Well, the barracuda fishing was a total bust. Not one. Clay, from Nervous Water Fly Shop, and I were scouting the mangroves along the stream way back under Nimitz Hwy. He said the tide wasn't right so we should go to Plan "B".
Plan "B"... hook papio near the edge of the flats out in the lagoon. The papio were plentiful, but to small to grab the poppers and barracuda flys we were using. However, Clay kept pointing out the many large oio (bonefish) along the edge of the reef. "There's one. Look, 3 over there. See those 2 just to the left?"
I must admit it was exciting. Even I could see a 6 to 8 pound bonefish when it swam accross the sandy bottom only 15 feet from the boat.
Enter Plan "C"..... if the oio are there we should catch one. Remember now, our original objective was scouting for 1 to 2 pound barracuda and we were using 6wt fly rods and 12# test leaders. I thought back to the time at Christmas Island when a 4 pound bonefish whipped me good when I hooked it using a 6wt rod, I told Clay I would drive the boat and he could "have at it."
The oio were there... it's hard not to see a 3 foot long fish that looks as big as your leg. Within minutes, Clay was hooked up, and line melted from the reel. The fish was already into the backing before I could crank the electric trolling motor into full speed and start chasing the fish. I don't care how good you are, a 6wt fly rod isn't designed for fish that big and strong. Fortunately it headed off the flats into the deep water of the lagoon. After about 15 minutes Clay landed the fish, just over 5 pounds. (lucky for him it was a small one)
Clay insisted I catch one, then we could go home. Within a few minutes, and with no expectation of ever landing one, I hooked a 10+ pounder. (any fish that breaks your line is over 10 pounds) I was well into the fly reels backing when the fish cut me off on some sharp coral or rock. Wow, What a rush.
Next time we go scouting for barracuda, I'm bringing my 8wt rod.
Clay with his 5+ pound Oio at the "Secret Spot"