After the slam (and some pretty great permit fishing) on the first day, we remained in Placencia for another day before we went to Punta Gorda. We all felt that good things could happen.
At the first stop, I waded after a pair of tailing fish with Michael while he fished, and while the casts he made were good they were slightly short–a tough combination when the fish look dorsal-buried in the ground. After these fish left we did as well, heading to the spot where I had caught my permit the day before. As soon as we pulled up, the tails were up and waving. Michael got out of the boat with Eworth, and I held on to the vessel while they took off after the tailing masses. I watched for an hour as they continued after the school, again coming up short (or too far to the right or left) each time.
We left this flat for a place that holds a special place in my past. Thirteen years ago, when I first fished Placencia, I had my introduction to difficult tarpon fishing at a local mangrove island. We arrived there in a short boat ride, and I was ready to make good on the promise of drying one off that I’d been unable to keep so many years ago. The fish were there and difficult, but I was able to use some new tricks in my bag to put two of them in the air: Michael snapped this picture of what felt to me quite great:

Neither of these fish stayed connected, and after we left there it was time to tarpon fish more. I had a growing vendetta, and as Michael had most of the permit shots in the morning he allowed me to continue my focus. He did, on Eworth’s recommendation, strip out a permit rod while we were tarpon fishing. This turned out to be a great call, as a tailing school popped up inside the tarpon flat before I even had a shot at a tarpon. They spooked from the boat, but quickly returned to the flat behind us. We were there in short order, and on Michael’s second cast to the school he hooked one. Avoiding the too-tight grip that cost him his fish the day before, he cleared the permit to the reel and in no time had the fish by the boat, where it was lifted and photographed before we let it go:

Two days in, and we had two permit (Michael’s first) and a grand slam on our board.

More to come from part three when I submit it.

nat