Pound For Pound A Tough Fish To Catch
Bonefish get as big as 19+ lbs. and around 35” but the average catch is 6-8 lbs. 10 is considered a monster. What makes them such a great challenge for flats fishermen (and women) is that they’re very smart, very fast and very strong (especially for their weight).
Bonefish are a pretty fish too. Although they do have the ability to adjust somewhat to the color of their surroundings, in peaceful state they are silvery with a little yellow coloration at the base of their pectoral fins.
They tend to swim in shallow water as shallow at 8” or as much as several feet. They feed on marine worms, tiny crustaceans, sea urchins, fish juveniles and tiny shrimp and their highly predatory eating habits can be used against them in your casting techniques. A big part of your casting technique involves getting your fly into the attention of the lead ‘alpha’ fish of the group because they’re usually the ones that are more likely to strike your fly or bait (if you cast correctly).
Having a good guide is invaluable because they’ll be able to give you advice on where to cast and how to ‘play’ your fly or bait across the path of the fish. They are a very crafty fish. You won`t fill the skiff with Bonefish but as your casting skills improve so will your catching skills The ones you catch will be locked into your memories forever.
Practicing your fly or spin cast at home before you come to Key West will greatly improve your odds of success. To catch this fish, you have to place the fly so that it floats down right in front of them and catches their attention.
You can catch bonefish any time of the year even in the winter between cold fronts. During the average day, they tend to come in and go out with the twice-daily rising and falling tide. If the weather is abnormally hot or cold, sometimes it changes their schooling and feeding behavior but your fishing guide will be able to advise you of that.
All in all, bonefishing is a ton of fun. You’ll make up in quality what you might not find in quantity. Every bonefish you catch will be an unforgettable source of pride!