For many anglers starting off bonefishing, the hardest part isn’t making long casts or fighting the fish – it’s being set up properly to make a fast presentation when a shot presents itself. If you’re fishing from the boat, keep these tips in mind so you’re ready when you need to be.
- Take off your shoes and make sure you’re not stepping on your fly line. Many a shot has been blown by anglers who didn’t realize they were standing on their fly line. Bare feet are critical, as is just paying attention to your stripped-off line.
- Strip off an amount of line you can reasonably cast. Then pull off another strip or two. This will ensure that your cast doesn’t fall short if you need to make a long shot. Be reasonable though – having too much line stripped off just increases your risk of tangles when shooting line.
- Dump your line and then strip it back into the middle of the boat. If you simply strip line off your reel into a pile in the boat, your coils will be lying the wrong direction – as you lengthen your cast, coils will pull up from the bottom of the pile, again increasing your risk of tangles. Pull the line off your reel, make a long cast, and then strip the line back in. Now the coils will pull off the top of the pile, and you’ll be much happier when shooting line.
- Keep a rod length’s worth of line outside your rod tip. You need to have enough line outside your tip that your rod is somewhat loaded when you start casting, but much more than a rod length can be hard to control when you’re standing on the deck.
- Hold your leader just above the fly. This will ensure that the fly drops smoothly when you start casting. Also the less contact your fly has with sunscreen, sweat and this morning’s breakfast, the better – bonefish don’t like scents that they’re not used to.