Don’t want to catch a bonefish? Pick one or more of these simple tips and you’ll be not catching fish in no time!
- Wear wading boots in the boat. If you’re casting from the boat and you’re wearing shoes of any kind, you won’t know if you’re standing on your fly line. Always, always, always go barefoot when fishing out of the boat so you can feel your line if it’s underneath your feet.
- Use a fly that’s too heavy for the water you’re fishing. At Andros South, we chase bonefish in really skinny water. Use that lead-eyed fly that’s designed for deep water in the Florida Keys, and you’re guaranteed to scare the crap out of a bonefish in 6 inches of water.
- Look only at the fish you’re casting to. Most bonefish like to travel together, and if there’s a fish between you and your target, you’re going to line him and they’ll all spook. Scan the area between you and your target before you cast.
- Cast too far. If you’re properly set up on a flat, most of the fish you encounter will be swimming towards you. If you cast too short, just leave it and that fish just might swim right up to your fly. If you cast too long…you line ’em and you might as well take a seat.
- Don’t pay attention to your stripped-off line. If you’re in the boat, your line should be neatly piled on the deck or on the bottom of the boat. If you’re wading, your line should be looped behind you in the water. If your excess line is wrapped around your buddy’s boat bag, or underneath the boat, or around a cleat or a hinge, or snagged on a mangrove shoot, well, you might hook him but you’re not going to catch that fish. So pay attention to your stripped-off line.
Got any firsthand input on more ways to not catch a bonefish? Leave a comment and help us all out!