Bonefish & Wind — 7 Strategies

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Photos by Louis Cahill

John Byron

Here are 7 tips to help you catch bonefish in the wind.

  1. Expect it. Chasing bonefish, wind is a feature, not a bug. The flats are … wait for it … flat. Often no lee. Nothing to impede wind across the ocean. When you’re after bonefish, you’ll deal with wind every trip and often every day.
  2. Learn. This blog and its sisters have a ton of great videos on casting in the wind. Chase ‘em down. The Belgian Cast. High with the wind, low into it. Side arm. Let the rod do the work. Don’t overdrive the cast. Keep the normal rhythm. Study the art of casting in the wind.
  3. Practice. Old joke: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” “Practice, my son, practice.” How do you get good at casting in the wind? Same answer: practice practice practice. Five minutes a day, all winds, all directions. Practice your casting. 
  4. Heavy up. If your main gun is an 8-weight, go to your 9-weight when the wind is getting gnarly. If you’re normally casting that sweet all-distance flyline, shift over to one of those front-loaded cannons like the Rio Quickshooter or Bruce Chard’s Airflo Tropical Punch. And put on a lead-eye fly, one heavy enough to drop straight to the bottom instead of skating across the surface as your flyline scoots in the wind.
  5. Shorten up. You can’t see the fish very far away when the wind whips up the water surface,. Good news: they can’t see you very well either. Plan your hunting and casting around short shots. Shorten your leader too — that 14-foot gossamer thread won’t straighten out at the end of the cast. Try nine feet. Or seven.
  6. Ignore the wind. Great advice here from Louis: https://www.ginkandgasoline.com/fly-fishing-tips-technique/forget-the-wind-tips-for-fly-casting-in-the-wind/ 
  7. Enjoy. Three reasons to enjoy the wind. 1). The fish are less spooky. 2). Your attitude has zero influence on meteorology, but sweating the wind makes the day less fun. 3). And most important: Hey Bubba, you’re out on the flats chasing bonefish. Where would you rather be? Enjoy it!

These tips will help you catch bonefish, but only when there are bonefish to catch. Good news! We have a couple of cancelations for the January 2021 Bonefish School at Bair’s Lodge. Join us for 6 days/7night of bonefishing on South Andros and learn the secrets seasoned saltwater angler use to catch more bonefish, all for $4200. That’s a discount of nearly $2000 dollars. Check out our Hosted Trips Page for more details.

Email hookups@ginkandgasoline.com for for info or to reserve your spot!

John Byron

John Byron lives in Cocoa Beach FL. He’s been fly fishing since he was ten. 

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2 thoughts on “Bonefish & Wind — 7 Strategies

  1. good article,
    I chase the Bones at Kiritimati and there is wind there 24/7. I use fast 8wt rods with a tropicore 9wt Redfish taper. I also take my Sage Bass rods with me so that gives me a 9wt, 11wt and 13wt 8ft stick and they work well in the wind. I remember my first trip there my guide thought the 9wt Sage was a toy until he had a few casts with it. Then each day he was saying “take the Sages”. Cheers

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