ATTENTION: TROUBLE IN THE BAHAMAS

We thought we would share an email blast from our friends over at Hatch Reels, regarding the proposed change in fisheries regulations in the Bahamas.

TAKE ACTION:
Please cut and paste the following letter (or write one of your own) and email it to:  fisheries@bahamas.gov.bs
 Photo courtesy Nervous Waters Fly Fishers.


Photo courtesy Nervous Waters Fly Fishers.

Dear Sir or Madam:

I strongly oppose the proposed fisheries regulations currently being proposed for the Bahamas. The issue of protecting the fisheries resource is not one of ownership but rather one of sound, common-sense stewardship. It is in the best interest of the fishing lodges and outfitting operations – whether they are locally owned or foreign owned – to protect the resource on which their businesses depend. Further, every fishing lodge in the Bahamas provides the country much needed jobs. Please focus your attention on the health and protection of the fisheries and do not attempt to regulate the guides and lodges. The proposed fisheries regulations are quite literally a bad solution in search of a problem that does not exist. The traveling angler has many choices throughout the Caribbean and throughout the world. If the Bahamas passes this legislation and sends the message that destination anglers are not welcome in the Bahamas, then he or she will quite simply take their business elsewhere. Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

ACT NOW!  Public comment will only be accepted until Friday, June 26th, so please join us and take action now.

Please join us in making sure the voices of sportsmen, recreational fishermen and destination anglers are heard.

Photo courtesy of Courtney Marie Martin.

Photo courtesy of Courtney Marie Martin.

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Bonefish 101: On and Off the Water

By Lefty Kreh 

I have been fortunate to fish throughout much of the planet, and have caught more than 100 species on a fly rod. And my favorite remains the bonefish.

There is much to like about bone fishing. You use rather lightweight tackle, small flies and once hooked if you are lucky you land one in minutes unlike many of the more glamour species. When wading or being polled across the shallows, you see an ever-changing landscape. A barracuda lay motionless ready to swiftly grasp its prey. Different types of rays swim by and the bottom slowly reveals some mysteries as you move over it.

I think one of the things that fascinates me about bone fishing is the angler can do nearly everything right, only make one small miscue and the game is over.

In freshwater, brown trout are considered one of the most difficult species to fool and are quickly alerted to the presence of an angler. But, the eyes on a bonefish are twice as sharp and can spot something unfamiliar from great distances.

I caught my first bonefish in 1969 and have learned much along the way.

If limited to one rod a nine foot, 8-weight rod will be sufficient.

A large arbor reel that will hold 150-yards of backing will also be more than enough for skinny water fish. The claim that you need more than 200 yards of backing is an overstatement. On rare occasions a bonefish may run 60 to-100-yards, but, having caught hundreds of bonefish in various regions, I have never had one run that far.

Fly selection should correspond to the color of the flat.

For example, in the Bahamas most flats are a light-tan coral and so most patterns should be pale brown, pale pink or an off-white color.

Variations of olive colors usually produce best when ocean bottom has turtle grass, or other similarly colored vegetation.

Hook size is governed by the average size of fish encountered.

Keeping a low profile while fishing from a skiff, or wading can help keep from alerting fish to your presence.
©Brandon Powers, Temple Fork Outfitters.

Where most bones are one to five pounds, a size-four hook is best. Many anglers dress patterns on smaller size-six hooks, but big bones are more likely to take patterns dressed on larger flies. A size 2 is the smallest and often a size 1 or even 1/0 is more effective.

Bonefish flats often have sharp coral, so flats wading boots are recommended. Black colored ones are to be avoided as they can absorb sunlight and cause feet to get too hot.

All boots worn while wading will gather grit, sand and abrasive material. To avoid this wearing gaiters (designed to be used with stocking foot waders), can prevent these coarse materials from getting in boots. Socks and long pants should be worn at all times while on the flats.

DO NOT put the pant legs in the boots. Allow the boots to be inside the legs. Now place the wading gaiters over the pant legs and secure them. Any grit that enters the gaiters will flow down along the legs and out the bottom.

A common mistake made when fishing for all flats species, is to look at the fish when casting the fly. The human mind wants the fly to be cast where the angler is looking, which all too often causes the fly to fall too close to the fish. It’s important to concentrate on the target area. The fish is visible in the peripheral vision, but the fly lands well in front of the fish.

There is no ready-made formula, but there are loose guidelines.

When the water is rippled by the wind, a fly cast just a few feet in front of a fish will usually be taken. But, on a calm day the fly may have to be presented anywhere from eight to 15-feet ahead of a cruising fish. Where bonefish are pressured by angler, and the surface is calm it is sometimes better to cast 20 or more feet ahead allowing the fly to sink completely to the bottom.

Leader length is important too.

On windy days a 9 or ten-foot leader should be used. On a flat calm surface, a leader of 12 to-16 feet is advised. Most bone fishermen start with a leader of 11 to-12-feet and adjust according to circumstances.

The butt section of the leader should be heavy and flexible and half the length of the leader, so the fly can turn over. For a 7 through 9-weight line, a 50-pound butt section is recommended.

The final key to a successful bonefish trip is to study the tides.

Some traditionally productive sites produce poorly on the wrong tides. Local guides and the lodge usually are honest about this. Or, poll a list of people who have fished the area and query them about the tidal phases.

All-female team of anglers compete in TPST

The Tres Pescados Slam Tournament, (TPST) that was held this past  Aug. was another success, as anglers from around the world participated in the three-day tournament.

As the original and only current Central American fly fishing slam tournament, the end goal in this yearly event is to help raise funds to preserve  local fisheries. 

Photo courtesy Courtney Marie Martin.

Photo courtesy Courtney Marie Martin.

TFO friend and hardcore fly angler Courtney Marie Martin finished tenth out of 20 teams in the event, spending most of the tournament fishing her BVK 8-weight and Mangrove Series 9wt.

Courtney fished with Capt Lacey Kelly as part of team BelizeFly.com. Competing as the only all female team, Courtney and Lacey fished mostly 15-foot leaders with 16-pound tippet. Hot flies during the event were mainly shrimp and crab patterns

Here is the report from Courtney:

“The people of Belize and Honduras are some of the most impressive fly casters I’ve ever met, I was so consumed with their culture they are amazing,” Courtney said.

“Our guide, Rojo Lara, put us on fish everyday wading and casting off the bow. All fish were sight casted in tailing schools. Tarpon were skittish because of the wind and didn’t want to come out from the mangrove hammocks they schooled up under.

I hooked one monster permit on the second day just playing around in a deep canal that ran threw a flat full of bones, I was stripping my line back in to recast and it just stopped, I paused for a second because it almost felt like I was and bottom but I knew there was no way. I strip set the hell out of him, he hauled tail straight at the boat and I stripped my line as fast as I could, as soon as he saw the boat he took a hard right on the surface and you could see his dorsal and tail plain as day. He took off, all the stripping flew out pretty, I brought my left hand up to double hand the rod and my finger caught the line on the way up and gave enough pop to bust the leader in half. I will literally have nightmares for the rest of my life… I’ve been invited back next year to fish the tournament.”

Below are some awesome photos of  Courtney during the event.

For more information on the TPST and their work in conservation, tail on over to http://belizefly.com/tpst-tournament/ 

Photo courtesy of Courtney Marie Martin.

Photo courtesy of Courtney Marie Martin.

Photo courtesy of Courtney Marie Martin.

Photo courtesy of Courtney Marie Martin.

 

Photo courtesy of Courtney Marie Martin.

Photo courtesy of Courtney Marie Martin.

 

Photo courtesy of Courtney Marie Martin.

Photo courtesy of Courtney Marie Martin.

Photo courtesy of Courtney Marie Martin.

Photo courtesy of Courtney Marie Martin.

Photo courtesy of Courtney Marie Martin.

Photo courtesy of Courtney Marie Martin.

Flip Pallot at Bonefish and Tarpon Trust Event

TFO advisory staff member, Flip Pallot, will be the featured guest at the March 16, 2013 Bonefish & Tarpon Trust event in Naples, Fla.

©Temple Fork Outfitters.

©Temple Fork Outfitters.

The event will be held at the Foxfire Country Club from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

tickets are available through the BTT office (239)-283-4733 or by emailing info@bonefishtarpontrust.org.

The Bonefish and Tarpon Trust was founded to conserve and enhance global bonefish, tarpon and permit fisheries and their environments through stewardship, research, education and advocacy.

BTT is a group of concerned anglers and guides who want to preserve the bonefish and tarpon’s way of life. Bonefish & Tarpon Trust was formed in 1998 by a group of anglers, guides, and scientists in the Florida Keys who wanted to learn more about bonefish and tarpon in order to enhance their dwindling populations. Since then it has grown to include concerned anglers from over 20 countries, researchers from around the world, and guides committed to working with BTT in order to educate anglers and gather data while on the water.

For a cool video featuring Flip on the merits of the BTT, visit: http://goo.gl/7oevJ

Deer Creek (5/6-wt.) Rods for Bonefish

The TFO Deer Creek series of rods is getting good praise (and time on the water!) from Nervous Waters Fly Fishers in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Here is a follow-up excerpt from one of Clay’s posts on the 5/6-weight Deer Creek Spey rod:

Nervous Waters Fly Fishers in Hawaii have been making good use of the DC series of spey rods for bonefish. Photo courtesy Nervous Waters Fly Fishers.

Nervous Waters Fly Fishers in Hawaii have been making good use of the DC series of spey rods for bonefish.
Photo courtesy Nervous Waters Fly Fishers.

“The TFO Deer Creek 12’ 6” 5/6, not surprisingly, maintained the same “good rod” characteristics of its bigger bro the 13’ 6/7.  Easy loading, nice feel throughout the cast, and (most importantly) very forgiving.  It conked repeated long casts effortlessly as all good bombing sticks ought to.  The Deer Creek 5/6 is probably physically lighter than the 13’ 6/7.  It has to be as it is a lighter line weight and shorter rod.  I didn’t notice any difference in “lightness” between the two when casting them.  Going strictly by fatigue factor, both are effortless to cast and cast all day.  Not to mention super fun too.  d loop fire, d loop fire, d loop fire, and a multitude of fancy pants line flailing to get to the point of d loop and fire… what could be more fun than that!” 

Clay at Nervous Waters Fly Fishers has been doing some creative write-ups on chasing bonefish with long rods. For the complete posts, check out http://goo.gl/d0kKA 

Deer Creek Rods for Bonefish

The TFO Deer Creek series of rods is getting good praise (and time on the water!) from Nervous Waters Fly Fishers in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Here is an excerpt from one of Clay’s posts on the 6/7-weight Deer Creek Spey rod:

Nervous Waters Fly Fishers in Hawaii have been making good use of the DC series of spey rods for bonefish. Photo courtesy Nervous Waters Fly Fishers.

Nervous Waters Fly Fishers in Hawaii have been making good use of the DC series of spey rods for bonefish.
Photo courtesy Nervous Waters Fly Fishers.

“Long story short, the rod performed beautifully.  Very forgiving of shall we say less than perfect casts.  The rod loaded easily and I could feel it throughout the cast.  It launched long with very little effort. I casted it for five hours straight with absolutely no fatigue. The only thing that wore me out was fighting a bunch of fish, (as it should always be when using any fly rod).  I didn’t hook anything big but the rod handled the rats i got into very well.  It felt like it still had some reserve power for when the big boy bites, yet it was light enough that every fish I caught put some serious bend in the rod. The Deer Creek was just a pleasure to cast and fight fish with. absolute super fun which, after all, is the point of all of this fly fishing stuff.” 

Clay at Nervous Waters has been doing some creative write-ups on chasing bonefish with long rods. For the complete posts, check out http://goo.gl/d0kKA