Bonefish Camp 8 - Day 6
Despite the disastrous exit route, we hike back into the same flat for the final day. On the drive over, Pete shares that he really wants to spot, cast to, feed, hook and land a bonefish without anyone else involved. Certainly a noble desire, but I make sure to note he must just not like us that much.
Day 6 starts with sharp sun surrounded by dark clouds. The kind of conditions that make light bottom flats glow and sparkle. It makes you believe you can spot any fish, anywhere. Until the rain shows up. And does it ever. It comes in waves, brief respites providing excellent fishing.
Pete and Cope feel a strong fidelity to the area that produced such great fishing the day before. I feel no such loyalty and meander about, stoked to see new water. I stalk a channel edge and find nothing. It hurts the ego and my back. Time to push in. After a few mishaps on cruisers, I find fresh feeding marks.
And there it is. A massive fish, tailing with abandon, half out of the 7 inches of water. Writing this now, nearly a month later, I can't recall exactly what I did wrong, I think I was slow on the hookset, but I do recall the visceral rage I had for myself. Pissed. A crushing rain set comes through and adds to the fury. Fortunately, calmer times arrive, an equally large fish pops up nearby and I am perfect the second time.
A few more fish and frigid rain storms later, I head back to check on the boys. I hook two fish while trying to catch up to them. I like to think that this annoyed Pete enough to motivate him to keep going despite the cold. And then Pete makes it happen, his truly solo bonefish. In the rain no less. It's the perfect end to an exhilarating week.
I am a firm believer in doing anything I can to fish the departure morning. Theres something special about waking up in the dark and knowing theres only an hour or two to fish before the chaos of packing up, cleaning, ferries, shuttles and airport shenanigans consumes the day.
The final morning has the calmest conditions of the trip. Calm conditions and a low tide mean one thing : channel flat tailers. Cope rises in time to join. We slip the kayaks in as the horizon glows. Tails pop up as soon as we cross the channel. Pure Magic. With my phone throughly soaked the day prior and refusing to charge, there is no distraction of trying to take pictures of the tailing fish. Simply time to fish.