There are many things you can do to increase your chances of catching bonefish off the flat you are fishing. And there is no better way to win a battle against the Grey Ghost than by getting into his mind. So let’s see four things bonefish hate, that should help you land more bonefish and effectively “beat” your adversary.
They react quickly to unnatural noises around them, so silence is golden. Your fly line tearing out of the water, hard shoes shuffling on a boat-deck, and empty bottle of Kalik tipping over…all these sounds spook bonefish. When they’re close, be quiet. While bonefishing, part of the adventure is that you’re in hunting and stalking mode and aware of every sound and noise your movements are making.
- Being handled
They prefer for you to pop the hook out without touching them, with NO handling and NO air exposure. If you do grab them, wet you hand well first, so not to rub-off their protective coating, get a good grip on the fish that will let you control him without injuring him. The best place to do this is just behind the pectoral fins and gill plates. Try to be quick and keep him out of the water only a few inches and as little as possible. Doing this will help with number 3 on our list…
- Being released near sharks or barracudas
Especially after a long fight. When you release a bonefish back into the flats, there are other things waiting to eat them. A bonefish survives because it swims faster and reacts quicker than the sharks and cuda’s trying to eat them, usually. A healthy bonefish will average 40 mph, while Cudas and sharks are hard pressed to swim at 25 mph. (In contrast, Michael Phelps won the gold medal in the 100m butterfly while going 4.37 mph) So enjoy the fight, try to handle him as little possible, and he may just cooperate to take someone else’s fly in the future.
- This blog
Oh, and the last thing bonefish hate is this blog! Yes, they hate the fact that we’re effectively telling you how to catch them.