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Giving it Your Best Shot

 

When sight-fishing for shallow, salt water species like bonefish, permit and tarpon on a fun-in-the-sun vacation getaway a certain inconvenient truth quickly hits you. You will be spending far more time NOT fishing than actively casting a line. As your flats guide quietly polls the boat over the dazzling sandy expanses in less than a metre of water, searching the glare for a ghostly shadow.

As the fish are constantly in motion searching the skinny water for crustaceans, the flats fly-angler spends a lot of time with his fly hanging limply from his hand and fly-line coiled at his feet then waving his rod. So when the shout from the polling platform finally comes the cast - or "shot" as it’s called in flats fishing - must be quick and accurate to a target that’s all but invisible to inexperienced vacationing eyes. So don’t mess it up.

Searching the flats for a cruising bonefish.

Searching the flats for a cruising bonefish.

The best way to prevent a wreck is preparation. Make sure there is ample line beyond the rod tip to load the rod efficiently. You will only get one, maybe two, false casts max to intercept the cruising bone. Assure the line coils are loose to prevent binding in the rod guides and a blown opportunity. Also be aware of any bolts, stow handles or cleats on the casting deck to tangle the line. And whatever you do, do not step on the line.

If you do get a take, do not, repeat DO NOT, "trout-set" the fly by raising the rod tip. Because you will likely get yelled at and double the humiliation by probably losing the fish as well. Get used to the hook-placing technique called the "strip set", imprint it on your brain, practice it at home before boarding the aircraft.

Once the hook is set the last place the bonefish wants to be is on that flat and chances are it will run right into your backing. Stepping on the line will trigger a break off. So will not clearing the line and letting it wrap around the reel handle. And a rapidly spinning reel handle can become a lethal weapon when it comes in contact with a knuckle. So stay safe, be prepared and give it your best shot.


Previous Fishing Tips & Facts

(1) Staying in Touch

(2) Consider a Longer Tippet

(3) Run and Gun

(4) Casting

(5) Up a Muddy River

(6) The JawJacker Catches Fish

(7) Getting into Fly Tying

(8) Giving it Your Best Shot

(9) The Raven

(10) Taking out the little ones

(11) Down Stream Dry Fly Fishing

(12) Fishing Streamers

(13) Fishing Streamers

(14) Fishing Streamers

(15) Barbless Hook Blues

(16) Salt Water Fly Lines

(17) April: The Last Ice Hurrah for Ice

(18) What are your boating needs

(19) Keeping It All Together

(20) To Jig or not to Jig, that is the question

(21) The Strip Strike

(22) Sticks and Stones

(23) Fly tackle for new waters

(24) Fish imitating flies are prime for trout

(25) Float Fishing Hoppers

(26) Setting the Hook

(27) Backcountry Fishing

(28) Rigging Foams and Boxes

(29) Securing Shiners

(30) Precision Mending

(31) The JawJacker - A fish catching machine

(32) Optimal performance boundaries

(33) 90 Per Cent of the Fish

(34) Heavy Line for the Big Fish

(35) Go Small and go Natural

(36) Fishing the Foam Line

(37) Trip Planning Tips

(38) The Seven-Year Twitch

(39) What is that Shiny Silver Fish

(40) The Art of Mending

(41) A well-stocked Fly Box

(42) Weight Forward vs. Double Taper Fly Lines

(43) The Evening Walleye Shift

(44) On the Fly

(45) Memories Aren't Made of This

(46) Selecting the right fly

(47) Road Trips

(48) The Roll cast

(49) Fly-fishing for Pike

(50) Walleye Tip

(51) Mountain Lakers

(52) Hints For Dry Fly Success

(53) Survival Strategies For The Silly Season

(54) Local Advise

(55) It's A Pink Year

(56) Ice Fishin Safety

(57) Third World Travel

(58) Casting Angles

(59) The Rocky Mountain Whitefish Rig

(60) Using Sinking Leaders

(61) The Pike Fisherman's Vest

(62) Walleye Tips

(63) Trophies Are In The Eye Of The Beholder

(64) The Right Tool For The Job

(65) Respect The Weather - Expect The Weather

(66) Approach

(67) Gearing Up For Ice Perch

(68) Do It Yourself Excersions

(69) Shots

(70) Atlantic Salmon Fishing Techniques

(71) Fishing Etiquette In Crowded Conditions

(72) Swinging Caddis Flies

(73) Selecting a Fishing Rod

(74) Pike Angling Retrieves

(75) Detecting The Strike

(76) Unmatch The Hatch

(77) Off The Grid Air Travel

(78) Practise

(79) How Deep Are They Biting?

(80) Netting and Landing Your Fish

(81) Texas Travel Tips

(82) Quick Tips for Triggering Strikes

(83) Be the Last Man Standing

(84) Water Temperature & Trout

(85) Visiting Reindeer Lake

(86) Stillwater Stratagems

(87) Those Crazy Cohos!

(88) Leaders & Tippets

(89) Big Water Strategies

(90) Small Stream Stealth

(91) DO I GET UP EARLY?

(92) ACCESSIBLE PLACES TO FISH

(93) Travelling Angler Tips

(94) Choosing The Right Fly

(95) They come out at Night - Our Friends that is

(96) Fishing at Night

(97) Having Troubles Catching fish?

(98) Having Troubles Finding Fish?

(99) Stay Skinny To Catch Fish

(100) Tips For Fishing With Kids

(101) The Wonderful Woolly Bugger

(102) Wading Safely

(103) Double Your Fun

(104) More About The Red River

(105) Rookie Rod Buying Tips

(106) Hook Sharpening

(107) Going Light

(108) Hopper - Dropper Rigs

(109) Tips For Buying A Pontoon Boat

(110) Fishing Tips and Facts for Sturgeon

(111) Three Flies to Live by

(112) Reading Rise Forms

(113) Tips and Facts for Early Season Success

(114) A Fly for All Seasons

(115) Ice Shelters – Seeing is Believing

(116) Effective approaches to working small streams

(117) Unburdening the Travelling Angler

(118) 5 Flies for Anyones Fly Box

(119) Road Trips

(120) Dry Flies for High & Dirty Water

(121) Tips For Dealing With Biting Bass

(122) Summertime and the Fishin’ Ain’t Easy

(123) Depth and Light

(124) Rigging Large Dry Flies

(125) Best Rod for Spring Angling

(126) Stream Etiquette for Floaters

(127) Tackling Whites Through the Ice

(128) Angling Tips for Finding Books

(129) Winter Smart Open Water Angling

(130) Fall Primer for Pike

(131) Packing Tips

(132) Tips and Tackle for the High Country

(133) Hunt them Shallow

(134) Polarized Sunglasses
The smart anglers’ advantage.

(135) Fishing Tips for Early Season Flyrodding

(136) Know Your Knots

(137) Alternative Thoughts about Ice Fishing

(138) Tips for Mexican Bonefishing

(139) Techniques for Tantalizing Grayling

(140) Understanding Fly Leaders & Tippets

(141) Catfish on the Fly

(142) Get Your Backswimmer On

(143) Reading the Sonar

(144) Insect Identification Made Easy

(145) The Sinker and Floating Plug

(146) GADGETS & GIZMOS for "OLD GUYS"

(147) Fishing Drop Offs

(148) Stay On Fish

(149) Landing The Big One

(150) Fighting Fish on a Fly Rod

(151) North Saskatchewan River - Be River Aware

(152) Backswimmer Pothole Trout Frenzy

(153) Hunt for Suspended Fish

(154) Reading Your Waters Before You Cast

(155) Setting Up Your Bait Casting Reel

(156) Fishing Journals

(157) First Casts of the Season are at a River Near You

(158) The Crazy Whitefish Days of Last Ice

(159) The Bait of Choice

(160) Shallow Water Jumbo Perch

(161) Getting Started on the Ice

(162) Plan an Ice Fishing Getaway

(163) Brookie Season

(164) River Fishing is Heating Up

(165) Become a Better Angler

(166) The Forgotten Pike

(167) Get Out Your Plugs and Spoons

(168) Slip Bobber is King in Spring

(169) See You at the Show

(170) Red Hot Whitefish

(171) Staging Walleye

(172) The Lure of Lake Whitefish

(173) Great Rainbow Fishing At First Ice

(174) A Simple Approach to Ice Fishing

(175) Big Pike Combo Approaches

(176) Gearing up for Fall Whitefish

(177) River of Gold

(178) Bottom Bounce Your Way to Success

(179) Small Stream Fun

(180) Consider the Spawn and Water Temperature for Early Season Fish

(181) I Believe - The Glow in Glow Jigs

(182) Tricks to Improve Your Ice Fishing

(183) Trout Fishing is Red Hot

(184) Dealing With Fishing Pressure

(185) All I Want for Christmas: Fishing Gift Ideas

(186) Staying Warm on the Ice

(187) Hunting Big Browns in Lakes

(188) Where Did All Those Walleye Go?

(189) Keep an Eye on the Weather, Fury of a Storm

(190) Great and Affordable Fishing on the West Coast

(191) Lake Whites in the Summer? You Bet

(192) Prime Time for Lakers

(193) A Slip Bobber is so Much More

(194) Ice Fishing for Pike and Walleye

(195) Catching a Big Pike

(196) Purchasing a Rod

(197) Catching Rainbows through the Ice

(198) Gearing up for the Snow and Ice

(199) Gearing Up For Pike

(200) Getting the Most out of Your Fly Fishing Set Up

(201) The Bottom’s Up in Fishing

(202) Fish Where They’re Biting

(203) Three Standard Walleye Presentations

(204) Two Early Season Presentations for Pothole Trout

(205) Tackle Tips for Catch and Release Fishing

(206) Keeping Your Head Above Water

(207) HEALTHY BAIT CATCHES FISH!

(208) Beginner Baitcasting Tips