Work has been taunting me with potential trips south for a couple of years now. Chile....no. Peru.....YES!.....then "no, we're sending Snowy". Some place in central america....Yes. I put some gear together but didn't believe it. I booked a couple days off on the calendar after the job was done, hoping for some time on the water, but still didn't believe it. Then a colleague picked me up at 0330 to drive to the airport. I got on the plane and I started to think this might happen. We still had to finish to job, though.
Monday to Thursday. 57 hours of work on "island time." No one does shit fast down here. "We'll meet at 8am" means they'll likely show up by 10:30. "This will only take an hour" at 10am means it's done by 2pm. Thankfully, we were working with some of the nicest folks I've ever met.
We got a bit of rain while we were working.
Jobsite hazard. This was a small one at 7'. Apparently they're not dangerous until they get to 9 ish feet. A bait fisherman was eaten downstream a ways by a 13 footer.
This guy was supposed to put the boat in the water the last day. They didn't let him ruin the roads any further than this. Thankfully, those lads down there had machetes and a backhoe. You can pretty well accomplish anything with machetes and a backhoe.
By Friday we got the work gear to the shipping depot, I booked a place to stay and jumped on a boat to get there. Waiting for another boat ride I saw a school of fish that nearly made me rig up. I thought it was a good sign since as I'd never actually seen let alone chased one of these fish.
By 4pm I was fishing. I had no idea what I was doing. The tide was low, the wind was screaming, and I caught nothing but some pretty little grunts.
After a nice sunset I ate and retired to a casita.
Saturday. My plan was to stay on the lee side until the tide was up. No idea why, but probably due to high winds and I'd heard that there were tarpon in the mangroves. Maybe there were, but I didn't find them.
I did find a couple of these. Cherry: popped. I felt the pressure come off after this fish. It was nice to feel the work and prep had amounted to something. I fished the lagoon for a couple of hours, then moved.
When I got to the ocean side I walked north and found what I thought to be an ok flat between a couple piers. Walking slowly. A green back darted ahead. Shitty cast into the wind. 2 strips and the fish turned. 3 more strips, and tension. Cool. A good way to break in a new stick.
The rest of the day had me walking and walking until the tide was gone. A couple more fish to hand, some rehydrating, and I walked the 2 and a half miles back. My feet were hamburger.
Sunday and Monday morning were the same routine. Wince putting on neoprene socks and shoes. Hobble to the lagoon. Look for pods of fish. Spook pods of fish. Catch a couple fish. Then walk to the ocean side for high tide and walk north. I'm not sure how these flats compared to typical ones, but they produced fish. I even saw some permit. Of course, I was struggling through the mud, so they spooked immediately.