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Bahamas BonefishI’m Back from the Bahamas with a pretty good story for you guys! It’s fresh on my mind too, because I have yet to get a good nights sleep after our trip! (too busy thinking of all those fish and when I will get to go back for some more!) I started off Sunday morning with perfect conditions! The wind was low at about 6-8 knots, the tide would start in by the time we got on the water, and the sun was on its way up to an angle that allowed you to see some fish. I was so excited I was jittering (I thought it was the strong coffee that morning, but the jittering never went away!) We started out on a flat directly behind the Baccardi distillery, full of fresh spots where bonefish had been feeding their way up onto the flat (looked cool, but the smell was a little funky.) It wasn’t long until we saw our first 3 fish of the day rooting around. I got my first cast off only to find the fish spooked by the plop of the fly in the not even knee deep water. We switched to a slightly lighter fly and poled on. The next few fish we saw were further up inside the flat toward the mangroves. As I found out, if hooked and bonefish have mangroves to ,run to…they will. We poled around some more, and with every fish, or group of fish that came near, I would begin to get itchy and excited to cast. (I was thinking to myself, hell…I’ve been standing knee deep in snow hitting empty 12-pack boxes in the back yard 50-60 ft. away IN THE WIND…this will be cake!) WRONG! After I lined a few fish, I finally got my act together and hooked up. That fish went screaming to the other side of the flat. I have never seen fly line disappear so fast in my life! I was well into the backing before I could stop laughing. After reeling and reeling and reeling, I finally got the fish to the boat. As the tide rose, we moved around and found more fish. At the height of the incoming tide we found a large school of bones mudding in a deeper channel. I broke out the intermediate line and got down to them. This wasn’t quite as exciting as hunting them on the flats, but I was into fish as quickly as I could cast. I hooked a really nice fish that just scorched my reel, and then the line just went slack. I was sitting there thinking “What the hell just happened?” After I got the line in, the guide and I noticed a BIG Baracuda sinking back down into the deeper water. Well, we couldn’t have that cuda messin’ with my bonefish, so I cast the cuda rig a few times, but never did hook up to that monster. He wised up and moved on after a while. Well, at least out of our sight. I caught a few jacks and blue runners, but nothing compared to those bonefish! When the tide started to ebb, it was back to the flats and creek mouths to stalk some more fish. It was a lot more of the same – we found fish everywhere. As the day was ending, the clouds moved in and made it really hard to see. I was on the bow of the boat begging for one more fish, and my prayers were answered! A pod of 4-5 bonefish were coming right our way! The guide marked the distance, I got my eyes on the fish, and made a perfect cast. I waited for the fly to sink, and I saw 3 fish swim the other way. I looked back at the wife and my guide like how in the heck can those fish not want that? The guide and my wife were both laughing so hard they had to have almost wet their pants! I didn’t even see the other fish strike my fly! I was too busy watching other fish, and the one that mattered got away! My wife said she saw my line tighten, and waited to see me set the hook, but I never did. The guide said I would just have to come back and get him next time! My guide was awesome! Capt. Clint Kemp at secret soul fly fishing adventures worked his butt off to put me on fish all day – and I’ll tell y’all this! He earned every bit of his fee and tip! I thank you guys for getting me straight on tipping. I can tell you this, if I had anymore cash in my pocket, I would have given him that too! This guy was a machine! Looking back on this trip, there are a few things I am going to work on before I head back down to tropical water. (which will be soon I hope) I keep rerunning all fish I saw through my mind (most of them were between 5 and 8 pounds with the occasional 10 plus pound fish), and thinking about how to improve my next trip to the flats. I need to work on shooting more line, with fewer false casts (any more than 2-3 false casts and you are in danger of spooking fish, or loosing your shot at a good presentation) and leading the fish a hell of a lot more! (I guess I didn’t realize how fast those fish are moving, and how far 8 ft. infront of a moving fish actually is.) My estimate at 8 feet … I felt was right on, but by the time I got the cast down on the water 8 ft. quickly turned into 2 ft. If I lined one more fish, I think I would have jumped off the balcony that night! I could tell when the guide was frustrated with me (as I was myself), which made me feel good because he cared, but bad because I didn’t want to disapoint him nor me anymore! Looking back, I wish I would have gotten him on the bow of the boat and watched him once or twice to see how it was supposed to be done (its hard to get off the bow when you keep seeing fish and the guide is telling you to get ready!) I feel very fortunate to have had such good weather and a dedicated guide to put me on all those AWESOME fish. Bonefish are everything I thought they would be and more! Flats fishing is BY FAR my favorite kind of fishing! (I though I would never get steelhead off my mind until now) I plan to get down to the keys or if I’m lucky, the Bahamas as many times as I can this year and every year to follow. Now I just have to figure out a way to talk my wife into letting me head down there to fish on a semi regular basis!…(suggestions appreciated!) Sorry I don’t have any pictures of fish in my hands…I had an SD card full of fishing pictures and a few cool little videos compliments of the wife…we can’t find it anywhere! But I hope you enjoy the pictures I do have! (I promise I’ll have more before the year is out!)