Bigger Bones & Brisker Breezes
March 21: Bill Brown from Northern Ireland yesterday had a shot at one of the biggest bonefish his guide had ever seen on the Marls – a double-digit fish, perhaps a 12-pounder. Because Bill is a left-hander, it meant making a tricky cast across the wind and the fish rapidly moved out of range as Bill attempted to reorganize his technique.
But fellow Irishman Dr Chris Dick did manage to boat a fish of at least seven or eight pounds yesterday, fishing out of the Crossing Rocks landing. It might have weighed more, but the cocktail-hour jury examined all photographic evidence and (perhaps unfairly) concluded that the fish weighed a little less than the guide’s initial nine-pound estimate. It was, however, definitely the best fish of 2012 – so far.
These incidents continued the pattern of recent weeks, in which we have seen and sometimes caught more above-average bonefish that usual. Normally, the average Abaco bonefish weighs between two and four pounds, with an occasional smaller or larger outlier. But the past week has seen an upsurge in the number of 5-pound-plus fish taken. Mike Hynes from England, a bonefishing debutante, went home thinking that most bones weighed over five pounds, having had some good sport with bigger fish.
The past month has featured a high number of very windy days, sometimes with extensive cloud cover. Since fish visibility is the key to good bonefishing, catches have been hampered. That said, blank days have been extremely rare and some boats (and some wading anglers) have still managed to catch over ten fish in a day. Among the hotter rods were Bob & Geoff Hadden from Connecticut; Blane Bowen from Toronto; Christopher Jarman & Bill Warburg from England; Dai Roberts from Scotland; Bob Shaunessy & Craig Bacher from Calgary; and Tim & Michael Pettigrew from Ireland.