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5 Tips When Poling For Bonefish

Poling for bonefish

Poling for bonefish is its own, unique experience. When you pursue bonefish on foot, accuracy and stealth are key. If you’re fishing from the boat and the push pole is being manned by your guide, you’ll experience a range of difficulties in terms of noise, boat speed and line-stripping. The following are five things you’ll need to do to ensure success.

Keep Quiet

Bonefish spook easily and they are really sensitive to noise. Don’t bang the cooler lid or drop gear on the boat bottom. Pick your feet up to prevent shuffling sounds and lower your voice. You should also take care to avoid rocking the boat back and forth while walking as this can transmit vibrations that scare the bonefish away.

Check out a recent post about this: Bonefish Fisherman: Silent Hunter of the Flats

Be Mindful Of The Speed of the Boat

Pay attention to how fast the boat is moving. Both wind and tidal currents can make the boat move a lot faster than you think it is. Your guide will do his best to stop the boat by using his pole as a balance point on the gunnel of the boat. Once your fly hits the water, immediately give it a sufficient strip for eliminating the slack.

Your Line Should Be Stripped Into The Middle Of The Boat

When you stand on the bow, your running line can be blown about in the wind and end up beneath your feet or in the water and get tangled on the trim tabs or all the way under the boat. After you’ve determined the amount of line that you can comfortably cast, strip your line into a clear area in the middle or floor of the boat. When a hefty bone fish starts to eat, having a line that can leave the boat quickly and without any obstructions is necessary.

Trust Your Guide

The experience and fine-tuned vision of your guide along with the additional height of the poling platform will make him the best person to spot casting opportunities. Avoid casting at the fish you see and instead, cast where your guide tells you to. You can trust him to put you on a big one.

Check our post on this subject: The Importance of Trusting Your Guide

Tend To The Line When You Aren’t Fishing

When you aren’t fishing, tend to the line. Only one person will be casting from the bow at any given time. Although he’ll likely be seated, the other bonefisherman has a very important responsibility: ensuring that the stripped off line is in a neat coil on the boat’s floor instead of wrapped around his flat boots, snagged on a bag or looped over the end of a rod. If you mind the line for others, you’ll get the same consideration in turn, once it’s your time to stand on the bow and make the shots.

Silence Is Golden

Bonefish spook easily and they are really sensitive to noise. Don’t bang the cooler lid or drop gear on the boat bottom. Pick your feet up to prevent shuffling sounds and lower your voice. You should also take care to avoid rocking the boat back and forth while walking as this can transmit vibrations that scare the bonefish away.

Check out a recent post about this: Bonefish Fisherman: Silent Hunter of the Flats

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