Posts Tagged ‘bonefishing trips’

60 Pound Permit Landed on Fly in the Bahamas

March 3, 2015

We haven’t stopped talking about Bob Cosgriff’s HUGE PERMIT since he sent us the first photo February 25, 2015 on his way home from the Bahamas.  You can read Bob’s write up and see a photo below.  More photos from Bob’s trip can be found on our Facebook Page.

60 lb Permit

Photo Credit to Capt. Barry Kanavy

“PERMIT – IT’S HUGE!”

by Bob Cosgriff

These are the words we all long to hear. But let’s start at the beginning.

After several months of miserable winter weather my friend Capt. Barry Kanavy and I were looking forward to six days of fishing on Acklins Island at Grey’s Point Bonefishing Lodge.  Acklins is known for its bonefishing so we loaded up on equipment for the grey ghost.  Evan Peterson at Angler Adventures had suggested we hook up with the head guide at Greys,  Garon Williamson to show us around.

My motto is be ready for “anything”.  So that means 5 rods: Three eight weights for Bones, a nine weight for Permit and a ten weight for Barracuda .  Every thing was packed, lines cleaned, leaders checked and five boxes of flies; just the basics!

The week started with three days of fly tying as a cold front shut everything down. On day four & five the clouds parted and we got to experience what Grey’s Point is noted for, stalking bones on expansive wading flats. On our last day, I made a casual comment to Garon that we’d like fish from the boat and try our luck with the Cudas we had seen prowling the deeper flats.  That request would change our fishing lives forever.

5 Foot Barracuda on the Fly

Photo Credit: Barry Kanavy

Two hours later Barry and I surveyed our frayed leaders, mangled wire, shredded Barracuda flies and some great photos to remember our time stalking these torpedoes.  Garon mentioned he had one more place to show us for barracuda and the occasional permit.

We motored over on the ocean side and cruised around for five minutes when I heard Garon call from the back of the boat “PERMIT – IT’S HUGE” …tailing behind a ray.

I jumped off the poling platform where I had been sitting and walked forward as Barry pulled out my permit rig of choice: Helios2 9wt, Nautilus NV reel , Rio 9 weight permit line connected to a  Rio 20lb leader, ending with a tan Kung fu crab size 4.  I was ready. I was confident.  After all I had recently tamed some bad ass cudas! I stripped out my line, saw the ray, and on my third attempt cast 65 feet landing the leader 2 feet over the ray.  I let the fly sink in the 5 foot water and then felt a small tug. I set the hook and the permit was on.  Things stayed pretty calm, the line cleared the deck and everything was under control.  I had caught small permit before, so how bad could this be? I would soon find out.

The fish then began a slow turn on my right side. Not a full run but a slow drive by so he could give me a once over. It was then that I realized Garon had been trying to keep me calm when he said, “huge Permit”.  It wasn’t huge, it was a monster! I felt my confidence drain as if I’d sprung a leak. I clicked down the drag three times . . . I was going to need all of it.  I looked at the nine weight in my hands and realized that I had brought a knife to a gun fight. Seconds later my reel started to scream and I said goodbye to my fly line for the next 35 minutes as the permit began his run to open water and large swells. Barry grabbed the back of my belt to stabilize me in the rolling water and to relay commands to Garon. Twice the fish surged out to deeper water and I was still hanging on. Then I looked down at my reel to see the backing getting very thin.  I estimated I had 50 feet left and yelled to Barry and Garon to fire up the engine and we slowly regained some backing only to have the fish take off again.  We kept this game up for 20 minutes until he made a run to some rocks on a point.  Now I had my moment of truth. I had to stop him from reaching the rocks, even if I broke him off. I swung the rod to the left, put as much pressure as I could and hoped he would turn before the rod exploded.  Ten feet from the rocks the fish turned and for the first time in the battle I felt I really had a chance to land this beast.

Slowly I gained backing and started to control his head.  Finally I saw my fly line coming back through the guides. 35 minutes had gone by and my arms and legs were on fire. Slowly he came to the boat moving back and forth using his body as a brake against me. He was three feet off the bow when I had a new panic attack that I had lost my leverage and the big fish was taking advantage of that.  Finally he came around the side, Garon touched the leader and grabbed the tail like his life depended on it.

Barry and I waited for Garon to stand up with our trophy, but nothing happened.  Then we heard him yell that the fish was too heavy. Barry grabbed Garon’s belt and back pack and pulled our guide back into the boat – holding the biggest permit we had ever seen.  The fish sat on the floor – We were stunned! No one did anything or spoke for 15 seconds, we just looked at a truly colossal permit.  We regained our composure and with both Garon and I holding the fish Barry took some quick pictures.

Check out that mouth!

Photo Credit: Capt. Barry Kanavy

Now our efforts reversed as we scrambled to get the fish back into the water to live another day.  He was tired but slowly he got stronger and Garon let go of the tail as he headed off to deeper water.

How big was the permit? We estimated sixty pounds. Other veteran guides, after seeing the pictures say, 60-70 pounds – others less.  Is it a record? We will leave that to others to decide.  We quickly measured the length against the rod – 45 inches! The girth not measured but look at the photos – you guess.

All we know is that on February 24, 2015 something special took place out there.  Garon summed it up best when he said “We will fish the rest of our lives and never catch a fish like that again”.  Barry and I quietly nodded our heads as we slowly motored back to the lodge.  We were done for the day.

Ultimately, it wasn’t about breaking or claiming records.  The best part was watching the fish swim away.

Angler Adventures

Phone (800) 628-1447 * (860) 434-9624 * Fax (860) 434-8605

Email info@angleradventures.com

Website www.AnglerAdventures.com

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Winter Bonefishing Revisited – Drop That Snow Shovel!

September 26, 2014

The Bonefish & Tarpon Trust’s August “Conservation Captain of the Month” is veteran guide Capt. Bob Branham. Bob fishes the Key Biscayne and South Biscayne Bay areas and has been guiding for 35 years.  When asked to tell a favorite fishing story, he recalled a day of cold water bonefishing, excerpted from the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust Blog below (read the full blog here: http://blog.bonefishtarpontrust.org/?p=2619). Bob’s story couldn’t help but remind us of Doug Schlink’s Blog post on Winter Bonefishing in the Bahamas (https://angleradventures.wordpress.com/2011/09/28/bonefishing-in-winter-water-temps/).

(BTT) Tell us one (or two) of your favorite fishing stories.

(BB)  Years ago in March we had a strong cold front pass through. It was a sunny and windless day but the air temp was low 30′s- I had ice on my windshield when I got in my car. My customer was from Toronto and when he showed up I told him it was a no-go – water temp was 54 deg. and there was no way we would see a bonefish. He looked at me and said that he had to get out of the house as his kids were out of control and his wife had some honey-do’s lined up if he stayed home. He mentioned that it looked like a beautiful day to him – he was in shorts. I put on my down parka and off we went. We were headed south in hopes of maybe catching a ‘cuda or something and when I got to Stiltsville, I couldn’t believe it. Bonefish mud was all over this flat. It seemed like every bonefish in the Bay was there, feeding hard. We stayed on that flat all day and hooked 30 fish on fly – none was less than 7 lbs. It did warm up a bit. Air temps hit 65 deg. and water temps came up to the low 60′s. – still way too low for bonefish or so I used to think.

So, if you’re interested in BIG bonefish, and being shin-deep on a tropical flat waving a fly rods sounds more appealing than being knee-deep in your driveway schlepping a snow shovel, check out our Bahamas Lodges at http://www.angleradventures.com/Bahamas.htm, give us a call at 800-628-1447 / 860-434-9624, or drop us an email at info@angleradventures.com.

Winter Bonefish

Winter Bonefishing.

Three Second Rule

October 26, 2012

Bonefish Flies

One of the biggest mistakes a bonefisherman can make is failing to adjust his fly to changing water depth.  Your fly should be weighted such that it sinks quickly to the bottom and then stays near the bottom within view of the fish after you begin stripping.  If you strip the fly above a bonefish, it will never see it.
The average flat depth, whether you’re wading or poling, ranges from 1-2½ ft.  In this depth, a Gotcha or Amber Shrimp with medium sized bead chain eyes should provide close to the perfect sink rate, without overweighing the fly (and potentially spooking the fish).  A good rule of thumb is your fly should reach the bottom in about 3 seconds.  If you find your fly is not getting to the bottom, you should switch to a fly with lead eyes or add a few wraps of lead wire to the eye of the fly.

The angler who is willing to fish deeper flats will often be rewarded with the largest bonefish.  Big bonefish prefer the protection of deeper flats or shallow flats close to deep water.  When you’re fishing water 3-4 feet deep, you’ll need a fly with lead eyes to get to the bottom quickly.  Proven deep-water flies are the Clouser minnow (especially tan and white and chartreuse and white), the Simram, (a rabbit fur version of the Gotcha fly with lead eyes) and Henry Cowen’s Bonefish Scampi. Lead eyes come in a variety of weights and for joy of casting, you’ll want to carry flies with the smaller lead eyes, as well as the heavier lead eyes that cause many of us to duck when forward casting.

The last thing a bonefisherman wants to do is scare the daylights out of an actively feeding fish by casting too heavy a fly too close to the fish. Therefore, you must go light in skinny water. By light we mean no weight other than the weight of the hook. For this we recommend mono (or plastic) eyes and a body that lands softly. A well-designed fly for this situation is a pattern called the bunny bone in sizes 4, 6, and 8.

The bunny bone is made with rabbit fur, rug yarn and mono eyes.  You can throw this unweighted fly quite close to a tailing fish. Its entry into the water is soft, but it sinks well. The rabbit fur makes it look alive even before it’s stripped. All you need to do is give it the tiniest of strips. Don’t strip the fly too far or too fast when working a tailing fish.

Before you begin fishing it is also advisable to have a handy selection of the flies you’re most likely to use that day.  Have a selection that covers all water depths, so you are prepared when a quick change is required.  For even quicker adjustments to changes in water depths, have a spool of lead wire handy and wrap a small piece around the eye of the fly, as needed.

 This was another except from the Angler Adventures “Bahamas What to Bring List”.

St Brandon’s Atoll Bonefishing

July 19, 2012

FlyCastaway has arrived in Connecticut and we’ve been enjoying spending some quality time with Gerhard and hearing him speak about the fishing programs.  You may not have heard, but St Brandon’s has been described as the finest bonefishing in the world.  We know it’s a tall order to fill, since there are excellent fisheries like North Riding Point, that produce quality numbers of double digit bonefish each year.  An excerpt from a FlyCastaway’s description of the May 11 – 20, 2012 trip to St. Brandon’s.  

The week started off with an absolute bang, the neap tides meant we had ample time to fish some of our Bonefish hotspots and we literally climbed into the monsters St Brandon’s has become renowned for. Simply put, the fishing was off the charts! Each day at least one team would return home with an image of a weighed double digit Bonefish. For those not in the know, most dedicated saltwater anglers will go his entire lifetime without ever holding a 10lb fish….and we were doing it on a daily basis. By the end of the week we racked up no less than ten fish, which weighed over the 10lb mark, two of which were eleven pounds!

The average size was equally impressive, and when guys started putting their noses up at eight pounders we had to give them a little pep talk. Something along the lines of “each fish is special” and “you don’t know when you’ll get this opportunity again”. Added to this we had some scary good sight fishing for these hogs as they tailed in water no deeper than our gravel guards …

The “schooling” bonefish are in the 6 – 7 pound class, one or two 4-pound bonefish may be the smallest bonefish you’ll see, and there are bones there pushing 14-pounds.  Oh, the fishing is 100% wading and there are only 8 anglers fishing these flats every other week over two 3-month seasons each year. If you love bonefishing, this might just be having your cake and eating it too!

Nice Bonefish from St. Brandon's Atoll

Bonefishing in Winter Water Temps

September 28, 2011

One of the top 3 questions we get asked is, “When is the best time to go bonefishing?”  While the answer varies on the anglers’ expectations and their destination, here’s a good argument for fishing the winter months by Doug Schlink of Angler Adventures

For years I’ve heard that you shouldn’t go bonefishing in the winter months (December, January, February, even March) because of the risk of cold fronts.  I’ve also heard and read that bonefish are temperature sensitive and it’s futile to fish in water temperatures under 70 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Hogwash!  In 25 years of booking bonefish trips and making plenty of them myself, I’d like to offer my “observations” on the subject.   While I haven’t adhered to strict scientific doctrine, I always carry a stream thermometer on bonefish trips and check water temps frequently.  And in my opinion, it’s more important which direction the water temperature is moving. 

Yes, when a cold front pushes in and chills the water temps on the flats below 68 – 70 degrees, bonefish will start moving off the flats if they feel the temperature dropping, into deeper, warmer water.  It’s generally accepted (and I agree) that smaller bonefish are more sensitive to cooler water temps and the bigger boys will stay up on the flats feeding longer with dropping water temps (and be the first to return on rising temps).   I know a few trophy bone hunters who go in January so they won’t have to weed through the smaller fish!  As the water temp continues to drop, the bigger fish will also move off into deeper, warmer water.  But I’ve witnessed bigger fish feeding on the flat until temps hit 65 degrees.   If the temp continues to drop or holds steady at less than 65, fishing will be slow.

However, bonefish need to eat, and by design, they take their nourishment on the fertile, food-rich flats.   Deep water is Slim Pickens for a bonefish so they don’t like to stay there long.  It’s been my observation, that even when air temperatures are in the low to mid-60’s, if the sun is out, the flats will soak up the sun’s radiant heat and warm quickly.  As soon as the bones sense the water temperature is rising, they will return to the flats and feed voraciously.  And the fishing can actually be fantastic.  I’ve experienced this on numerous occasions, but perhaps the best example took place in late February on Grand Bahama a few years ago.   

North Riding Point Guide Bully with a Huge winter bonefish

Notice the Fleece? And the 14 lb January Bonefish?

My fishing buddy, Mark Hatter and I arrived during a “cold front”.   The water temperature on the flat was 63-64 degrees our first morning.   But the sun was strong, and the flat was soaking in the radiant heat, and the water temp was rising.  We barely got line stripped off our reels before we were making shots at hungry bones.   The sun held and the water temperature continued to slowly rise (I checked it several times during the day), and the bones fed like gluttons all day!   At 3:30 pm as we reeled in, I checked the temperature one last time – 69 degrees.  We had boated 32 bones, all between 5 and 9 ½ pounds, and the water temp never even hit 70 degrees!  It was a spectacular day of high quality bonefishing – in the dead of winter, on the tail of a cold front – when you’re not supposed to go! 

I’ve had other similar experiences that support my position.  And on the flip side, I’ve lost fishing days to wind and sideways rain in April and May, so called “prime time”.   The weather can bite you in the tail anytime.   The guy who said, “the best time to go fishing is when you can get away”, may have known something the “experts” didn’t!   So…Fear Not Winter Bonefishing!  You might just hit some of the best bonefishing you’ve ever had!

Want to learn more about bonefishing bonefishing in the winter months or go on a winter bonefishing trip – Call Doug in the Angler Adventures office (800-628-1447 / 860-434-9624) or email Doug@AnglerAdventures.com.

Free Bonefishing!

September 20, 2011

Attention all bonefish anglers: We here at Angler Adventures are raffling off a free bonefishing trip for 2 anglers to one of the best destinations in the Bahamas, North Riding Point Club.  This trip to Grand Bahama Island is valued at $6,600.  The trip is for 4-nights/3-days of fishing for 2 people anytime North Riding Point Club has space available during the months of January, February, March, June, July, October and December 2011 or 2012.

It’s easy and free to enter – just email Evan@angleradventures.com for a chance to win this awesome bonefishing trip.  Or, give us a call at 800-628-1447 (860-434-9624) and we’ll be happy to add you. 

Plus, to sweeten the pot, we’ve added a bonus promotion for everyone who enters the raffle. Stay 5-nights/4-days for the price of 4-nights/3-days. In other words, you pay $2,640 per person (October to the end of February and July), a savings of $660 per person or pay $3,300 per person (March through June), a savings of $900 per person.

For more details, click below:

Want Free Bonefishing?  Click here for more details.

Wanna Bonefish for Free?

Andros South Reduces Their Rates

July 13, 2011

Long time favorite bonefishing lodge, Andros South, has just added another incentive to take a bonefishing trip this fall.  For October, November and December, Andros South reduced their 7-night/6-day fishing package rate from $3,950 per person to $3,250 per person, a savings of $700 per person.

The $3,250 rate includes 7 nights having your own room, 6 days fishing south Andros Island with 2 anglers guide, all meals and drinks (including beer, wine, and liquor), round-trip transportation to Andros South from the South Andros airport, loaner fishing equipment (if needed), Global Rescue enrollment, and Bahamian room tax.

Tailing Bones and Image Courtasy of Andros South

And you get your own room!

There is currently space in the following weeks (please call or email to confirm that space is still available).

October 22 – 29, 2011

November 5 – 12 & 19 – 16, 2011

December 3 – 10 & 10 – 17, 2011

 Not what you’re looking for?  Check out our other bonefishing lodges in the Bahamas.

Why Bonefish are Special

June 8, 2011

We think bonefish are special too.  Here’s why Dick Brown thinks so:

“Why bones are special—The bonefish is the nearest thing there is to a perfect gamefish for fly-fishing anglers. A voracious predator, it readily (but warily) takes flies. It accelerates faster and sprints farther than any other fish you take on light tackle. It fights more doggedly than most fish twice its size.

This performance alone would qualify the bonefish as one of the world’s top fly-fishing targets. But what makes this silver phantom of the tropics the ultimate quarry in fly fishing is that you must see it—sometimes from 80 feet away—before you can even cast to it. You stalk it like a predator. You track it down, take your aim, and cast with precision. You must make no mistakes. The ruthless, primitive survival instincts of this skittish creature leave no room for error.”

Reprinted from Fly Fishing for Bonefish, New and Revised by Dick Brown, (copyright 2008). Published by Lyons Press an imprint of Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, CT

It's special, let it go!

Isn't that special?

Why Bonefish in the Bahamas?

May 31, 2011

A great example comes from a group of ours that just got back from Grey’s Point Bonefish Inn, Acklins Island, Bahamas.  There is something special about Bahamas bonefishing that isn’t found wading a flat or casting to tailing fish.  The charm and arms wide open welcome of the Bahamas is even more apparent in the outer islands, like Acklins.  Group member Alec Kempe was describing a photograph taken after dinner on their last night said, “Shirley gave a speech in which she quoted Shakespeare from Romeo & Juliet “Parting is such sweet sorrow”; Peter baked us a wonderful cake & as a finale, Peter, Lavanda (wonderful singing voice) & Shirley sung to us. What a great show of appreciation & warmth – really a nice family!”

That being said, the other reason to bonefish in the Bahamas is, well, BONEFISH!!!  Here’s a nice “10-pounder” landed by Pierce Walmsely.  Alec Kempe prefaced the image of Pierce’s bonefishng with “Lemon sharks & ‘cudas were all over us that day.  Gator kept Lemons from eating this particular fish with some great pole-on-the-sharks-head work.”

Pierce Walmsely's Acklins bonefish.

The colors are another reason - photo credit Alec Kempe

Grey’s Point Bonefish Inn is one of the unique destinations where almost 100% of the fishing is done wading, unless you choose to fish from the skiff.  Want more information on Grey’s Point or fishing the out islands of the Bahamas – call Angler Adventures at 800-628-1447 (860-434-9624) or drop us an email at info@angleradventures.com.

2 for the Price of 1

November 3, 2009

2-for-1-deals-from-Angler-Adventures

Angler Adventures has negotiated several value packed “2 for the price of 1” deals at some of our premier lodges. For more information, please click on the lodge name, or call us at 800-628-1447 (860-434-9624). 

   

Paloma-River-Lodge  

  • Spectacular, remote setting.
  • 6 person capacity.
  • Rainbows and big Browns.
  • Normal weekly price $3,250 per person, double occupancy / shared guide.
  • Angler Adventures’ Special for November 2009: $1,625 per person double occupancy / shared guide. 

    

Lodge-Name-Test  

  • Excellent Bonefishing with good chances at Permit.
  • Access to Gorda Cay and Mores Island.
  • Price Reduction for 2010.
  • Normal weekly price $2,820 per person double occupancy / shared guide.
  • Angler Adventures’ Special through February 2010: $1,813 per person double occupancy / shared guide.

    

Turneffe-Island-Resort  

  • Permit, Bonefish, and Tarpon.
  • 30-miles off the coast of Belize.
  • Only 6 spots currently available: 2 – November 7 – 14, 2009 & 4 – November 21 – 28, 2009.
  • Normal weekly price $3,902.58 per person, double occupancy / shared guide.
  • Angler Adventures’ Special: $2,573.09 per person double occupancy / shared guide. 

    

Abaco-Lodge  

  • Direct access to Bonefishing in the Marls.
  • Nice Accommodations and Gourmet Meals.
  • Great location for non-anglers.
  • Normal weekly price $6,800 per couple double occupancy / shared guide.
  • Angler Adventures’ Special, February 1st – March 15th, 2010: $4,250 per couple double occupancy / shared guide.

    

Acklins-Island-Lodge  

  • Extensive Hard Sand Flats.
  • Wade fisherman’s paradise.
  • Comfortable cottage style accommodations.
  • Normal weekly price $3,085 per person double occupancy / shared guide.
  • Angler Adventures’ Special for bookings confirmed before January 1, 2010: $1,962.50 per person double occupancy / shared guide. 

    

Nomads-of-the-Seas  

  • Experience Chilean Patagonia in luxury.
  • Unparalleled level of Service.
  • Access to typically inaccessible fertile fishing grounds.
  • Normal weekly price $17,850 per person double occupancy / shared guide.
  • Angler Adventures’ Special: $8,925 per person double occupancy / shared guide.

These discounts are offered to new reservations only and do not apply to existing reservations, nor date changes to existing reservations.  Discounts for alternate times, or other lodges may be available. If the above offerings aren’t exactly what you’re looking for call us at 1-800-628-1447; and we’ll find you the best possible deal! 

800-628-1447 / 860-434-9624
Fax: 860-434-8605
Email:
info@angleradventures.com
PO Box 872, Old Lyme, CT 06371
Website:
www.angleradventures.com 


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