Tracy&James | Sunday, 18 February 2024

Well another week of high, milky-coffee coloured rivers has meant that Tracy and I didn't get out fishing yet again. Desperation is starting to set in so this weekend we booked another trip to the Bahamas for some saltwater fishing. At least we're guaranteed to get out fishing there, although the weather (as per our trip in November) can be a bit wild at times. Actually we have a friend who is out there right now and he's said, and I quote, “it's windy as f***”. Now Tracy and I always travel with the assumption that it's going to be blowing a gale, and we train our casting for combating the wind before we go. As such, the distance practice that has not long started is going to make way for accuracy training on our windy days with a particular emphasis on backhand shots and drilled tight loops, both front and back.

We did have one surprise when booking; we checked our usual accommodation was available and then went ahead and booked the flights. Tracy then confirmed the booking of the apartment to find that they've inflated the price by 75% over our trip just 3 months ago. I don't know what it is with some businesses in the Bahamas in that they think it's OK to jack-up their prices way beyond the inflation rate (this has happened to us before). Anyone with any fundamental business sense will know that supply and demand is the arbiter of price, and the fact that we can book the accommodation through the Easter and spring break periods and at a prime bonefishing time, just one month in advance, says that the price has killed off the demand. Obviously this is good for us (apart from our bank balance) in that we get to stay (at late notice) in our usual spot, but it really should be ringing alarm bells for the owners. Applying such a silly rate of inflation does nothing for the local economy either – it just helps stoke island wide inflation whilst driving GDP down by reducing the footfall of visitors (Tourism accounting for just over 50% of the Bahamian economy). Anyway, rant over – we're going bonefishing again soon and that all that really matters to us.

Tomorrow my fly tying kit will be coming out again. I'll do a quick review of the flies we lost last time (we keep notes of this) and look to tie up a few dozen replacements. We actually bought some flats fishing equipment when we got back last time. I decided that my back was no longer going to tolerate a weighty bum-bag so Tracy bought me a roll-up back pack for Christmas. This has a much larger volume than my bum-bag so whether it will prevent back aches remains to be seen – with available space there's a temptation to fill it, so I may end up carrying more weight! I also need to buy some new fly lines, I was seriously disappointed with the lines we had last time, these didn't last the single trip (albeit an extended one) with de-bonding between the coating and core being evident on at least three different lines. We all know how much is being charged for fly lines these days and I expect better when shelling out £100 plus for a plastic string. I will absolutely be avoiding any lines with a monofilament nylon core from now on. I may even purchase some super strong wire this time – twice I've hooked a big bull shark from one particular dock and twice I've been bitten through – the first time after a 300 metre run. It's not exactly challenging fishing at this spot though – the sharks hang there because that's where the fishing boats come in and clean their catch. Pretty much any big fly slapped down in front of oner of them will be taken. Not at all like chasing the free-swimming and spooky flats sharks, so I guess I'll see how I'm feeling when I'm there (the last trip was pretty poor as far as the predator fishing went).

On the fly casting front Tracy and I have been continuing with our practice (although this will now change as noted above). I'm still off-the-ground casting with half a rod, however this weekend I strung up our TCX #10 with a new Barrio GT125 that Mike sent to me for testing. I'm happy to report that this line was as good as the original GT125s (for those who remember them), with a harder coating that makes it shoot better – I chucked a few over 40m so it must be good considering I'm a bit rusty as far as distance goes. No doubt as you're reading this Tracy and I will be on our usual casting field – preparing our saltwater shots this time.

Have a great week, James.