolutely drenched even wearing our coats – sadly they are shower proof and not thundering rain-proof. On previous trips we always found wearing coats on Bahamas flats too hot to wear, however on this day, we were quite happy to wear them as it was decidedly chilly – well for the Bahamas; it would still be lovely in the UK. The other problem fishing in these conditions was that during the flat calms, the insects came out in droves, so covering up as much as possible was necessary, plus wiping faces regularly with insect repellent wipes – but taking care not to get any near the fly or the fly line (we use citronella based products not DEET, although these are nowhere near as effective).


We had fished most of the day without success, even blind casting a Clouser in deeper channels for different species was fruitless. James did manage to taunt a cuda into having a slash at the fly but it managed to avoid getting hooked. We had started walking back in the direction of the car as there was another ominous looking darkness on the horizon, but obviously we monitored the shoreline for tailing bones. I saw a tail and dorsal so got into position, with James taking up the 'guide' view from higher up on the land. He had an ideal view of the fish. I made one cast – which he said was perfect and then waited for the fish to move, then James said 'strip', which I did and the fish leapt onto the fly. The next few minutes were tense as the fish went one way then roostered the line the opposite way and then kept running, stopping briefly for me to reel some backing, then running again. Besides being a great guide (and fly tyer), James was also on hand for the photos.


Sadly over this trip neither of us managed to hook a good sized cuda or shark (although James lost a very big cuda on spinning gear that straightened the hook), but we did have fun catching lots of jacks and snappers, and other species. The weather during this holiday has made us rethink when we travel to the Caribbean and next time it will be a return to Spring.

We should be flying over the Atlantic when you are reading this, or perhaps back in the UK driving home. Apparently it's wet and windy, so no change for us, though maybe a bit chillier.

Whatever you are doing this weekend, enjoy.