Bonefish telepathy - Fly Fishing Forum
Bonefish, Tarpon, and other Obsessions Turquoise water, silver demons on the fly

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Old 10-15-2006, 07:07 AM
josko josko is offline
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Bonefish telepathy

I was fishing White Bight (probably the most 'technical' flat on Andros) a few days back. Got a fish, but on the next pod, they would move up to the fly and then scatter from it. I changed a fly to something rather different and got another bone on it; but then, guess what? The next pod would inspect that fly and scatter away.
Changing to something drastically different, (to Bonefish Bitter from sparse shrimp) got me another, and then an inspect-scatter again. Same thing happened with a fourth fly.
Now these were all distinct pods, but within 500 yds of each other. It felt like fish were communicating to avoid a fly type after one got hooked. I don't imagine they are anywhere near that sophisticated, but has anyone encountered this behavior before? I think I have, but never quite as obviously as just now.
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Old 10-15-2006, 07:42 AM
Eddie Eddie is offline
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"Danger!" "The feed is on!" "Who wants some?!?"

I am sure that fish can communicate (perhaps over long distances), but I wonder if "Run when you see Josko's fly" is a little sophisticated.
Sounds like these fish on that flat are getting hammered. I saw this on Andros too.
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Old 10-15-2006, 07:47 AM
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I dont like to "count"/report fish caught numbers. Even though I have strong Irish
bragging genes in my DNA. Yes, been there and done that. Day one, a truck load of bones to the boat.......day 2, a few in the morning, and then, at least 50 shots,
decent presentations, and the little *&%%$#'s would follow and turn away...I mean like all day long !!! Changed flies like crazy......same behavior....follow and turn.....I guess "when they're hot, they're hot, when they're not, they're not".
Had a lot of real time casting practice, but that was all day 2 was worth.
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Old 10-15-2006, 07:48 AM
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Eddie.....gotta believe you are correct.........
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Old 10-15-2006, 08:51 AM
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Switching Flies

Josko..
I wonder what would have happened if after you caught the first Bonefish you cut off that fly and then put a duplicate "fresh" fly on instead of a different pattern and see what happens...?

I have nothing to base this on ... just curious about the discussion.... but what if the caught fish or you left some scent that put off the next pod ... again no science just speculation and joining the discussion...

Hey Mark... when is your next adventure beginning ? ....
I will join you one day on a trip! or if I am DIY alone on Andros... hook up with Josko... I am getting the travel itch bad!!!
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Old 10-15-2006, 09:12 AM
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Maybe you forgot to clean off the bonefish spooey from the first fish

Seriously...

I've observed that pods appear distinct but often circulate on a flat and are not prone to fall for the same trick twice unless something dramatically different is done as they approach. The game gets harder but I do a few things to change up their perception of the morsel and they've worked very well. One example is to go to a small crab and set traps for the fish with it. Rather than cast at them you have to predict their path and move teeny twitches at most when they are on top of it. Cast past their potential crossing and pull it into their path before they cross so they don't see anything but the crab laying on the bottom when they arrive.

Another thing to consider is that bones get on the move and they are focused on that, then they get on the grub and they focus on that instead. If the fish are not reacting as they blow past ask the question - where are they headed? Inevitably they are headed somewhere. It seems they always are on a tide change. Without so much as a fly change you can get them in a whole different mood when they decide they've arrived at the buffet table and it might only be 100 yards away.

Without seeing the structure and fish behavior I'm just guessing but these little enigmas are what makes bonefishing so damn much fun (not to mention the serious workout for the drag system).
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Old 10-16-2006, 06:22 PM
josko josko is offline
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The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that fly odor was the key here.
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Old 10-16-2006, 11:59 PM
mugsy mugsy is offline
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From my limited experience, what Juro says makes sense. In short, just when I think I know what dem bones are going to do, they show me how little I know. I've also found that when I catch a bone, my hands and forearms get wet, sun screen gets wet and probably adds an unwanted scent to the fly. Whatever the reason, I just seem to have better results if I give the fly a good sand or mud soak after catching a bone and then keep my mitts off of it before I cast again.
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Old 10-17-2006, 12:14 PM
JR SPEY JR SPEY is offline
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I add some "bottom" to my flies before the first cast and after every fish (at least when I remember) when bonefishing. I do so for all of the above reasons and the fact that a book called Through the Fish's Eye (I think that's the correct title) talked about the ability of some species to actually emit a "danger" scent on bait or lures which then repels other fish. It doesn't take much bottom to make the fly attractive again.
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Old 10-17-2006, 02:15 PM
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Great Info guys...

Josko..
Thanks for asking the question...

I learned a lot from all the info provided by the forum responders..

Very interesting theories.... looks like I will have to spend $2k to go to the islands and practice your suggestions !
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Old 10-17-2006, 02:43 PM
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JR
I googled "bottom" and I don't even want to talk about what came up.
What do you mean by "bottom", is it a fish scent?
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Old 10-17-2006, 09:59 PM
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Yes, it's a good idea to rub your fly in the muck, sand or turtle grass to cover any scent that you may have left on it from sun tan lotion, oils, etc. . . Might also work to cover up another bonefish's "smell" that may have rubbed off on your fly after you caught it. I do the "bottom rub" to start the day, after any fish is caught and released, and whenever putting on a new fly. It only takes a second and it can't hurt.
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Old 10-18-2006, 08:18 AM
JR SPEY JR SPEY is offline
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Swalt,
Assuming your post wasn't tongue-in-cheek, I think Vince answered it well. Bottom is simply the floor of the flat. In the Bahamas most areas have what I'd describe as marl. If you're very shallow you can simply reach over and pick some amount right off the bottom yourself. When deeper, I ask the guide to get a little on the end of his pole. Obviously this is even easier to do if you're wading. There are places where the bottom is quite hard and this would be more difficult to do, but even those flats usually will have a fine layer of silt on top (of the bottom!)
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Old 10-18-2006, 08:29 AM
Swalt Swalt is offline
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Vince and JR,
Thanks for the information on "bottom". Its something I have never done but will be doing from now on. Being an ole bass fisherman, that got into flyfishing and bonefish late in life, I was thinking of some kind of fish scent that you might spray on the fly.
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Old 10-18-2006, 08:58 AM
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Just to be clear, I don't think scent is key unless there is sunblock, cigar, tequila or other foreign compounds on the fly. I just threw that joke in there, but I do feel that circulating fish verses new arrivals or those jaded by lip piercings from the last tide (or with any regularity over time) are repelled from the appearance of a fly in typical presentations.

I have rubbed my fly in the marl but only when suspecting that a refreshed application of SPF50 got on it and it was my go-to bug. That's not very often.

If results are my teacher, it's working with what the fish are thinking in concert with presentation that gets them to eat the fly.
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