If you are an avid fly fisherman and you enjoy fishing in saltwater, then you must have heard of bonefish. Known for their speed and agility in the water, bonefish are a popular sportfish that can offer a fun and challenging fishing experience. However, spotting them can be quite tricky for fly fishermen. In this article, we will go over some tips and tricks on.
First and foremost, it is important to know the habitat of bonefish. Typically, they can be found in shallow, clear water near the shorelines of flats, mangroves, and other structures. They tend to feed on crustaceans, small fish, and other organisms that can be found near the bottom of the ocean. With that said, if you are going to spot bonefish, you need to focus on finding the right habitat.
Once you have identified a suitable habitat, the next thing you need to do is to look for signs of bonefish activity. This can include seeing their tails, dorsal fins or even their shadows over the sandy bottom of the flat. Locating them in this way is known as “tailing”. However, tailing bonefish can sometimes be challenging to spot, as their tails are not always visible. In this case, you need to rely on other signs like fins breaking the water or even subtle movements in the water.
Another way to spot bonefish is by scanning the water’s surface. Look for spots where the water is disturbed or a slight bulge in the water. This likely indicates that a bonefish is feeding in that area, and this activity is referred to as “lipping”. If you see several bulges or disturbances, chances are there are multiple bonefish in that location, creating a feeding frenzy. This is where you want to start casting your fly.
Finally, it’s important to know what to look for in terms of water clarity and lighting conditions. You will find it easier to spot bonefish in clear water but overcast days with dull lighting can make it more difficult. Look for slightly darker areas on the flat, as this is often an indication of depth changes and channels. When the sun is shining bright and high in the sky, bonefish will create a visible dark patch that moves with them, which can give away their location.
Spotting bonefish for fly fishing requires close observation and patience. Taking the time to understand their habitat and movements, as well as knowing what to look for in terms of activity, water clarity and lighting conditions, can help you improve your chances of catching this elusive and exciting species. So next time you are planning a fly fishing trip for bonefish, be sure to keep these tips in mind and enjoy the thrill of the chase.