We arrived on the island bang on time, which is unusual for Bahamas Air where a 2pm flight should be regarded as the ‘afternoon’ flight as they’ll get you to where you’re going sometime in the afternoon (usually!). However this time we arrived with some daylight left which opened up the opportunity to fish in front of our accommodation if we were quick enough in the grocery shop which was on the way.
We also had a dinner invitation from the owners of the cottage so by the time we’d unpacked, tackled up, dressed in fishing gear etc. we had maybe 40 minutes of fishing time. The tide was quite high at this point so we decided to walk along the beach in the hope of spotting something. The rush to unpack and get ready, combined with the temperature difference from the UK (there was still some snow on the ground when we left) meant that I got rather hot, so naturally I went in for a cooling paddle. Further down the beach, and conscious of the dinner invite we decided to check the time. It was at this point that I realised my camera (which I also use as a clock) was missing, despite being sure it came out with me (I remember setting the local time). With a feeling of dread I backtracked up the beach, following the footsteps I’d made just minutes earlier. I retraced my steps right to the point where I’d exited the water from my paddle – and there on the bottom was my camera (luckily a waterproof one) glinting away. It must have fallen out unnoticed as I noisily splashed through the shallows – relief wasn’t the word as losing the camera within an hour of arrival would not be a good start.
As I stood contemplating my good fortune in finding the camera I spotted something out of the corner of my eye, surely not – that couldn’t have been a tail could it? As I watched up it popped again, yes a big wafty bonefish tail right near the spot where I’d dropped the camera – how’s that for fate?
As I readied to cast to it, the cloud cover took away my visibility and I scoured the water for signs, eventually seeing it tail again and cast to that but nothing, then a swirl to my right, cast, two strips and fish on! Thankfully whilst it ran (and ran) James appeared to take the camera and took some photos (you’ll see water droplets on them as the camera was fresh out of the sea). Unfortunately there were no photos of the fish as just as I was lifting it for a quick grip and grin, it kicked and was away. Great way to start the trip, then we went back to the cottage for a quick change to go for our meal.
The following few days have gone well as we’ve had bones every day and I’m learning about how to catch a big cuda – so perhaps in my next FP I might have mastered this…
P.S. So far my (one) fly has accounted for all the bones I’ve caught and there’s no signs of it unravelling unlike James’ prediction (he also predicted he’d win the curry).