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Old 10-08-2004, 11:00 AM
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juro juro is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Steelhead country|striper coast|bonefish belt
Posts: 20,593
Dave -

I have only 9 bonefish trips under my belt but I have learned a lot just the same from these few trips. The answer is "it depends"

When fishing from a boat you have a different set of circumstances than when fishing from shore. The 20ft shadow keeps you further from the fish and you need to make longer casts, using more of the head in the air. You are fishing with an extra pair of eyes, which are almost always better than your own so you will approach pods further away than you would wade to. The guide can reposition the boat to deal with wind, where you can't do that with a mangrove stand to your back while wading. You are going to make longer shots from a boat than on foot most of the time. Long head, aggressive front taper if windy.

When wading, the average shot distance depends on the structure. If you are fishing a very broad flat in the evening for tailers, you will probably make long gentle casts several feet ahead of the direction the fish are pushing. 60 or more ft casts are called for.

If you have staked out a dead coral foundation creating a little current on an otherwise uneventful flat, 30-40ft casts to fish spotted on the approach or at the last minute (like Monomoy) are the rule. Short length head, loading quickly is best. The Rio Clouser taper might be the ticket for this, or the Wulff Bermuda Triangle (30ft head, two-tone tropical).

Since I was using a two-hander in Exuma I chose lines with a short head (30ft) and two-tone color between head and running line. I like the Rio Windcutter (not spey) on the Atlantis All-around, nice aggressive taper. I had a Wulff Bermuda Triangle line down there, nice line and two-tone for fast re-casting.

As far as line shadow, I heard Monic makes a tropical clear floater. In calm mid-day conditions when the tide was not moving I have had some trouble with line shadow as well. In fact I much prefer fishing conditions that are low angle for tailers, windy but not ridiculous, or a faster tide flow which gets the fish too excited to care about the little things.

In any case, have a great time Dave! Your Monomoy training will come in very handy and you'll be that much better on the cape flats next year as a result of the tropical "off-season training" plan.
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