July 7th: Summer doldrums have been distinctly absent as our fourth season draws to a close. As is normal for the time of year, the weather has generally been hot and sunny, with occasional tropical cloudbursts to liven up the atmosphere. But for the last ten days we have also had unseasonably strong winds, mostly 25-30mph, which, though a welcome coolant, have made bonefishing difficult for all but the best casters and ruled out any offshore expeditions for billfish or inter-island cruising.
The tough conditions did not prevent some good catches, with two highly competent anglers, George Banker from Colorado and Chuck Rizuto from Texas, managing to reach double figures of bonefish for five days in a row, with their best days producing 26 and 21 bones, guided by Ishi and Joe respectively.
The early days of June were often quite cloudy, but the middle of the month produced some scintillating weather and plenty of bones. Art Spinner from North Carolina had catches of 17 (shared with Peter Milne from Luxemburg), 13 (shared with Walt Boomer) and 13 (solo). Howard Pitts from New York and our own Sandy Walker had 14 between them, while Howard also had a solo day that produced 11 bones and a half day with 8 fish.
Other names with respectable catches included Keith Salvesen from London and Tom Sheley from Ohio (both taking a break from their dazzling bird photography), Terry & Gaye Mackey from Montana, Jeremy and Carol Scott from England, Swazi Stokes from the Virgin Islands and youngsters Jack Matthews and George Lockwood from England, who hooked 14 and boated eight on their first attempt at bonefishing and despite very strong winds.
No really big fish were boated, although there were several in the 4-6lb range, the best taken by Peter Milne.
We are now closing down for the hurricane season and hatches may have to be battened sooner rather than later, with one or two ominous blobs on the medium-range weather map. Having survived both Irene and Sandy in the previous two summers, we had been hoping for a quieter time this year. Fingers crossed. Watch this space….