Oahu Bonefish Trip 2009

26 Feb Oahu Bonefish Trip 2009

Captain, Kenzie, and I visited the island of Oahu for bonefish try out. It’s not really a good time of year to go after bonefish who prefer warmer water of May to December, but we insisted to push on after we lost an opportunity to fish in Palau.

When we got to Hawaii, it was unusually cold which local call “once in 10 years”. Our hope was that weather was recovering from rainy to cloudy which may eventually warm up the water. Anyway, we set our feet on Oahu and called up Shoreline Adventure’s Oliver Owen for 3 day excursion.

Day 1: Cloudy & Cold

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Oliver took us out to the flat in the east side near Diamond Head, popular spot amongst fishermen. He then took me around to show how to spot bonefish, then he eventually found one. I had a head-on with bonefish and it came to see my fly, slowed down to check it out, then it didn’t take it…

I had another encounter with a school of 4 bonefish, casted mantis fly, but they igonored it and swam away as they noticed us. I didn’t catch a thing, but I acquired how to see “moving green water” which is the only way to identify bonefish.

Day 2: Partially Sunny & Cold

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Oliver took us out to the flat in the wind-ward side of the island where mile wide flat sit in the bay. Water was shallow, but cloud was heavy and we had hard time spotting fish in the morning.

In the afternoon, I got on my own to search and fish for the “green”. I didn’t even bother to cast for an hour only searching for fish by slowly walking foot by foot. Then something bumped into my wading shoes. When I looked down, there was small green (about 30-40cm) bonefish checking out the muddy trail I created. He noticed me in instant and jet to the reef edge in a matter of second.

Next, I noticed a small school of fish are slowly moving towards the center of flat. I followed them for half an hour before getting close enough, caste my fly without any reaction. When I got really close, I noticed that they weren’t bonefish, but milkfish known by locals that it does not take any fly.

Other than that, I only saw 2 more bonefish jetting away after being spooked by Captain and Kenzie.

Day 3: Partially Sunny & Cold

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Jeff, ad-hoc guide, took me out to the coastal flat in the wind-ward side. 15 minutes after we started to walk out the beach, Jeff spotted a 5 pound bonefish sitting on the top of coral. I casted the fly for head-on challenge, bonefish swam near it, but it didn’t take the fly.

Then we came across another bonefish who could be previous fish’s wing mate. I casted the fly, but fish didn’t show any interest and decided to swim to other location.

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That’s when I casted my fly across bonefish’s path. Just when shrimp fly quietly landed into water, I felt very small pop on fly line, but I couldn’t respond fast enough to set the hook. Bonefish, missing its prey, skit on surface then disappeared into the channel.

Third spotting came when I was blind casting mantis pattern along the channel. I was retrieving in faster pace, then just when almost all fly line was retrieved into the baket, big bonefish appeared from behind the fly. It was surely following my fly, but as soon as my fly changed its course away from previous line, fish turned to right and swam away. Jeff told me that it was 8 pounder by the look of tail fin. Darrrrrrn!!

In the afternoon, we spotted no further bonefish, so I kept on blind casting with no result except small lizard fish snapped out of reef rock. My only catch of the trip…

On the other hand, Captain made it in the very last moment. Worth coming at least!

Result

Well…. my 2nd time trial on bonefish ended with worse result than the first time. Previous trip was “3 hits, 2 runs, 1 line break, 1 catch”, but this trip was “1 hit, no run, no catch”…:(

So, as I grow older (36 now), my relfex is becoming worse, perhaps?
Gotta go for the 3rd time this year to finish off this battle!

– 5 spotting by guide, 3 sighting by myself (all spooked)
– 4 refusal and 1 hit, but no hook set

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