Swedish version

By Capt. Eric P. VanDemark © 2002

First Times a charm
By Capt. Eric P. VanDemark

  It wasn’t long after the sun had worked it’s way over Elliott key that Brian Westervelt and I begin to work the flat looking for tailing Bonefish. The winds were light and the water was clean and clear. As we worked our way north we started to see small pushes of water working their way towards us. I told Brian to get ready I knew this would be our first shot at a good size school of Bonefish. My heart was pounding as I saw the tails come from beneath the surface of the water. Brian picked up on the fish as soon as they broke the surface. This school of fish had over ten fish in it, and they were feeding hard on the morning outgoing tide. Brian made a great cast, and at just the right moment he started to strip the fly back towards him. Both of us thought the fish was going to pick up the fly and run, however this fish had other ideas. The school turned and ran towards deep water. Over the next couple of hours this is how things would go for us.

With the sun well over head and a strong incoming tide I knew this would make finding fish easy but getting a fly in front of them harder. It is said that Bonefish can see out of the water over 60 feet. Which in turn means they can see a fly line coming through the air just as easy as we can see the fish.

After working several flats, I felt that heading south to one of the larger flats that has a strong incoming tide would work best for what we were trying to do. I told Brian that what we were looking for was any sign of mudding fish. He asked what I meant by this. After staking out to help him understand, I told him that Bonefish tend to stir up small pockets of mud when they are feeding. One other thing that we needed to look for was Stingrays mudding. The Bonefish in Biscayne Bay tend to follow the rays and feed on the left over food, or anything that runs out of the muds.

As we headed out across this large clear water flat, it was not long before we would see the first mud. Brian picked up on it as soon as I pointed it out. It was three Bonefish and they were feeding hard. Brian made a cast at them but without a cloud in the ski they spooked as soon as they saw the fly-line coming. Just as fast as they were gone I picked up on another mud. This time I told Brian we were going to try to make a very long cast at least 80 feet. Brian assured me he could get the job done. As we approached the mud I knew it was a ray by to shear size and density of the mud.

As we approached I noticed something working the backside of the ray. I told Brian to cast the to back right side of the ray to see if we could get the fish to eat. After trying both sides of the ray I told Brian to throw the fly right on top of the ray. Just as fast as the fly hit the water, I saw the Bonefish run over and grab the fly. I yelled to Brian fish on, and with that the fight was on. He made a very long run turned left, ran again, turned right, and ran across the bow of the boat then headed for deeper water. After two more very nice runs Brian was able to land his very first Bonefish and to top it of this was on fly. As I went to net the fish I knew we had something special on our hands. This Bonefish would not fit in the net and after weighing it in we were both in shock. The fish measured in and 31 inches to the fork and 33 inches over all. I asked Brian to give me his best estament on the fish’s weight. He said it had to go over ten; I had to smile and replied how about thirteen pounds. Brain and I knew that if you are going to catch a Bonefish on fly this is the size you need to start out with.

All in all I am sure that Brian will return to the prestean flats of Biscayne Bay again soon to go in search of another double digit Bonefish. If you interested in fishing with Capt. Eric P. VanDemark call him at 786-564-1540.

Looking For The Ghost
Capt. Eric P. VanDemark © 2002




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