Big bonefish, we’re talking fish-of-a-lifetime ‘big,’ can run far.. Really far. After all, their ability to take hundreds of yards of backing is a huge part of what makes the opportunity to tussle with one so rewarding.
Unfortunately, when it comes to fighting big fish the fact remains; the farther they run, the more difficult they are to keep on for two reasons:
- The further the fish is from your position, the more difficult it is to apply adequate pressure on the hook hold.
- The further away the fish becomes, the more gradual the angle of your fly line and/or backing becomes as well, increasing the risk of rubbing against shallow water obstructions such coral heads, sand dunes, sea sponges, etc.
In most instances, we recommend holding your ground when fighting bonefish. This is largely due to the fact that its not uncommon to hook multiple fish from the same position on South Andros, and tromping all over a flat while fighting a fish is a great way to spook a whole bunch of fish you might have also had a shot at.
That being said, if you’re hooked up to a really big fish, like that fish-of-a-lifetime, we believe in an entirely different approach.. Chase him down!
Following your fish (while also maintaining line tension) is a great way to reduce long distance break-offs. Not only does it allow you to close the gap between you and your fish quicker, but it also steepens the angle of your fly line that could find an obstruction, especially in shallow water.
So, the next time you find yourself hooked up to a fish-of-a-lifetime, chase him down. Need a place to find a fish-of-a-lifetime? We can help with that too.