Flip’s Tips for Bonefish

Fly-fishing guru Flip Pallot knows a thing or two about saltwater gamefish. As a former guide and the host of ESPN’s Walker’s Cay Chronicles for 16 seasons, he helped bring angling adventure—across the globe—to the masses. Today, he visitsAbaco Lodge annually for awesome bonefishing on the Marls and to share knowledge, laughs, and good times along the way.

Before you hit the flats this spring, we asked Pallot for 6 tips to hone your skinny-water skills. Whether you’re targeting tarpon, permit, or bonefish from the Bahamas to the Keys, Belize, Los Roques, and beyond follow Flip’s advice to catch bigger fish with more consistency.

No. 1—Present flies well in front of bonefish… actually, where you guess they will be in just a moment. They can see things farther away than you might imagine.

No. 2—If you don’t spook bonefish on the first cast… you’ll get a second chance. If you do, forget it. Take your time and make that first cast count.

No. 3—Close (smash) the barb on all fly hooks. They really don’t help you catch fish and make it difficult to release fish without hurting them.

No. 4—Give the guide a chance to position the skiff so that he is clear of your backcast. Hook the guide and the boat gets REALLY SMALL in a hurry!!!!!

No. 5—Try not to rock the boat by shifting your weight as you cast to bonefish! Those pressure waves sent out by doing so are felt by fish.

No. 6—When the guide decides to change locations… never ask: ‘Where are we going next?’ You won’t know where it is even if he tells you!


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