Do Bones get "sluggish" in July/Aug [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Do Bones get "sluggish" in July/Aug

05-22-2005, 07:55 AM
Just curious if anyone had my experience during the above subject months. Last July, during some very warm weather, I had my best "to the boat" days while fishing Abaco. However, it seemed as though the fish did not have the "strong runs and hard fight" I experienced during cooler months....any thoughts on water temp and "fight" ?

05-22-2005, 09:08 AM
Hi Mark
I have experienced the same thing but from a slightly different angle.
When fishing the Keys in january the bonefish seem to fight harder in colder water.


05-22-2005, 02:40 PM
that it gets to warm for them in the keys in the late spring. so they migrate out of there to cooler water. this was from leftys kerhs book fishing the flats. so you are haveing the same thoughts. because one is over heated and slugish and the other is at a ballanced temp for that fish. which will equal to lots of strikes and long runs. same goes for all fish they have to find that perfect temp. weather its in the thermocline? of a lake or in the spring time in a river. like timeing a steel head run to the 50 degree mark of the river.

good luck to you and wish you lots of time on the water stonefly1013........

05-23-2005, 11:54 PM
I believe you are correct about this correlation, as do many other guides I've talked to. I've noticed that during the winter here we have to chase many of the bigger bones we hook and the fight seems to take longer. I just did a trip to north Andros and our guide, Charlie Neymour, mentioned the same thing - how some of the same size fish we were landing fought "twice as hard" during the winter months. I'm fairly sure that water temp and oxygen content are related, but I'm no marine biologist. My guess though is that colder temps allow fish to fight longer like they allow joggers to run longer - less overheating and (in the fish's case) more oxygen to the muscles.

In addition to bones getting "sluggish" during these months, they are also harder to find on the flats, particularly the bigger ones. August in particular is historically a bad month, so much so that last year was the first I guided... and that was only because it was unusually cool and I switched to outside flats on flood tides early in the day. By about 11am you can pack it in and spend the rest of the day holed up in the shade somewhere with your favorite beverage, ice cold for preference. August is also the time when we witness the most "mudding" activity from bones in about 6-8 feet of water. This starts at about 10am and goes all day. The old folks say it's always been that way. Again, my guess is this is due to water temps being more favorable in deeper water after the flats start to heat up. I've had occasion to fish these muds with clients (not much like classic bonefishing, I know) and the fish from this deeper water fight much harder than the same size we take on the flats.

Still, these are bonefish we're talking about and while they may be slower in the dog days of summer, they still kick the pants off other fish their size. The real surprise is how much harder they can fight when it's cooler.

Good stuff,

06-08-2005, 11:49 PM
Chico Fernandez stated it all, check out his wisdom in his book. I am experiencing the same thing. Aruba vs.Salt lakes in Bonaire. In Aruba they have the same weatherconditions, but due to the structure of the sites the water is colder. I think there's a huge difference on drills. The hard Bones straight from the ocean are much thougher to find,but also harder on the drill, compared to the ones in the hot Salt Lake of Bonaire. But still..... Troutfishing will never be the same!

06-09-2005, 05:25 PM
I believe that bones definitely do get sluggish in warmer water. I just got back from Boca Pail Lodge in Mexico and the water was very warm there-probably mid-80's. The same size fish that fought so well in the Bahamas in April fought much less and for a shorter period there in Mexico.
The water temp in the Bahamas probably peaked at 75 while I was there.
There were a hell of a lot of permit though in Mexico--they like it hot!