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Bonefish 101

Thinking about getting to some warm environs and trying out bonefishing this winter? Here we will explore a few simple pointers that will help tremendously while breaking into this awesome chapter of the sport.

Before you go, you will want to purchase or borrow and 8-weight fast action fly rod, with a tropical floating fly line and 150-250 yards of 20-30# backing. Practice casting with this outfit until you are comfortable with the double haul and changing casting directions. Often times it is calm when bonefishing but many days provide the cover and challenge of windy conditions.

To avoid coral snags and such, keep the rod high and bent when bonefish run. Photo: A. Derr

It is important to hire a guide when starting out bonefishing. They can help you with fly selection, fish sighting and other timely advice. What follows is a simple video (from Red’s Fly Shop) that outlines some of the bonefishing basics that are required to be successful out on the flats.

Before you go, know how to:

  • Double haul cast in mild to moderate wind
  • Never trout set, always strip set (see video)
  • Tie a simple clinch knot for affixing flies
  • Bring 12# 9′-12′ bonefishing leaders and matching tippet.
  • Bring polarized glasses (copper or amber), sunscreen, long billed hat, forceps/pliers
  • Bring 9′ 8-weight fast action fly rod, floating line, reel with decent drag and backing

More on bonefishing…

 

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