Client Bernard Donges has recently returned from Turneffe Flats in…
We have just returned from an exciting trip away to New Caledonia, chasing big bonefish on the wild and remote flat systems in the north. Tony, who is joining us again next year reports….
I was lucky enough to spend eight days in beautiful New Caledonia with 5 days Bonefishing in the far north province, with the rest of our group from Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne and Auckland. It was my first trip to New Caledonia, and after a night in Noumea we ventured on our road trip through contrasting green mountain ranges and coastal roads to the top of the country which would be our base for the week.
After a minor mishap with a stingray during my very short morning swim, we ventured out and hit our first flat! It was huge and plenty of room to start searching for my first Bonefish in New Caledonia. I have fished Christmas Island and Los Roques previously, but was really keen to see how the New Caledonian bonefish compared.
It didn’t take long with two matching 8lb fish coming to hand, a PB for me, each one measured and weighed with a sling for the Fly Odyssey records before being released. Without doubt these are the best conditioned Bonefish I had ever seen, exceptionally wide across the back they were strong, powerful and great sport on the #8 weight. Richard also managed his first ever Bonefish weighing in at 7.5lb’s – not a bad first up effort! As the tide pushed in, the wind stepped up and rain clouds followed which were unfortunately with us for the next few days! We spotted and landed some fish however the conditions were very tough.
The evenings were spent in great company, with great food, wine and stories from other travellers who had made the journey north. As the weather eased towards the end of the week, and the sun came back out we made the journey to some very remote flats we had all been dreaming of. The flats were huge, and full of many big bonefish swimming around!
The final day proved to be very memorable and our best, with everyone catching solid fish. Fishing unguided throughout the day I had the best Bonefishing of my life with a 4, 7, 9 and 11lb Bonefish coming to hand as well as some solid Trevally which was a bonus. I probably saw 25+ bones that morning with the best sighted must have been 15lb’s + – I do believe this is surely the place to get a world record. We also spotted some big GT’s on the flats, but they were just out of range to make a cast to.
The guides, food, companion and accommodation were all of great quality and I cant wait to get back next year. Thanks to James and Fly Odyssey Australia for putting the trip together, its a wonderful destination – as long as you keep your boots on when swimming and dodge the stingrays!