There is nothing better than the thrill of catching your first bonefish. Known as the Bahamian missile, these small, shiny, silver fish take off in a flash when hooked and scurry at the slightest unusual ripple. Their speed and tenacity make landing a bonefish a unique challenge that draws in anglers from around the world to the beautiful islands, cays, and flats of The Bahamas.
Before leaving your luxury condo and heading out to the picturesque shallows that bonefish like to live, you need to make sure you’re properly prepared. Here are 5 things you need to bring with you on your next bonefishing adventure.
1. The right rod
Many anglers will bring multiple rods depending on the conditions, but the minimum requirements are an 8 or 9 wt fly rod. These provide the right balance of precision and weight in case of a windy day and are more versatile than lighter rods. If you are going on a longer trip, bring along a heavier weight rod to try and catch permit, barracuda or tarpon. And if you’re heading beyond Nassau or Paradise Island to one of the smaller islands, consider bringing four piece rods that can fit in the overhead bins of small planes.
2. Lines and reels
Bonefish are saltwater fish, so ensure you bring the right lines and reels for the conditions. Salt water can severely damage fresh water reels, and over the course of a trip your reel is almost certainly going to get wet. Bring waterproof saltwater reels and a line designed specifically for warm, tropical environments to avoid unnecessary tangles.
3. A waterproof camera
You never know when the catch of the day is going to happen, and you are definitely going to want a picture to prove it to your friends back home. Bring a high quality, waterproof digital camera along on your trip. And if the bonefish aren’t biting, at least The Bahamas provides plenty of stunning landscapes that are worthy of a good photo.
4. Polarized sunglasses
Bonefish are very difficult to spot, and the glare of the sun off the flats and quiet waters can make them almost invisible. Polarized sunglasses protect your eyes and remove the glare, giving you a better chance of landing the elusive target. Advanced fishers bring multiple pairs with different lens tints to account for the different lighting conditions throughout the day.
5. An expert guide
Local guides can make the difference between a successful day of fishing and a long walk around the island holding a fishing rod. Guides will spot the fish well before you do, and they know local conditions, the best spots and the right techniques to give you the best chance of hooking a bonefish. And when it’s time for lunch, your guide will probably share some pretty entertaining, and maybe exaggerated, tales of the one that got away.
Make the journey to The Bahamas
Picturesque landscapes, endless flats and some of the most thrilling fishing in the world makes bonefishing a must do activity for any fishing enthusiast living or vacationing in The Bahamas. So grab your gear, a few friends and a fantastic guide and head out on your next Bahamian adventure!