Today’s topic is wading for bonefish.
Wading for bonefish is pretty simple at its core – you’re on foot, walking on a shallow tidal flat, looking for bonefish and casting when you see ’em. You arrived at the flat via skiff, but now it’s anchored up and you’re on your own. The most typical setup involves two anglers and a guide, with the guide walking between the anglers and helping them spot fish.
There are a number of situations in which wading for bonefish makes a lot of sense.
- The fish are in shallow water – maybe water that’s too shallow for a poled skiff.
- It’s windy, making it difficult to pole the boat effectively.
- The flat has a relatively hard bottom, making it possible to walk without sinking into mud/soft sand bottom/mucky turtle grass.
- The anglers prefer wading, because wading is fun!
Yes, some anglers prefer wading to poling. When you’re wading, both anglers can fish at the same time. Anglers on foot don’t have the benefit of a guide positioning the boat for the optimal shot, but finding and hooking bonefish on foot makes it feel a lot more like you ‘did it on your own’.
Stalking bonefish on foot can involve a little more strategy on the part of the angler. This is the fishing equivalent of hunting – each step might get you closer to that fish, but walking also makes noise so your moves need to be chosen carefully. The upside is that when you see that fish, walk wisely, make the right presentation and hook that fish…it’s a pretty darned gratifying experience.
We’re really fortunate at Andros South that we’ve got the benefit of hundreds of flats that are perfect for wading. Strap on those wading boots, polish up your glasses, wade quietly and give it to ’em!