Guy Harvey Magazine

WIN 2017

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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68 | www.GuyHarveyMagazine.com bail. As I sat with the reel engaged, a massive hit left my hook empty and me and my rig shell-shocked. Twenty-pound permit. Lost. I was dejected. "Oh well," said Daurin. "Win some, lose some." It was the only permit we spied on the wreck, so it was time to move on to better things, into the mangroves. "Let's put some mojarra chunk out there, along the mangroves. We get some big fish," said Daurin. I was in total agreement. I flipped a chunk bait straight between two mangrove roots under the canopy, and just let it sit. "Be ready, they will be here," said Daurin confidently. In an instant, my line went slack, the bait rushing toward me. I reeled as fast as I could and came tight, real tight, when a 10-lb. tarpon jumped to its freedom, snapping my 40-lb. test. Another chunk bait was cast into a shadowy hole between the mangrove roots, but this time I was deep. My drag peeled hard, this fish put the business to me, tangling my line in the mangrove roots. I released the reel into freespool, allowing the fish to find its way out of the mangrove maze when the net finally scooped up an 8-lb. Cubera snapper. "Dinner!" shouted Daurin and Benny in excited unison. I was pleased, but not totally satisfied just yet. Breaking off that tarpon still had a grip on my psyche, so I sent out another chunk. This time I was prepared. The tarpon jumped four feet, clean out of the water, shaking its head in frustration, but I kept my rod low. In a few minutes, I had a 10-lb. tarpon boatside. I reached down and took my other hook out of its mouth—which it claimed only 10 minutes before—and we released it. I felt an immense sense of accomplishment. The next day, we hit the flats again. On the way out, we passed pink flamingos sinking their curved beaks into the mud searching for crabs and shrimp. We finally cut the motor to pole around fallen logs and brush piles alongshore and sight cast for snook. "OK, there, there!" Daurin pointed toward a sunken log. Three, 10-lb. snook were lined up lying in wait. I launched a bright yellow (Mosca) streamer fly, cajoling a fat, 10-lb. snook to come off his lair. I stripped. He followed. I kept stripping, he followed more, right to the boat. And then he turned off. "Ahhh!" I exclaimed, exasperated. I asked Daurin, "Can we cast from the beach?" Daurin obliged. "Yes, I know a good spot." We gently pushed the bow onto a sandbar and broke for lunch. 68 | www.GuyHarveyMagazine.com THE LAST STAND Sleek and streamlined, bonefish use slick camouflage to blend into sunsprayed flats. Though bones rarely exceed 5 lbs. in Ascension Bay, the sheer volume of 1 to 2 pounders keeps the rod bent all day long.

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