Tracy&James | Sunday, 24 October 2021

James and I have been discussing a potential trip to the Bahamas next Spring. Before the pandemic we would go the Bahamas every year. We have been reminiscing about the last trip in Spring 2019, where even though it was pretty windy, we had an amazing trip with lots of bones and some great stories about cudas and sharks. Our memories are enhanced by the fact we keep extensive notes of every day’s flats fishing.

On the first evening of the 2019 trip, we managed an hour and a half’s fishing after arriving at our accommodation.  We walked down the beach looking for fish and got to the point where we’d caught a few schoolies before leaving the previous year, and low and behold the tell-tale sporadic glints of silver suggested that there were bones in the exact same spot.

Actually the chap who owns the house at this place came out to greet us (we’d met him previously).  He stated that there’d been a massive shoal of bones there for almost three weeks and nobody had ventured to that part of the beach with a fly rod.  We soon put that straight, the final score being 6-4 to James – for the first time in a quite a few years he won our first bonefish wager, so when we returned to the UK, I had to buy him an Indian takeaway.  He did challenge the ‘4’ as one of my bones was partly eaten by a cuda, however on a laterday, we went back and caught the cuda responsible. This was a fun way to get used to strip striking and clearing the line, but not the most challenging of fishing. This particular spot became a frequent area to visit when the weather made travelling further on the island a little disconcerting.

The first full day was at a new spot where we saw a few ‘proper’ bones, however they always seemed to be moving away from us and were pretty spooky. James caught a lovely bar jack early on with a great cast. This was the area that I got stung by baby jellyfish, not that I realised this at the time, and I ‘reacted’ quite badly the following day. I ended up spending a few days at our cottage with my feet raised as I couldn’t walk due to my ankles being swollen and painful.  This was not a hazard that we’d previously encountered and we need to have a think about how we’d tackle the same situation if we were faced with it again.

Later that first day, I managed to hook the first single bonefish of the trip but lost it in the mangroves nearby. James of course hooked and caught the next bone and as we waded through an area we knew that was good for bones, James saw and cast at a barracuda. Unfortunately the fish moved to a position that made it impossible for him to see due to the direction of the sun.  Luckily I was in a spot that I still had a perfect view of the fish.  With my guidance James was able to continue his usual ‘annoyance of casts’ until anger got the better of it and it smashed his fly.  One cuda targeted, one landed, so a good start to the holiday.  

There weren’t huge amounts of bonefish on the flat although we did find some tailing towards the bottom end.  This is one of the flats that James had in mind for the weed-guarded flies that he always ties prior to trips, so he was especially happy when a rather nice bonefish had no hesitation in pouncing on it.  The fight was pretty fraught as there were lots of opportunities for it to run into mangroves, weed beds or just to snag the line on the submerged sand hills, but things went hisway, with a little help from me, and after a quick photo it was released.

Hopefully our next trip, when organised, will be as eventful, but without the jellyfish reaction,

Whatever you plan for 2022, hope it works out well,

Cheers, Tracy