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More's Island, Sandy Point, Bahamas 11-13-1997

"It was a warm and calm morning; only one cloud was pinned against the far horizon. It was a perfect day for More's Island and when the idea was suggested to Patrick, our guide, he smiled and said, 'let's go.'

After an easy ride to the island, we decided to start fishing at SNAFU Point. Patrick shut down the motor and we laughed about past screw-ups at this spot. A school of very large bonefish became discernible when we drifted nearer to the point. Stacked as still as rocks, they were waiting for the tide to begin falling. I was graciously offered the first shot and as I began pulling line off my reel, I discovered a nasty knot in my fly line. I tried to untangle the mess but, muttering under my breath, I eventually had to relinquish the deck, clip off my fly, unstring my rod and disassemble the knot. Patrick just laughed at my fumings and mentioned that this was just a normal situation here. Although this offered me no solace, I tried to keep my perspective while Craig unsuccessfully casted to the big bones. When it was my turn, the bones refused my offerings too. We all just looked at each other, laughed, and decided to move away from SNAFU Point and its bad luck.

Once across the cut, as I, once again, began stacking my line on the deck, Craig stretched the coils out of my line until he reached an unseen nick and snapped my fly line in two. I smiled my best adult smile impersonation, again stepped off the casting deck, wadded up my now useless line, put my reel away and attached my spare reel to my GLX.

I was now sure we had exhausted all the divine mischief scheduled for our boat for the day. With this bad luck behind us, we decided to wade the flats on both sides of a large mangrove bush that had, in the past, provided numerous shots at hefty bones.

Craig immediately hooked a fish and just as quickly lost his fish and fly when his line caught on his reel handle. No problem, it has happened before and it will happen again... unrelenting optimism is a trait common to all diehard anglers. As we lost sight of each other behind the bush, I spotted a two foot bonefish making his way uptide. I made an adequate cast, the fish ate my fly and then rocketed off the flat.

"OK... that's better." I thought as my reel made that familiar, yet intoxicating sound as backing melted off my spool... until the free spooling came to an abrupt halt and the fish broke off before I could shout expletive deleted. I just stood there baffled and frustrated. I stared at my reel and began pulling on the backing finding it firmly attached to my reel by a very nicely formed overwrapped knot. I fussed with the knot pulling backing off my reel, letting the tide carry the braided dacron away from me until I reached a point where it was not tangled. After 150 yards, the knot finally cleared and I began rewinding the backing that had drifted quite a ways down tide. Just then, and I am not making this up, a cormorant with a broken wing spooked from the mangrove bush. He hit the water with a resounding splat and began crazily flapping his one good wing (no doubt in an effort to escape my recent ugly example of angling prowess). Now, with legs and a wing, he veered toward me in a long uncontrolled arc and smashed into my leg then ricochetted into my backing. He tangled a good gob of it before wildly making his exit and leaving me utterly and completely dumbstruck. I looked upward, I smiled, then I laughed - this was obviously some sort of comedic moment concocted by the fishing gods for their own perverted enjoyment.

I pleaded for some sort of benevolent intervention and didn't notice any immediately forthcoming, so I cut out the medusa of tangled backing and reattached the ends with a carefully constructed blood-knot. I rewound my tortured backing and, with considerable misgivings, continued my seemingly doomed stroll down the flat.

Almost immediately, something caught my eye. I couldn't tell you what, but I somehow spotted a huge bonefish tailing next to shore. Ah... another test... should I just fling my rod at the monster, thus ending this charade, or should I take the bait and cast to him? If I did take a legitimate shot at this double digit dream, would my nail knot fail, or would my rod break; perhaps my dog would die or the stock market would crash. You know, that feeling that overwhelms you sometimes and whispers nastily in your ear "man, this just isn't your day."

But, what the hell - I shakily casted my little anemic bundle of feathers and string at the beast. He charged my fly, tailed quickly and then came firm to the end of my strip-strike. Like all really big fish, his exit brought my line onto my reel instantaneously. My backing unwound beautifully once, twice, then three times and, after a few agonizing minutes, a 28" (at the fork) bonefish heeled dutifully at my side. I estimated his weight at 9-10lbs and then quickly released him. No sharks or barracuda followed him, I had all my fingers and the sky didn't fall. Just then Patrick and Craig waded into view on the other side of the bush. They didn't see any of this - the victory, or thankfully, the defeats. I just stood there awash in embarrassment and joy, the by-product of some celestial practical joke. Maybe it was some idiotic trial by fire ( a test of patience and perseverance and sense of humor). I'd like to think I passed, to think otherwise would just make the morning too ridiculous and me too incompetent." SSH Journal Nov. 1997.

If you've never fished Sandy Point give it a try. It's one of the great big fish spots in all the Bahamas with good numbers of smaller school fish in the fall and spring. The guides are some of the best you'll find anywhere and they are equipped with excellent flats boats. Give us a call and we'll give you available dates for the rest of 1998. Don't miss fishing Sandy Point at least once.

Written by Scott Heywood

P.O. Box 845 • Sheridan, Wyoming 82801 • (P) 800-211-8530 • (F) 307-672-3920
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