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 Post subject: Stainial Cay, Bahamas
PostPosted: September 12th, 2016, 8:16 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: February 2nd, 2002, 1:00 am
Posts: 224
Location: otisfield
Has anyone been there? I have a bucket list dream to catch my first Bone unguided on a fly I tied. It is possible? Realistic? I keep reading they are tricky to spot.


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PostPosted: September 18th, 2016, 4:45 pm 
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FFIM Addict

Joined: April 30th, 2002, 12:00 am
Posts: 2517
Location: Pownal
I stayed on compass cay, which is a few cays away from staniel (we flew into staniel) over a decade ago and caught my first bonefish there. There's a huge sand flat you can access with your whaler and wade. I don't think I caught any on that flat but saw a lot. Schools of moving fish.

I had the biggest bonefish I've ever seen briefly take a shitty crab I tied myself. It was textbook. I stalked him on the far side of the flat, made a good cast in very skinny water, and watched him scoot over to my fly and go tail up. I could feel his mouth crunching on it through the line. I strip set, but didn't stick him, and the fly popped out. He moved again for it, inspected, and took off.

Of all the fish I've ever lost--even though this one was never actually on--it haunts me the most.

Forever burned into my retina, and felt in the fingerprints of my left hand.


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PostPosted: September 19th, 2016, 8:07 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: February 2nd, 2002, 1:00 am
Posts: 224
Location: otisfield
Matt,
Thanks for responding. I surmise from your reply that mere mortals can spot bone fish? and amateurish flies can hook them? I might have more questions about how to find places. The place 'm looking at staying has small boats as part of the package so I might be able to get around a little.


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PostPosted: September 22nd, 2016, 12:00 pm 
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Joined: April 30th, 2002, 12:00 am
Posts: 2517
Location: Pownal
In that area of the Bahamas, where it's mostly hard white sand flats, when it's sunny they are easy to spot. You see their dark shadow. Or, when the move from deep water and first enter the flat, you can spot them because they're still a darker color. (They change color as they spend a few minutes in a new environment.) same with mixed turtle grass/sand flats--you can see them when they move from dark to light, because they are darker/mottled. But if it's cloudy/overcast, it can be very difficult, and often by the time you see one, it's too late.

Hooking one is a different challenge. You can't cast too close, or they will spoil. You can't lead them too much, because they change direction a lot. And you have to twitch the fly at the right time--so they see it, but don't get spooked.

If you do hook one, assume that a shark will be following in short order...


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PostPosted: December 10th, 2016, 6:31 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: May 16th, 2013, 10:33 am
Posts: 88
Location: Norridgewock Maine
Stayed on big Exuma twice over the years and caught bones both times. I am not exactly familiar with Staniel Cay but can imagine the basics are the same.

spooky fish. The skinnier the water the spookier they are. I tend to think that a little smaller doesn't hurt when it comes to fly selection in skinny water.

If you have never fished the tropics prepare for the sun. a bright day on the flats will make you realize the value of a good pair of shades.

like was said previously look for shadows and tails and play the tides. incoming tides seemed to bring the fish but also the bigger predators as well it seemed. The sunnier the day the better as it allows you to spot the fish. I am not sure about how skinny some of the flats are , but if you are hit with a drizzly overcast rainy day, you can still catch fish on the skinny flats ( ankle deep) it just wont be easy. I found that by getting on my knees on those occasions and looking at the waters surface you could sometimes spot the "nervous water" and an occasional tail, especially if there was some wind and the fish were moving in the opposite direction of the wind. not easy but better than sitting on the couch.

As was said in a previous post if you cast too close to them their gone. I made that mistake a lot on my first trip. Guess where they are going cast ahead and slowly strip it. As was also said The sharks and Cudas are never far away.


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