This was a special fish for me. I’m actually not much of a cuda guy but this fish was asking for it. He had a really small home range as far as I could tell. It seemed like he would only travel a two-mile stretch. This line coincided with my daily bonefish commute. I would always see him traveling over the shallows and pinging or laying up on the various troughs and sinkholes in between the flats.

He definitely was a creature of habit and had various honey holes that he worked on different conditions. There was this one sinkhole in particular that bordered a little horseshoe flat that holds a small population of big bones from 7-10 lbs. On this flat, I’ve had two clients’ bonefish get t-boned by this cuda on separate occasions.

Anyway, I had a client cancelation that morning and decided to go for a quick fish. I poled the boat in from a ways out before anchoring up current of the sinkhole. You have to be stealthy with cudas on fly. I’ve found that once they know you’re around they develop lockjaw and are a big tease circling the boat. Once anchored I swung a big streamer on a strong low outgoing tide through the main seam. I couldn’t see the cuda but I hooked him a couple of casts in.

Once he was airborne I immediately knew he was the one! After seeing this cuda for two or so years I was amazed that I never saw him again post-release. He either got wise or he packed his bags and left…who knows…Paybacks a bitch!

Article from Capt. Will Vallely (@bonefishunlimed), a flats fishing guide in the Turks and Caicos Islands. To get in touch with him you can email him at

The Wolf of the Flats


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.