If you have ever said you enjoy the ‘hunting’ aspect of fishing, odds are you would love wading for bonefish. Many of our guests at Andros South love to wade flats in search of cruising bones. Our flats on South Andros are vast and offer a great opportunity to catch fish on foot.
If you headed out on foot for bonefish, try a few of these tips to increase your chances. We gave our first 5 tips on wading for bonefish on the blog back in 2009 – make sure to check out those fundamentals as well!
Wading for Bonefish – 5 More Tips
- Find That “Happy” Depth. As bonefish cruise a flat in search of food, the majority of them seem to travel through water of similar depth. Odds are this is the depth they feel the least vulnerable to predators. As you start spotting fish, take note at the depth of the water you are standing in. Is it knee high, shin high, or maybe just barely over your boots? Find this “happy” depth and follow it until you get tired of casting at fish!
- Stop and Survey. Don’t feel that you have to be moving all the time to find fish. Bonefish are almost always on the move, and may come to you instead. Make sure to take a breather now and then and study the water around you. This is especially important on flats that do not have a uniform white sandy bottom. If wading on a flat with varying bottom structure or color, stop and survey the water before marching through it. You will spook far less fish by doing so.
- Look to the Sky. Take notice as to what the clouds are doing as you are wading. If a cloud rolls by and the lights go out, take a look to determine what you should do. If the cloud is small and appears to be moving fast enough to pass on by, hold your ground and wait it out. There’s no use in marching through water you can’t see as well in! As the sun comes back out, by holding your ground, you may even find fish coming to you. However, if the lights go out and it looks like you might be waiting forty five minutes for sunshine, take the hand you’re dealt and keep fishing.
- Don’t Look Where You Can’t See. This sounds obvious enough but we all do it. As you scan the water for fish, focus the majority of your attention the water you can actually see through. Don’t waste your time staring into the glare line of the sun as you scan. Furthermore, if there is a decent wind chop on the water or low light on a given day, focus your attention close in to where you could actually spot fish, not where you would ‘hope’ to spot fish.
- Look Behind You. As you are wading, make sure to occasionally check behind you for fish. As anglers, we tend to assume that the fish will be moving in one direction (especially if used to fishing in moving water). However, it might be just as likely that fish are moving behind you as they are in front. In fact, often times bonefish will travel back and forth on a certain path of a flat. This path could very well be running towards you from behind. Take an occasional look behind you- you might be surprised!