When you’re on the flats fishing for bonefish, your target species is constantly swimming around. Yes, there are certain areas where you’re most likely to see fish, but you really never know when one is going to swim by.
Why not maximize your chances by always being ready? Yeah, that’s a really simple point, but if you think about how you spend your time on the flats, over the course of a fishing day you can add quite a few minutes when you’re ‘in the game’. Here’s what we mean.
When You’re On Foot
As soon as you hop out of the boat, strip off a reasonable amount of line. Get about a rod length of fly line out your rod tip and grab your leader. At this point you’ve got a chance if a fish swims by. Now, you can adjust your shoelaces and put your camera in your pocket and tell your buddy a joke and maybe even relieve yourself if necessary. Guess what – you just gained a couple of minutes of being in the game!
The same thing applies when you’re walking back to the boat – you never know when you’re going to see one. Don’t reel up your line unless you’re just about to hop in the boat and motor off. Why pass on 10 minutes of potential shots?
When You’re In the Boat
Guess what – same idea! Once the guide cuts the motor and hops up on the platform, the first thing you should do is have one angler step up onto the bow, strip off line and get the fly and leader sorted out. Only after you’ve got an angler ready should you get out the ‘cuda rod, crack open a Kalik, sort through your flies, clean off your glasses and apply more sunscreen.
…and you’ve probably figured out our last piece of advice. When you’re in the boat, stay ready until you’re just about to fire the engine and drive off.
More ‘ready time’ equals more fish.