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Topic: First Boner, what a rush...< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
Capn Jimbo Offline
The Godfisher




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Posted: July 06 2004,06:02

Can't say when, with whom, or where as I'm sworn to secrecy (a common condition among bonefishers).  But everything you've heard is true.

The anticipation of planning a bonefishing expedition.  The excitement of finding a big school of large (7-10 lb) bones on the flat.  The intensity of a quick but quiet approach.  A moment to decide your cast.  The interrupted retrieve, then a long, drag screamin run that just won't stop.

All true.  And this was my first bone.  I'd seen and cast upon bones a number of times, but no soap.  But this was a large and actively feeding and cruising school.  Although I'd brought my new flyrod and a bonefish fly supplied by Chef Mike I didn't trust my skills or accuracy and certainly didn't want to spook the school.  So I used a weedless brown bonefish jig mounted on my trusty spinning rod.

Had just reviewed an article in Shallow Water Angler by a guy who fishes exclusively with jigs, and who recommend casting long and to the side to avoid spooking the bones, then quietly retrieving your jig, and dropping at your intended spot.  Then waiting for the bones to approach, twitch, and...

Well, the school was approaching me from the front but zigzaggin as they do.  A tough decision, but my reaction was to quickly cast far left and bring it in to the area I'd guessed they were headin.

As I was reeling up, smoothly and at medium speed I was surprised by a quick hit and found a bone on.  A big one.  Apparently the school was larger than I thought and one of the trailers picked off my jig.

The reel did, in fact scream.  And scream.  All I could recall was to let the bone finish it's run, then wear it down.  So I reduced drag, let him fly.  And had a tremendous amount of line out.  The run finally stopped and I started pumping.

Gone.  He'd shaken my barb-crushed jig.  But what a few moments.  Unforgettable.

I was not disappointed at all.  I was sure I had him solidly but was not used to so much line out.  It had bellyed and my very light drag had led to fish losin slack.  Had it been a cuda I'd have pressured down (and was tempted to do so), but made my choice.  

Such is life.  But I wasn't disappointed, just smiling from ear to ear.  My first boner.  I can see why fishers get hooked on bones and dedicate their fishing hours to hunt these elusive but exciting fish.

An amazing experience and one I've been waiting for ever since my first bonefishin expedition last year to the keys...

Next time.

:capn:


Edited by Capn Jimbo on July 06 2004,06:05

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Tight lines,
Capn Jimbo

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Posted: July 07 2004,19:14

Hey, Jimbo

Congratulations on your top secret, classified bonefish hook-up.  Would love to feel that first long run of a big bonefish myself sometime.

'Course I don't have any secret places.....

Just kidding.  It must have been a thrill.  Any guess as to his weight?  And in lbs., not CM's.  My thought would be not crushing your barb when bonefishing as that run may always be an issue with it's corresponding slack line.  

Still, way to go, Jimbo!

Don
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Capn Jimbo Offline
The Godfisher




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Posted: July 08 2004,04:57

Don, you're not the first to suggest I uncrush my barbs for these fish, and not a bad idea.  I can still catch and and release.  The bones that day were very large, 7 to 10 lb. I don't know the weight of this particular fish, but I'd guess it was toward the larger end, just don't know.

The school of perhaps 20 fish were all large.  I used a brown, weedless, 3/8 oz triangular skimmer jig.  Just gotta do it again...

:capn:


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perception dude Offline
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Posted: July 08 2004,13:26

Sweet story! Sounds like something you'll remember to th day you die.
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perch Offline
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Posted: July 09 2004,07:36

Jim,

Nice job, would liked to have been there...(wink, wink)

Not promoting another site just don't feel like writing it again.

But...if you go to Paddle-fishing.com under general forum and look way down for a post entitled "Late but true" you can read my bonefish tale.

Boated this one.  29 inches.

perch
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super_fly Offline
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Posted: July 11 2004,12:27

Hey Jimbo,

Seems like the week for this type of thing...

Saturday I went out with a couple of friends, unfortunately minus the kayaks. Figured we'd try our luck wading in the keys. Went to a flat where you don't need a vessel to get to or traverse. Within 10 minutes my (incredibly lucky) friend hooked a 22" bone. Blindcasting. Used a baitfish fly. All of the things you're NOT supposed to do. He didn't know it was a bone until we landed it. I knew. The reel told me. And the fact that it just made sense that he'd catch a bone and I wouldn't!  :D

I was to have some sort of vindication though. It took me the rest of the morning but I managed to put myself into "bonefish" mode. I figured out where I'd be if I was a bonefish on an incoming tide. Given that most of the flat was the same type of terrain I decided to go where it wasn't the same. That was a point where the shorelin cut in and formed a large basin and the "hump" of the flat decreased. Mangroves are closer to the water here. I figured if I was a bone, I'd want to get in those nice protected mangroves pretty fast so I'd lurk around a nice safe spot near them. In a marl/coral flat a nice, deeper grass patch could be safe. Sure enough as I start to go towards a patch I selected I hear a splash. when I look I see a tail! As I get closer I see another tail. I wait within casting distance of the grass patch facing the direction (I hope) the bonefish will come out and follow the rising tide towards the mangroves. Within a few minutes I see a dark shape move over the grass towards me, then another, and another! Three bones! I cast to the lead fish, my fly dropping a foot or two in front of it with a splash. The fish spooks and turns, but doesn't run off. I leave my fly sit. It comes back to it, nose down. I strip once, the fish follows, strip twice the fish takes it and I set the hook. The reel starts to spin then TWANG! it stops. Seems there was a rock in the path and my tippet broke!

Oh well, while I didn't land my fish, at least I figured out where it would be, spotted it, sight cast to it, stripped the fly properly and had a take. Now I know I can do it. Next thing is to find better tippet material. Oh, and find the fish again!

BTW, the tide was rising pretty fast and I had walked quite a ways up the flat. Long walk back against the current, over the rocks, and through the mud without my kayak!

Ken
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blindhog Offline
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Posted: July 14 2004,14:05

They will certainly test your mettle.
Good job everyone.Now I have a case of bonefish envy.

Dave
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Kodiaz Offline
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Posted: July 21 2005,19:47

Just got back from sneaking out on a work nite to fish and i caught my first bonefish right here in Palm Beach County.  Which now confirms the possibilty of "The Super Grand Slam"
Bone, Redfish, Tarpon, Snook, Seatrout it can be done here it would take about 6 - 8 miles of paddling to get to all the spots and the tarpon have to be around but it is possible
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