Bumpy Mexico - GFF partner Martin Joergensen took on the Mexican bonefish during a two week stay in Punta Allen north of Ascension Bay last winter. It wound up being a trip that was bumpy in more than one sense - both on and off the water. But with plenty bonefish. - Global FlyFisher

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Bumpy Mexico



Barracuda
Barracuda
Nils caught a variety of fish trolling over the reef on deeper water. This barracuda was the grand prize, but he managed to get snappers and jacks too. The guide was rewarded the catch, which ended as local dinner.
Bonefish
Bonefish
One day with less than perfect conditions - very muddy water - we ran in to a flock of decently sized fish. They were very willing to take, and I managed to land three within short time.
Bonefish... another one
Bonefish... another one
Another bonefish from the muddy water in one of the lagoons.
Bonefish... yet another one
Bonefish... yet another one
Under conditions like these you never get tired of catching bonefish. Fish this size kept trailing along the edge of the mangrove in the background - easy to see and quick to strike if the fly was presented properly.
Breakfast
Breakfast
We were taken very well care of in the local fishing Coop's restaurant and bar. This was a typical morning meal: omelet, rice, salad and bread - plus coffee and juice. This day the kitchen staff left out the main ingredient of almost all meals: the beans!
Casting
Casting
Kim on a typical flat under great conditions. The water is slightly riffled, but clear, the sky is blue and the sun aides greatly in spotting the fish in the shallow water. The flat stretches almost as far as the eye can see.
Close-up
Close-up
Ghost of the flats - the bonefish really earned its nickname.
Cloudy fish
Cloudy fish
Spotting fish when the clouds covered the sky was not easy - but then again not impossible either.
Conch
Conch
And this one is a small speciemen.
Conch eggs
Conch eggs
A wonder that this strange contraption can come out of an animal.
Cuda fight
Cuda fight
Michael G. into a nice fish over the reef and the deeper water.
Early morning trip
Early morning trip
Every morining we would head out towards the flats. Not all mornings were as beautiful as this one - which in spite of the sun is actually quite cold.
Fish on!
Fish on!
Yep! This is the fisherman's perspective of a bonefish fight. The fish is actually visible under the rod.
Flats
Flats
It is hard to complain over a view such as this.
Flats summit
Flats summit
Many days we would meet up with the other team and have lunch or discuss what to do next.
Freshly caught
Freshly caught
The barracudas would trash Nils' fly beyond recognition, but it still worked quite well and kept catching.
Gasoline refill
Gasoline refill
Occasionally we met at sea to get gas from the other boat.
Gaspar
Gaspar
Our main guide, Gaspar, fluent in English and a very able guide.
Gotcha
Gotcha
The Gotcha was the absolutely most succesful fly of the trip. This one is a bit on the large side for Punta Allen. Flies in the size 6-8 or even in the 10-range with less flash were more popular - especially with the guides. The fish seemed less concerned.
GPS
GPS
GPS navigation is a fantastic and fascinating thing. We were able to locate the same spots within yards, and Kim would plot the best places after the fishing every day.
Guide and fisher
Guide and fisher
Gaspar did his best to put us into fish. His height was not to his advantage. We would often spot fish before he did, but under difficult circumstances, his sharp eyes were amazing.
House guest
House guest
This guy and his wife lived under the roof of our beach house. One day we even had the wife indoors, running on the beams under the cieling. That and the crabs scouting the rooms at night were the worst incidents we had with the local fauna - quite harmless.
Huge bonefish
Huge bonefish
This was properly the largest fish of the trip, taken by Nils and estimated to about 3 kilos or 6 lbs. The average fish was more like half this size, even though we all caught fish in decent sizes.
Jack
Jack
On the reef youwill find many different species that all love a trolled fly.
Juanito
Juanito
Juanito was Gaspar's father. Unable to speak a word English and not exactly a beacon of communication - and unfortunately not on the peak of his guiding career anymore.
Lazy afternoon
Lazy afternoon
The beach in front of Punta Allen is littered with boats.
No metropoilis
No metropoilis
Punta Allen on the Yucatan peninsula is not a big town. Lazy and calm is the tempo. Two shops and a few bars and restaurants are the entertainment facilities. And lights are out every night after midnight, when the town generator is stopped!
Permit alert!
Permit alert!
We saw permit several times, and every sighting immediately introduced a tence and concentrated mode on the whole boat. Unfortunately we didn't hook any.
Poling
Poling
the classical situation: guide poling and angler watching out for bonefish, ready to cast.
Preparation
Preparation
The first setting up of the gear before we ventured out to fish. Kim in the background and Nils in the front.
Pumping
Pumping
A barracuda, a jack or some other reef fish is being pumped closer by Nils.
Reeling in
Reeling in
getting control means reeeling in a lot of line wher a bonefish has taken its first run.
Release assistant
Release assistant
The guides were eager to earn their money, and would often fight us to get to land the fish and help release it. Sometimes convenient - but most times annoying.
Repair at sea
Repair at sea
The odd defect of the outboards, empty gas tanks and other happenings are to be expected. Patience is really a virtue when fishing under such conditions.
Resting on the flat
Resting on the flat
A perfect spot for a lunch break - if you don't mind the sun!
Scouting for bonefish
Scouting for bonefish
The guide usually goes in front to spot fish before you do. Thanks to our height and sunglasses we often saw the fish before the guide.
Sirena
Sirena
Ready for a bumpy ride? Because that's what you're gonna get if the waves are just a little bit larger further out!
Sleeping quarters
Sleeping quarters
In spite of what you could fear upon seeing this sight, the insects weren't a big problem during our stay.
Snapper
Snapper
Snappers are plenty of the reef and more than willing to take a fly.
Strange creature
Strange creature
The crab that is! The empty dry shells of horse shoe crabs are all over the place. You see few living ones, but hundreds dead and dry.
Sun
Sun
Afternoon light seeping in through the planks of the primitive hut we lived in the first week.
Sunrise
Sunrise
What can be said about scenery like this that could offer it justice?
Tail rudder
Tail rudder
It is no wonder that bonefish are so strong, considering their body shape and tail size. But you are still in awe everytime one takes a 50 yard run.
Teeth
Teeth
the guides warn you about dehooking a barracuda with your fingers. There is a reason - or several, actually!
They run!
They run!
Bonefish can take so much line that it will surprise you.
Tough fighters
Tough fighters
A bonefish will often take an initial long run, then a couple of smaller ones and then do what it can to tug itself off the hook until you land it.
Unhooking
Unhooking
Nils unhooking a medium size bonefish of which we caught many in the murky waters of this lagoon. We could even blind fish for them in the muddy water - a rare situation when bonefishing.
Wading the flats
Wading the flats
You can spend a lot of time scouting for fish and at the end of the day you often see water - even when it's not there.
Walkabout
Walkabout
You get to walk quite a bit, and good flats boots are really nice to have.
Wheel barrow
Wheel barrow
It was used to carry heavy items like gasoline tanks down to the boats, but was also a sand free place to rest the rods while waiting for the guides to get the boeats ready.
Why they are called flats
Why they are called flats
Even in this shallow and calm water we would encounter bonefish.