Late this past spring, Kellsey Perkins – The One Who Keeps the Financial Wheels on the Deneki Bus – headed to Andros South with her husband Carl for their first ever bonefishing trip. We asked Kellsey for a write-up on her trip, and she was happy to oblige with some tales of first-time bonefishing.
Pre-trip Failure to Prepare
Of course I had planned to learn and practice casting before we went to Andros South. 150″ of snow, epic skiing and life got in the way of any learning before our getaway. Showing up at Andros South with very low expectations of my personal fishing success was OK with me – I deserved what I got. I was extremely happy to be there and considered it a bonus if I managed to get a fish in the boat.
My husband, Carl, and I were lucky enough to have Andros South Manager Trevor Covich give us some casting lessons on the beach the evening we arrived. Standing on the white sand beach with 80 degree turquoise water, practicing casting for bonefish was a pretty amazing way to start my learning. Of course my super coordinated, athletic husband was casting like a pro in no time – grrrr. Me? Well, I guess we’ll see if the lessons helped.
Bonefishing, the Real Deal
It’s not like trout fishing! We couldn’t see those damned fish to save our life. Our amazing guide Charlie would put us right on them, say, “do you see it? 12 o’clock, 50 yards, moving left”. Uh no, not really, no, not at all. Carl was first up, thankfully – saving my embarrassment for later. He stood on the bow of the flats boat while Charlie poled around, looking for and finding the invisible fish. “Cast! 10 o’clock, 20 yards, coming at you!” First cast Carl hooks the bugger and lands it. Wow, this must be easier than I thought! Charlie, “It’s early, he was a dumb one. They just get smarter as the day goes on.” 2 hours later Carl lands fish #2. It’s my turn and major flailing is about to begin.
KP at Bat
I manage to hook my thumb first thing. A few practice casts, lots of opportunities, lots of failed casts to get to the fish, loads of flailing. “Cast now! Tip down! Strip, strip, strip!!!” again and again and again. Man, Charlie has loads of patience. I’m casting at fish I can’t see, I’m casting half the distance where the fish supposedly is, the wind is totally screwing any chance I have of getting the fly close to the fish. “Strip, strip, strip!!” “Little guy on!!” I’m not skunked, I couldn’t be happier. Got the little guy in the boat, and fumbled around in an attempt for the picture of possibly my only fish.
We had lunch on the West Side of South Andros Island, looking towards Florida somewhere over there beyond the aquamarine horizon. After lunch it was windier and the tide was high, so into the channels and mangroves we went. Of course I hooked the mangroves and watched 15 bonefish swim around Carl’s feet as he released my fly off the branch.
Finally we’re in the middle of a very wide channel, and I’m thinking, why are we here? Charlie stops, and I think he’s coming to give me some casting advice. I throw a few casts with him in the bow with me. “Strip, strip, strip!!!” I strip and…fish on! Really? I thought we were just practicing! As the fish takes line Charlie jumps towards me from the platform to untangle the line that is wrapped around the outside of my reel. I got my second bonefish in the boat – success!!
I’m hooked and vow to gets lots of practice in before the next time I get the opportunity to hunt the wily bonefish again.
If you’re just getting started bonefishing, check out our free Bonefishing 101 download!