Tips & Techniques for Catching Bonefish in the Bahamas
Florida Keys and the Bahamas , offers the most incredible blue and green shadings of shallow water found anywhere in the world . Beautiful and rich, the crystal waters provide a refuge for plethora of shrimp, fish and small crabs that supply the food chains and are nourishment to foraging bonefish.
In the Florida Keys bonefish can grow very large and very intelligent. The fish are heavily pressured because of an easy access . Turtle grass bottom makes them difficult to spot, so learning the tricks in here , can be challenging. In the Bahamas, conversely is much less pressure , bonefish gather in large groups over white sand shallows where they are easier to reach. Success here in the Bahamas is much more likely and in only few days anglers with the right tool can expand their experience with knowledge to use towards successful bonefishing.
Bow as many shots as you can in here and work out the kinks so once you are in Islamorada and tailing 10 lbs bonefish just 70 feet off the bow you don’t buckle with pressure.
1. Anglers always discuss techniques to improve casting distance. Fish aren’t to spooky in the Bahamas, anglers usually need to make 30 foot presentation and sometimes even 10 foot.
Long casts are required in the Florida Keyes, but that doesn’t mean long casts are easy. If
you’re trying to cast a fly with 9 foot of leader and just 1 foot of fly line off the tip, can be
done only with quick, short and powerful strokes , this stop high on the backcast and low
on the forward cast.
2. Almost like the Miami Dolphins quarterbacks staring down a receiver, you cant really focus
on the fish you are trying to cast. Check the water, make sure your cast doesn’t land on
another fish, otherwise you blow out the whole school. There are so many bonefish in the
Bahamas and you will be surprised how often they occur.
3. If you don’t know what you are looking for, sight casting can be difficult. You need to look
for nervous water, shadow, tail fins, bonefish have very reflective scales that can mirror
their surroundings. Muds are areas of disturbing waters that tells you bonefish are actively
feeding. Fresh muds have more vibrant color than older muds, which makes the water look
pole and chalky as the sediment begins to settle.
4. Most anglers like to present flies with an overhead cast, but side arm cast are great during
heavy wind conditions, this allows anglers to punch the fly through the wind. In addition ,
during a glossy condition in the shallow water, side arm casts help you to get the fly
to land quiet, soft, unnoticed , since it falls with little energy.
5. There are a lot of DYI opportunities across all Bahamas Islands throughout the
archipelago, but hiring the respected local tour guide can be a big help. Looking for a fish in
unfamiliar shallows all by yourself can be challenging and unsuccessful . Abaco, Exuma,
Andros, Bimini, Cat Island, Grand Bahama and Long Island offers the best opportunities
for bonefishing year round.
6. When fish follow your fly and suddenly turns away, don’t think of changing the fly
out to initiate the strike. Your retrieve is more important whether you are fishing a
gotcha, pink puffs or Charlie mix it up with couple of long and steady strips, let the
fly drop, fallowing with quick , short strips.