Way back in the ancient year of 2012, we reminded you that sometimes the key to catching bonefish is not necessarily doing everything especially well, rather avoiding the things that bonefish hate most instead.
Well, it turns out there a few other things that bonefish hate.. Avoid these and you’re apt to catch more fish.
Three (More) Things Bonefish Hate
- Shadows. Birds make shadows, and birds eat bonefish. Thus, always being aware of where your shadow is being cast is important to avoid spooking fish. One thing that separates good anglers from great anglers, is that great anglers are always cognizant of the position of the sun. Casting sidearm to avoid projecting a long shadow over the flats with your rod, or always presenting the fly to the shadow-side of the fish are two examples to eliminate a spooky shadow overhead.
- Funny Smells. Bonefish rely heavily on their extremely good sense of smell to find food. Therefore, there’s no doubt in our mind that foreign smells can deter an already wary fish. Sunscreen, head cement, cologne (leave it at home fellas), or even tobacco residue from your hands (just ask our pal, Ed Garcia) could turn off a potentially willing bonefish. Do we know for sure? Of course not. But the fix is simple, at the start of the day, rub your fly (and hands while you’re at it) in the sand/mud on the bottom. That way, your fly will smell like the bottom from the start, and you can be confident smell won’t be a factor.
- Salad. Bonefish are carnivorous (duh), and there’s a good chance that the majority of their prey doesn’t come with a garnish. Thus, fishing a fly with the slightest piece of turtle grass, algae, or other debris, is generally not a good idea. Bonefish feed primarily on or near the bottom, making choosing the right weight of the fly important in order to flirt with the bottom, without hanging up on it. However, hanging up from time to time is inevitable, and picking up small pieces of debris in the process happens. Check your fly often, and if you spot a piece of salad on there, pull it off! Trust us on this one, bonefish don’t like salad.