101 Reasons Why There Are No Bonefish on This Flat

We have no bonefish today.

We have no bonefish today.

The last few days of the trip Aaron and I were on our own, doing the DIY thing. We’d look at the map and Aaron would say a variation of “This is going to be loaded with fish.” My reply was a variation on “Maybe.”

We’d arrive on the flat and see the feed marks… the thousands and thousands of feed marks and Aaron would say “They are so here right now!” I’d say something like “We’ll soon find out.”

More often than not it was a shade of “recently, yes,” but mostly it was “not at the present time.”

This visual absence of the main reason we were on these flats and in this country often left Aaron incredulous. I was less so.

What followed each and every disappointment was a spin on “101 Reasons Why There Are No Bonefish on This Flat”

Here… play along.

The water is too cold.

The fish are mudding in deeper water somewhere.

The tide is too low.

The tide is too high.

The barracuda are spawning.

Maybe the bonefish are aggregating.

Maybe they are spawning.

The wind has changed the tide.

Full moon.

They are up in the mangroves.

My favorite…. they ARE here, but this flat is so huge, so expansive and the conditions are so crappy our cone of vision is tiny and we just can’t see them.

I’m pretty sure at least one of those was partially correct on any given flat we found and didn’t find fish on. The truth is that we simply lacked the native intelligence needed to accurately know. Even the guides get it wrong sometimes and we were trying to find these fish on our own in a place we had never been to before. We know a bit about bonefish, but nothing around this particular area so the best we can do fits into the “educated guess” column.

A few times, we even guessed right. Something about a monkey and a typewriter and an infinite amount of time jumps to mind.

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  1. Those fish were on vacation in Florida.

  2. Thats why you need to try assisted DIY a few times local guides will.not slways tell you all you need to know

  3. We had a couple of guided days, just not in this area. I’m actually fine with not finding fish everywhere. That’s part of the process.

  4. Nevin Knowles, I agrtee. Why the heck would the local guides have any interest in helping DIY anglers — unless they are being paid a fair fee I don’t get it. Muck up someone’s livelihood and expect help with it?? Come on. Hire a guide. Listen to one who knows.

    (, Nevin, I figure as a Knowles you have better insight thanmost. We’ve never met, but I spent time in the Out Islands, esp Exuma. I was a friend of Lester’s / RIP

  5. forgive the typo. the nun would have had my fingers for that

  6. Sharks kept them away

    Too much sun

    Too early in the day

    Too late in the day

  7. That’s Nevin’s business, doing the Assisted DIY thing. He does the assisting.

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