|Now that I have all of my pictures I thought it would be good to post those and give a bit more of the story.|
Last year, our trip was blown out, literally, by hurricane Sandy, and this year the weather was calm the entire trip!
Great Inagua has little, if any, similarity to the other Bahamian islands. There are no long, wide, sandy flats. There are no lodges, restaurants, or hotels. Most of the bonefishing is in creeks and estuaries, with some ocean-side flats. In addition, it has a massive inland saltwater lake, where we chase tarpon and snook.
I have now made 3 trips to Great Inagua, and although I have had a few shots at permit, I was given the opportunity on day one to change that! As we approached the opening to one of the creek arms, early the first day, Mike offered to let me have the deck first, and as we poled our way into the narrow cut, we immediately spotted 4-5 big permit tailing along the mangroves, just ahead. Within a few minutes we were in casting range, and I dropped the Crusty Crab in front of the pack, and watched the lead fish rush the fly. With a slow strip, I felt the permit eat, and we were off and running! First day, first cast, 20 minutes of tug-o-war, and we had our hands on a beautiful 20+ lb permit!
This trip was to produce several "firsts" for me:
With calm seas we were able to run up the coast to Lanternhead, a pristine bay that is home to permit, tarpon and lots of big bonefish. This trip is a rough one since it requires we trailer the boat about 1 hour, down a rough road, and then run the boat about 45 minutes. Since the tide was just turning, we stayed outside the estuary, and fished the ocean-side flats. I picked up a 4-5 bonefish including a chunky 8 lb. bone-my biggest bone so far. We did get a few shots at tarpon, but didn't connect, and the permit were not around. Once the tide finally dropped we did have an hour to fish tailing bones, but since we were forced to fish this area later in the trip (windy) we just didn't have much time to fish the estuary flats.
Toward the end of the trip, the tide was perfect to fish the massive creek, on the north side of the island. This tidal creek is at least a mile wide, and must be 15 miles long, and it is all 2 ft. deep, or less! With low tide, the bonefish were out of the mangroves and available. I ended up with 23 bones, all of which averaged around 4 lbs. with a 6 lb. bone my biggest fish in the creek.
As if that wasn't enough action, it was time to fish the huge inland saltwater lake. With light wind, sight fishing to 20-50 lb tarpon was just about perfect. Mike Scott and I caught quite a few tarpon, that first day, along with a big snook for each of us. My snook was the largest I have ever taken, and weighed in around 20 lbs.! This snook came to a tan and chart. Neutralizer stripped over a shallow, rocky break in the sea wall. What a thrill!
The largest tarpon taken that day were 2 beautiful 40-50 lb. fish that really put on a show!
My last day of fishing was to be solo with Ezzard Cartwright, our guide. We fished the lake again, and although there were fewer tarpon around, the wind was calm and the sight fishing was perfect. Once again, the tan and chart. Neutralizer was the perfect fly for these shallow water tarpon, and I ended up with 9 tarpon for the day!!
This trip was just about perfect for me. Great group of guys, great guides, and plenty of eager fish to catch...and to see them, and catch them in shallow, clear water...perfection!
For more of the story and pictures, be sure to check out my blog report:
Hope to see many of you this Saturday, at the 'fest!!
[click here to display pictures]