New anglers have a lot to learn when it comes to approaching bonefish with stealth. Bonefish are among the easiest fish to spook. They are also highly vigilant and very much cognizant of changes in their environment. That being said, there’s a lot that must be done to disguise your efforts to get up close. Beyond learning the best casting techniques and being ever-mindful of sounds on the boat bottom, you also have to account for the incredible sense of smell that all bonefish inherently possess.
Why Scent Is So Important
Like loud and unfamiliar sounds, new scents represent potential danger. This is especially important to keep in mind when fishing for double digit bones. The impressive girth of larger bonefish can usually be attributed to their intelligence and their instinctive ability to use evasive action to avert disaster. Understanding this, if you’ve had an especially fragrant breakfast, even a small bit of bacon grease on your fingertips can diminish your chances of an impressive catch when it happens to get on your fly. Even if you’ve had an incredibly light and oil-free breakfast, you have to consider the sunscreen, body lotion and any other personal care products that you’ve used and that might transfer their scent onto anything you touch.
Rub Your Fly In The Sand To Make It Blend In
The good news is that you don’t have to forgo breakfast or head out to the flats absent of protective sunscreen. You simply need to make your fly smell like it should. Grab a small handful of sand and roll your fly around in it. The rubbing motion will eliminate all other smells while infusing the fly with scents that bonefish can recognize and trust. The entire process will take just a few minutes and it can spare you hours of missed opportunities and frustration.