Never Give Up on a Bonefish

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Life is Full of Second Chances Photo by Andrew Bennett

Life is Full of Second Chances Photo by Andrew Bennett

We all know the heartbreak of seeing a big fish spook and run when we make a cast.

Whether its due to a poor presentation, the fish catching sight of us or something completely random and out of our control doesn’t matter. The pain is the same and it’s our natural reaction to consider that fish done and watch him swim away. For most species that’s the case, certainly for a wary trout but the bonefish is another subject.

Many times I’ve seen a bonefish spook and run or refuse a fly and turn away only to eat that same fly on the next cast. Maybe it sees the fly in a different light or from another angle that makes it more appealing or maybe it’s mood changes that quickly, I don’t know but it happens. What I do know is that as long as that fish is in range I will continue to show it that fly.

For that reason, when I’m on the bow, I strip off as much line as I can cast and keep it stacked neatly on the deck. If I miss a fish in close I want to be prepared to hit him again when he moves. I never take my eye off of the fish so I can make an accurate cast. It doesn’t always work, but it works often enough to keep me at it.

The fish pictured above is one of those fish. My first shot at him was about thirty feet at one o’clock. The fish were spooky that day and the fish refused my fly, turned and saw the boat. He turned and bolted away and to my left at warp speed. I made a quick eighty plus foot cast to eleven o’clock and the fleeing fish turned and ate my fly.

It was an act of generosity that I was grateful for. Saltwater angling can be tough and some days you don’t get but a few shots, maybe one. You can’t afford to wast them, so be prepared and never give up on a bonefish. Life is full of second chances.

Come fish with us in the Bahamas!

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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