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How To Catch A Bonefish

There are many tips and techniques that will help any angler increase their chances of catching a bone… Here are 3 very important steps we suggest you take.

Step 1: Contact your Guide
Believe it or not, your guide is an important piece of the puzzle and should be someone that you communicate with prior to packing for the big fishing trip. Listen to your guide. (Contact us if you don’t have a Guide and we’ll do our best to match you up with one).
Step 2: Bringing the Appropriate Gear 
Ask your guide what leader length and strength is appropriate, and get a handle on what flies he prefers. If you can’t contact him before your trip, bring an 8-weight floating line; for sure take a 9-weight if you’re just fishing the Keys, or a 6- or 7-weight for the Yucatan and Belize.

Your line has to be a tropical one; bonefish-specific tapers are best. Leaders should be about 10 feet, tapering from a heavy butt of about .025 inches to 10-15 pound test, again depending on where you’re going. Recommending specific flies for an unknown locale is a fool’s errand, but we’re not afraid of such tasks, so here goes: We would never be without some spawning shrimp patterns; crabs; and Clouser Deep Minnows tied in Gotcha colors (pink thread, white underwing, pearl Krystal Flash or Polar Flash in the middle, a tan overwing, and lead eyes). Each of these flies should be tied in a variety of weights; sink rate is generally more critical than actual pattern. Keep in mind that bonefish flats seem always to be windy. You have to do your quick, accurate and long casting in the wind if you’re going to be consistently successful.
Step 3: The Catch

  • Finding the fish & spotting the fish
  • Quickly cast your fly – At times, getting your fly into a 10′ circle will work, if you take the ‘quickly’ part seriously
  • Strip Set – These are strong fish with hard mouths. Raising your rod to set the hook doesn’t usually work – Strip, every time.

Bonefish are strong and they’ve got hard mouths.  Raising your rod to set the hook doesn’t work – you have to strip set, every time.  Simple as that.
A few additional pointers: 
(For everything you need to know about Bonefish visit: http://www.flyfishbonehead.com/flyfishbonehead-bonefish/)
*Remember that you have to do your quick, accurate and long casting in the wind if you’re going to be consistently successful. So we suggest:

  • Get a good casting book or video; or better yet
  • Hire an instructor
  • Always practice before you go

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