Rainy Day Bones

Rainy Day Bones

Tracy&James | Thursday, 3 May 2018

Our time in the Bahamas is now drawing to an end, unfortunately it’s not going out in the blaze of bonefish and other species that we’d planned, but rather fizzling out due to the scourge of the DiY flats angler – poor light. As I write this it is raining, the sort of rain that you only get in the tropics i.e. like standing in a luke-warm shower on full blast. The last few days have been a mix of heavy cloud, thunderstorms and rain. However we’ve tried to make the most of it and we’ve still managed to catch.

So what do you do on a flats trip when you don’t get sufficient sunlight to make spotting fish easier? Firstly, I should say that rain isn’t always a disaster for bonefishing, in fact I’ve had some very memorable days when it’s chucked it down all day. To that extent I’d say I much prefer it to rain than just be overcast. When it’s raining the ripples, caused by the wind, are often damped down to virtually nothing and visibility can be remarkably good – the water seems to take a green tinge and the bonefish really ‘pop’ out at you. Tracy and I had a great afternoons fishing a couple of days ago in these exact circumstances.

Another consideration is to choose the right flat.  There’s no point in going to one where spotting is difficult even in sunlight.  As such I’d be favouring a clean sandy bottom which, when waded in the right direction, can still offer pretty good opportunities to see the fish before they see you.  Another option is to get high (no, I don’t mean smoking pot and sitting it out).  If you can find a sloping beach that can be walked above the high water mark, it’s amazing what a foot or two of extra elevation can do for you spotting ability – it’s no coincidence that guides, stood on their poling platforms, see the fish before you do.

Cloudy or rainy evenings can also offer good fishing.  Whilst they can seemingly hide during poor light, bonefish cannot disguise their big flappy tails once they’re getting stuck into crabs, shrimp and clams.  Therefore selecting a flat where fish ‘tail’ often is a sound tactic.  Tracy and I had such an evening yesterday – we landed 6 good bonefish, lost a couple and had some spectacular ‘spooks’ – one issue when casting at tailing bones in poor light is that it’s not possible to see the fish that isn’t tailing, but is sat directly in front of the one you’re targeting.  

A further alternative is to do something completely different e.g. change species.  Sharks, being big and brown, are far more visible than bones with their mirror finish.  The same goes for triggerfish, these are visible (and great fun to catch) irrespective of the weather.

Finally there’s blind casting of likely looking areas such as docks or rocky features.  We often do this on the way back from flats anyway – it’s great fun to see what a heavily weighted Clouser will bring up.  Usually it’s various snapper species, but we’ve also had jacks, pompano, grouper and the occasional bonefish.  Beware of juvenile ‘cudas nipping the fly off though.  I also have a spinning rod with me for these areas, however I’m coming to the conclusion that I must be the world’s worst spin fisher.  So far I haven’t landed a single fish on this outfit – I’ve had one lost plug to something big that bit it off above the wire and had two spectacular missed takes to ‘cudas (how this is possible with two treble hooks is beyond me).  I’ve also cracked the plug off twice whilst casting – this goes a long way as you can imagine; one time I managed to retrieve it by fly casting to it after it had drifted back into range (good accuracy practice) and the second time Tracy was feeling a bit hot so volunteered to swim out to recover it.

Anyway, after writing this it’s still raining hard here so we’ll be looking to one of the above options.  I hope you have a great weekend whatever you chose to do.



rain bone
rain James bone
Rain James
Rain Tracy 1
Rain Tracy 2
Rain Tracy
rainbow double
Rainbow James