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Subscriber Matthew Capofredi is pleased with a day of guided bonefishing in Turks and Caicos that he shared recently with another angler in order to moderate the cost. He and the other angler he linked up with via TripAdvisor fished with Will Vallely of Bonefish Unlimited (www.bonefishunlimitedturksandcaicos.com) this past March, landing three bonefish between them and losing several others. Capofredi says the bonefish he caught was his first ever. He writes:
“My family and I have vacationed in Turks and Caicos for a number of years, but I have been hesitant to book a bonefish charter due to the high cost of going out by myself. My in-laws decided to join us on this trip, so I booked a half-day trip with Will Vallely at Bonefish Unlimited for myself and my father-in-law. Will was very responsive to all of my e-mail questions. A few days before my trip, I noticed a post on TripAdvisor by an angler who wanted to share a full-day bonefishing charter. Since I would be bringing all my gear, I figured another day on the water would be great. So, I responded to the post and found out that this person had actually booked Will as well. Coincidentally, his booking was the day before my original trip was scheduled. I decided to share the trip with the stranger from TripAdvisor!
“Will picked us both up right at our respective hotels exactly on time and we were on the water shortly thereafter. Will is a very knowledgeable and professional guide with a nice flats boat. As for my new fishing mate, he turned out to be great. We continue to correspond as I write this. At any rate, we started fishing in Middle Caicos, which is about an hour run from Providenciales. Our first stop was a flat out in the open, where we more or less killed time waiting for the tide to get right. At that point, we went into the mangroves and were soon into fish. Will was able to place the boat strategically in the mangroves so we could get shots at the bonefish as they worked their way through the many channels in the flats. We had many shots throughout the day, thankfully most of them short, because the wind was a bit of a problem. I ended up landing one fish and losing three others. My fishing partner landed two, one of which was a very nice fish.
“Will was a very patient guide. He didn’t scold us for any mistakes that resulted in spooked fish, which I understand is fairly common practice among bonefishing guides. This was nice, as I get yelled at enough at home and work! In the afternoon, the wind picked up to 20 miles per hour and the clouds began to build. This slowed the fishing way down. Will worked very hard to pole the boat against the tide and wind to put us into some tailing fish, but we couldn’t cast well enough to get our fly to them.
“At the end of the day, I told Will that my scheduled partner for the next day was an older gentleman who is more of a fair-weather-type fisherman than I am, so we decided to check the weather before we headed out. Will called me the next day exactly when he said he would. At that point, he had already spoken to other guides on the water. Based on the conditions, Will thought it would be a very difficult day, so we decided to cancel. I think most other guides would have pushed to get us out on the water to avoid a day without pay, but Will really seemed to understand my concerns for my fishing partner. I was disappointed not to get back out there but very happy that Will made the correct call. I will definitely fish with him again in Turks, and in Nantucket, where he spends his summers.”
Don Causey Note: Capofredi does not give the cost of his day of fishing, but the Bonefishing Unlimited website indicates that Will charges $500 for a half day of fishing (four hours) and $850 for a full day (eight hours). As for Vallely’s trips on Nantucket, he tells us he offers flats fishing for stripers through a company called Squaretail Outfitters (www.squaretailoutfitters. com). We’re intrigued by Capofredi’s note about linking up with an angler on TripAdvisor. Has anyone else done that? Would anyone like to see The Angling Report create a trip-sharing service? We’ve floated that idea before but interest was limited. Have high costs changed anyone’s mind? Write: [email protected].