I watched with fascination and admiration as my beautiful partner stalked her first ever bonefish in the crystal-clear flats not more than 200 yards from the Southern Cross Club on Little Cayman Island. Her tiny, soft plastic jig made a subtle splash to the right of an average “bone”, and his protruding tail seemed to make a quick pirouette toward the lure. The almost invisible fluorocarbon leader twitched, she deftly set the hook, and the bonefish streaked across the white sand at breakneck speed. The battle that followed included a number of powerful runs testing the light tackle drag and her muscles to the limit, but she and the reel endured…and won! She beamed with satisfaction from seeing and feeling the speed and power of such a gorgeous creature and knowing that she had finally conquered one of the elusive, streaking “grey ghosts of the flats!”
During a good part of the year, the fertile flats around Little Cayman Island offers one of the best chances in the world to catch a one-day, Flats Grand Slam that consists of a tarpon, bonefish and permit. The prime reason for this exceptional possibility is the great number of permit that feed on the flats bordering the nearby reef. As most inshore anglers know, the permit is always the hardest part of any Grand Slam. Several days of stalking the flats near the resort revealed a good number of opportunities to catch permit, but we failed in our attempts to land one. Because of a unique geographical phenomenon, tarpon are plentiful.
According to local residents, a long forgotten hurricane carved out a freshwater lagoon inside Little Cayman Island that is known as Tarpon Pond. It is the ideal nursery for these fish. Therefore, the entire body of water is teeming with smaller tarpon weighing up to more than 60 pounds. For beginning fly fishermen, it is the perfect opportunity to marvel at the aerial antics of a Silver King on the end of a fly or jig.
Even for a veteran fly caster, catching plenty of baby tarpon on a light flyrod or spinning tackle can be a blast! We were fortunate enough to spend one afternoon fishing in Tarpon Pond from the end of a narrow boarded walkway that passed through a shaded tunnel of overhanging mangrove limbs. Upon arriving at the end of the walkway, we could see a great number of tarpon surfacing and gulping air within casting distance, so our adrenaline was pumping! Action in the next hour or so was fast and furious. Though none of our catches exceeded 10 pounds, landing more than a dozen smaller Silver Kings on light tackle in such a short time was extremely exciting! Far too soon a brilliantly colored horizon provided by a gorgeous sunset signaling the end of another fabulous fishing day on Little Cayman Island!
Little Cayman offers plenty of other inshore and offshore fishing possibilities for any age and all skill levels, and the Southern Cross Club provides excellent, professional guides to fulfill any desire. The fishing opportunities are truly fantastic, and the diving around Little Cayman is among the world’s finest! For more information, visit this web site: http://www.southerncrossclub.com
Few places still exist on this planet where locks are not necessary and you can walk on a beach all day without encountering another soul. Little Cayman Island is just such a magical place, and like others who have ventured here in the past, we found special qualities that made us reluctant to leave. Now when the stress of life tries to take over, I close my eyes, picture the soft greens and blues of the island and the sea, have visions of dancing tarpon and streaking bonefish, and drift off for awhile into memories of my time in a lost paradise just south of Cuba.