A while back we presented you with 5 tips for targeting bigger bonefish. We have a feeling a few of you out there like the idea of catching big bonefish, which is why today we’re coming at you with..
5 (More) Tips for Bigger Bonefish
- Land Your Fly Close. As the old adage goes, big fish don’t get big by being stupid, and many anglers agree that by landing the fly close, a larger (and likely wiser) fish has less time to inspect the fly before eating it. Furthermore, when other fish are around, smaller fish tend to beat larger fish to the fly. Thus, presenting the fly closer to larger fish, gives the big boy a better chance of hopping on.
- Be Patient. Big fish often require a precise presentation. Therefore, its crucial to wait for the best shot possible for the situation at hand. All too often we hear stories shots blown at big fish, because the angler attempted a long cast the second he spotted the fish. Remember, if you spot a fish closing in at 70-80 feet away, there’s a good chance he’ll be 40-50 feet away in a matter of seconds. Be patient, and wait for the best shot possible.
- Fish the Ocean Side. There’s a huge amount of crossover here, and we’re not kidding when we say we’ve seen huge fish landed on all areas of our fishery. However, we find the majority of our largest fish of the year generally come from expansive flats located nearest the ocean side of our island (like the infamous ‘West Side’ of Andros) or flats in close proximity to deeper water. If big fish is your prerogative, fishing near deeper water is probably a good idea.
- Set It and Forget It. We see many large fish lost from holding onto the the line for too long after the hook set. It takes but a fraction of a second for fish in the 7+ pound rage to change direction with tippet breaking force, and contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take a lot of force to bury a sharp hook in a bonefish’s lip. Therefore, once you feel the fly stop during the strip, have confidence the fly is set, and begin focusing on clearing line. Those who doubt whether the hook was set well enough, often hold on to the line a split-second too long resulting in a break off.. A heartbreaking one at that.
- Fish the Ugly Days. It goes without saying, but fair-weather fisherman generally don’t catch big fish on a regular basis. The flats reward those who get after it regardless of the weather. In fact, we’ve lost count of the number of huge bonefish we’ve seen come to hand in the ugliest of conditions. We’re not absolutely sure, but we think there’s a correlation between cooler water temperatures stirred up from unsettled water and big fish. Fish the ugly days with confidence and you might be surprised what comes along.