The best way to cast to bonefish

I've been told to make only short casts. Is that true?

Q: The few times I've pursued bonefish in the Florida Keys, the guides have insisted that I not make a cast beyond 40 feet. Do you think this is wise?

Jim Fallon
Boston, Massachusetts

A: The guides know that a bad cast to the most wary of all bones - those in the Keys - will mean a lost opportunity, Jim. Many of their customers are not accurate beyond 40 feet on the open saltwater flats, so the guides prefer close, accurate presentations.

Bonefish never seem to swim in a straight line more than a short distance. If the angler can cast accurately at long distances, I suggest doing so. A long cast is less likely to alert the bonefish of your presence, and if the fish changes direction, another cast can be made. On several occasions, I have made a long cast, followed by a shorter one and even a third cast, and hooked a bonefish.