In fisheries like ours on South Andros, a sturdy pair of flats boots are a really, really good idea whenever fishing for bonefish on foot. Some of our flats are really long, taking hours to cover, and protecting your feet is really important.
However, when fishing from the boat we tend to recommend that our guests leave the boots in the boat until its time to go for a walk. We’re not talking about comfort here – although barefoot in the Bahamas does sort of go together like peanut butter and jelly.. Fishing barefoot from the bow can actually lead to more bonefish to hand, here’s how.
- Feel the line underfoot. Many shots at bonefish are blown by stepping on the excess fly line lying on the bow of the boat. Fishing barefoot makes it easy to tell when your line is underfoot, meaning less things to go wrong when its go time.
- Less noise. Bonefish can be pretty spooky at times. So much that the slightest noise or vibration can send an otherwise happy bonefish running for cover. Clunky boots are noisy on the deck of a flats boat, bare feet aren’t. See our point?
- Better balance. We say it all the time, but being able to present your fly quickly and accurately is far more important than being able to chuck a long line. Things happen fast on the flats and that means that staying athletic on the bow is extremely important. We find that most of our guests are more stable on the bow in bare feet than they are in a pair of rigid flats boot, making them ready to act quickly when a shot presents itself.
We know what some of you are thinking.. What about sunburn? Or pesky doctor flies? Some of our long-time guests at Andros South like to wear a light pair of wading socks while on the deck to keep the flies off and their feet from becoming crispy, while still offering the advantages listed above.