When you’re out there walking a flat looking for bonefish, don’t forget to look behind you every once in a while!
If you’re set up well on a flat with the sun behind you and you’re following our tips for spotting bonefish, you’re going to spending most of your time looking down the flat in front of you where the visibility is good. That’s great – that’s where you’re going to see most of your fish – but the problem is that fish can swim up behind you too.
Bonefish are constantly swimming and when they move in (or out) with a tide to feed, they’re generally moving in one direction – in or out. But generally moving in one direction doesn’t at all mean constantly moving the one direction! They mill around a lot, moving with the current, then turning around to feed into the current, moving up onto a flat, then heading off into a channel. When you add up all those movements they’re slowly moving with the tides, but at any given time they could be swimming in any direction.
Look Behind You
So hopefully most of the bonefish on the flat that you’re working are going to be swimming towards you – that means you’re set up well. But it’s really likely that at some point a fish is going to swim up behind you. This is one of the more frustrating experience for the angler wading for bonefish – a fish swims up behind you, seemingly out of nowhere, then spooks and blows out of there before you have time to take a shot.
You’re never going to catch all those sneaky ones behind you, but you can definitely catch some of them. When you’re walking down the flat and you get yourself into a ‘wading trance’, don’t forget that every once in a while – maybe every minute or two – you should scan the flats behind you for bonefish headed your way.