PERMIT – A photo essay to end the year
This photo essay was kindly provided by FlyCastaway: http://vimeo.com/55252589
Baby permit: A permit is a permit is a permit! Juveniles are as nervous as adults, often forming small shoals sitting on cruising stingrays. This fish couldn’t resist a fleeing crab.
A momentous occasion; studying a trophy permit for the first time.
Rubbery lips. These fish have soft lips, but are mostly hooked deep in the mouth when the fly is sucked in towards the crushers in the back of the throat where the hard carapace of crustaceans is crushed before swallowing…their version of chewing.
Two in a row! Arjen Mulkheiser’s second permit came from one of the most productive permit areas on St Brandon’s called “Me Julies”. The fish was sitting in the current holding a stationary pose like a trout. Arjen expertly swung the fly past the fish and it just couldn’t help itself pouncing onto the tan colored Merkin.
Note the ridge. The forehead of this young adult seems as though moulded.
Free swimming permit; a sight to make any angler’s knees go jelly.
Trophy permit. Frans Brewis stalked this fish and had multiple shots at it for more than 30 minutes before it eventually ate the tan Merkin. Patience is the keyword when fishing for permit.
Dorsal display. As they grow bigger the colours become bolder. Adult fish have very distinct dark yellow and almost black dorsal fins.
The moment of truth – a hooked permit about to be landed. This fish was hooked early on a pushing tide, it snuck up on us from the channel in the background to come feeding on the broken turtle grass patches which line the edge of the channel.
Yellow markings. Jeremy with his second fish of the day, note the yellow markings on the nose and the very dark anal and tail fins, a sure sign it’s a trophy!
Little critter. One day whilst having lunch this molding crab came floating past. They periodically shed their hard carapace when they grow too big for them and then for a short time they have a “soft shell” before it hardens into the new carapace. Permit love eating them.
Solitary permit. A lone permit breaks the surface as the fish dips to feed on something on the bottom.
Picture perfect. Luigi Naglia (Italy) about to land a beautiful, trophy permit. It seldom happens that a permit is captured on ‘powder-white sand’; they tend to be very tricky in this environment.
“Dead tide”. During the lull between tides, permit fall back into the lagoons where they hide amongst the coral bommies. Being super inquisitive fish they often come swimming up to the skiff. Catching them at this time, however, can be difficult and hugely frustrating to anglers and guides.