The last day
We are now at the end of my Aitutaki fishing journey. I didn’t thought initially, but I made an extra fishing day, especially due to the finally consistent weather with wind from the least problematic direction. And I couldn’t leave that paradise without another day with the hope for another good fishery. It says you should finish when it is the best so I wanted this feeling when leaving Aitutaki. I had this already once at Cuba, fishing for Tarpon. I lost a big one some days before and this was in my mind and It didn’t let me sleep. So I went for it and caught an even bigger Tarpon on the extra day. A big fish on the last day makes a trip totally perfect. So see what happened on Day #8 at Aitutaki.
Itu is available! I was fishing with Itu, and the confidence was high to get some nice and descent fish. Same question as every day. What do you want to fish for? GT!!!. Lets get a good one or fail trying. Itu headed outside directly for the southern reef. On the way there we came by some milky water, I haven’t seen before. A huge school of bonefish, maybe thousands. Itu saw the chance to grab some good ones out of the school. Since, still my intention was in sight casting we didn’t went into the milk for drifting over it but we aligned the boat in casting range aside of the milk and to spot fish coming out of the milk what didn’t took long. A fish came out and my fly landed close to him, thanks to the calm wind conditions. The water was very deeper there so the fly needed a while to sink. Two strips and the fish was attracted and a few more strips he was on. Some minutes later the first bonefish for this day, a good 7lbs bonefish, was landed.
And? The bonefish school was still there. They don’t spook once a fish is hooked up. But they spook if a fish come off. As long as the fish comes back also the school follows, once he escapes the school will do as well..
Monster bone. While waiting for another fish to come out something completely mind blowing happened. Thirty meters ahead of the boat a bonefish appeared on the surface heavy like 3 of them. I would have estimated him to at least 15lbs if not even 20lb. That fish was extremely huge, even at his distance I have seen it. I was immediately casting at him and tried to move the fly faster to let it look like a small baitfish but the fish didn’t had any interest. Slowly he moved further down the lagoon. That would have been the fish of a lifetime. But there was not time to shed any tears because the next bonefish came out of the milk, took my fly and made me a good fight. After that fish the school somehow spread so we decided to give the GTs a final chance.
Time for a heavier rod. We headed for the reef southerly of Aitutaki where we saw some nice fish in the past but never caught a single one. I can’t say whether this was the best choice but it was for sure also not the worst choice since we immediately saw some fish. We saw GT, unicorn fish and even a napoleon wrasse. Unfortunately for the moment nothing was very interested in my fly. But fish was there and confidence relied on the theory that sooner or later something will take the fly. The GTs behaved similar like many times before, pretty uninterested for the fly. They swam after it but that’s all. Also a fly change didn’t draw the GT out. We came across some very interesting spots. The GTs made me crazy. There is a difference in hunting for them but never come across of one or spotting them, and even some of them, and never made one to take the fly. Come on boys, just take my fly, only once. At least the bluefin trevallies had mercy with me. We spotted a pack attacking a coral. I placed the fly next to them and immediately they turned their intention towards my fly. From now on everything went completely in the wrong direction. I made everything wrong you can do when fly fishing for saltwater fish. A Trevally took the fly, but it was not a hard take, and I made the mistake to lift the rod instead of setting the hook by a stripe strike. In that moment the trevally put all his strength into the battle and …. BANG….. The 12 weight rod snapped on the handle section. Firstly I thought just the rod split but the tip of the handle section showed that it was broken in a half. I knew it, on every trip I killed a rod, so also this time. The fish, a bluefin trevally that killed my rod, I got him. I pulled him in on the fly line. A nice fish but with a bad final result.
And if that wouldn’t be enough some more trevallies showed up and even the GTs swam around like they wanted to say good bye. Bye Bye GTs, the spare rod was in the hotel. All chances to hook up a last GT were gone. And again did Murphy’s law became true. Once you have spare rods with you, you will never need it but once you leave it at home you need it.
So we tried our luck for bonefish. The day started good with them and it seemed they were in good mood. We tried again fishing at long island, Tekopua, and immediately at the start I hooked up a very descent fish. That fish was awesome. He pulled of my reel not less than 200 meters of backing. My arm did hurt a lot reeling in all that line. And he ripped line of the reel four more times of at least hundred meters of backing. That’s bone fishing. Finally a close to 10 pound bonefish showed up. This bone fish showed again how bone fishing on Aitutaki can be. And you can see how close heaven and hell can be.
But after that fish the mood of the bones changed. From now on they were ultra picky. We had really a lot of shots at them but they all refused the flies. They even swan towards it but completely ignored it once there, like they smelled the rat. As a last chance for this day Itu anchored the boat at a small Island, maybe 10 square meters in size. It was just a small sandy island. From there we went wade fishing to a channel in between to another island. A absolutely great spot and we came across of a good amount of bones. The sky was already completely cloudy and the wind raised but Itu had no problems in spotting fish. That would have been an advantage since the bones would also have troubles in seeing us but the same uninterested behavior continued. Not a single bonefish had any intention to take the fly. The sun was low and the day almost gone. Finally Petrus had mercy with me and there was one bonefish that took my fly, in the last minute. I couldn’t believe it. A fish was on. And the smallest of the whole trip. A baby bonefish But just my two cents. It was a fish!!! Sweet!
With that fish my fishing on Aitutaki ended and even if it seems that this day was rubbish but I had great fun with Itu, continuous action and some nice fish.
Next and last chapter: The conclusion
Have fun with some more pictures