Bonefishing the Third Trimester
By Amanda Kinsey
Amanda Kinsey is the Founder and Principal of Electric Yolk Media. She is a filmmaker, five-time Emmy Award winning producer and fourth-generation photojournalist. Prior to founding Electric Yolk Media in 2013, she spent over a decade writing and producing for NBC. Her professional work has included interviewing George Lucas, tracking down the real girl from Ipanema and shooting helicopter aerials over Santa Barbara. Amanda also holds an MBA from Columbia Business School. Amanda has supported SaraBella Fishing since its launch, and she celebrates “smart beautiful” in personal and professional aspects of her life. She resides in Brooklyn, with her husband and son. We are thrilled to publish her piece and incredibly thankful for all of her support!
Staring into a Bahamian flat is a little like looking into a martini glass. It’s gin clear, but there’s a certain shimmer that hints to the possibility of something more. For the martini, it’s most certainly vermouth. For the flat, it’s the uncertainty of bonefish. Is that a rock on the bottom or the shadow of a single fish?
Last spring, I found myself standing on the edge of a flats boat looking out into the sea for silver torpedoes. It was my second trip to Andros Island. The largest island in the Bahamas, it is also the least inhabited. My first trip was for my honeymoon in 2012. My husband, Alex, and I had come back now for a babymoon. We love the Bahamian beaches, food and culture. However, in both cases fly fishing for bonefish was our primary goal.
My pregnancy hadn’t been easy. Morning sickness had lasted through week twenty-two. It finally lifted the week before our trip to Andros. The promise of being out on the water with a rod was no doubt the antidote to my never-ending nausea. We were excited. Excited to be returning to a place we loved. Excited about our son we would soon meet.
I was also nervous. I wasn’t sure how well I could stomach being on a boat. I wasn’t sure how well I could cast, let alone set with my growing baby belly. I could barely see my toes. How could I possibly spot fish?
Our friend and local fishing guide, Solomon Murphy, took us out. Solomon had endeared himself to me on our first trip when no matter how I cast he quickly responded with “I can work with that” and then maneuvered the boat into an optimal position. The positive reinforcement worked and I found my casting dramatically improving with each try.
More than freshwater trout fishing, bonefishing is about the stalk. There is something very primal in the hunt, even though it is catch and release. There is also something incredibly calming in the quiet of the flats.
Our first morning out, we pole the waters for two hours looking for fish. And then we see them. It’s a small school. There are only five. My anxiety from earlier in the day suddenly disappears and I am in the moment. The awkwardness of my changing body is soon forgotten. I cast, I wait, I strip… strip…strip…SET! And I remember not to trout set! The bonefish begins a nice and powerful ride. As she darts faster and faster, something remarkable happens. My belly begins to move. My son, Conor, starts to respond to my adrenaline. Here we are, mother and son, catching our first fish together!
I didn’t land the bonefish, but it didn’t matter. Conor and I experienced our first outdoor adventure. We had enjoyed a passion for fly fishing that had brought my husband and I together and now we shared as a family. I couldn’t have been more thrilled.
My son was born this past summer and soon we will be celebrating my first Mother’s Day. I can’t wait to take him bonefishing in the Bahamas a few years from now. Maybe the next time around, I’ll be able to enjoy a martini.
To see Amanda’s work, go to: http://www.electricyolk.com/