Bonefish and the moon phase [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Bonefish and the moon phase

08-12-2008, 07:38 PM
OK, I'm going to book by trip to the Bahamas. I heard somewhere bonefish don't bite well on days around the full moon. Is this so? Should I book away from that time? Thanks!

08-13-2008, 09:39 AM
Hi Jeff
I don't believe that.
Of course tides are bigger and currents are faster at full moon.
I always try to find an incoming tide in the morning.


08-13-2008, 09:46 AM
I plan my first day low/incoming tide sometime around 5 to 5:30 AM. Tides are important, but for me it comes down, often, to wind and sunny skies allowing easier spotting. Good luck !

08-13-2008, 10:44 AM
I do think that the fishing is not as good on a full moon. I have had guides tell me that its because the fish feed at night but not sure I buy that. I think, like Pete says, it probably has more to do with higher tides.

When I book a trip I look for low tides beginning early am the first of the week as the main priority. Its important to have a low tide during the day. Then I look at moon phases. The weather you have no control over other than picking a time of year that gives you the best chance for sunny days and low winds.

08-13-2008, 11:50 AM

Depends on the time of the day when said moon tide is moving. As the experienced bonefishers pointed out above, big tides flooding whenever you are fishing is a good tide to be fishing.

Furthermore, outgoing can be great in some spots; incoming generally great on flats and even slack low tides good if you know where to go.

Airport Flat on Exuma has a channel struture that drains deep mangrove channels and is hot on an evening drop. Pestell on a flood can bring waves of bones on Acklins but there are places where hordes sit out the low. Mangroves can fill with hungry bones on the biggest moon tides even when slack mid-day.

The fish don't disappear from the sea they just do something different with each tide.

All that being said, they are never more crazed than when the tide is rising. When Mother nature beats that drum the bones dance.

08-13-2008, 02:57 PM
Limited experience but here is my understanding on the subject.

The few guides I have talked to have said they don't like big moon tides in areas where there are inaccessible mangroves. The bones go up in further on a big tide and feed there most of the day. Like Juro said they are still feeding just not in a location where you can access them. If the spot you are going to has more white sand/coral beach type of fishing the big tides are probably great if timed correctly.


08-13-2008, 03:11 PM
Not my cup of tea but some guys like flooded mangrove fishing... Dave, Bill, Chris, Jim... oh if I only had access to my video library right now :lildevl:

Will put them up later - this you have to see.

08-13-2008, 10:42 PM
I have little doubt that bones don't bite as well on a full moon. Time and again I've seen it with my clients - full moon bones, the Bahamians call them. You'll be fishing and for no reason the fish will follow and turn off or spook at the best cast, the same cast that a few days ago would have been money. My advice: avoid full moons for bones. I'm sure you'll still catch fish, but it will probably be tougher. Trust me.


08-14-2008, 09:54 AM
I put in some time looking into this, motivated by a post here about a year ago. Bonefish I find during full moon periods seem schooled up more, are moving defensively, and are not feeding. This is similar to what you'd find on a hard-hit flat in late afternoon. However, if I do get a fly into one of these schools, it is readily taken. I've concluded that bonefish are preyed on more during full-moon nighs and respond with this behavior. This is corroborated by several night-divers (on Andros) who tell me barracuda predation is heaviest during full moon.

During neap tides, fish tend to disperse more (in the areas I frequent) with encounters with singles and small pods more likely. Fish are in their typical feeding mode, and can be pretty cagey.

During dark moon nights, they are hard to find and even more spread out, supporting the conjecture tyey are feeding deep inside mangroves.

08-14-2008, 02:27 PM
That makes sense Josko, I have seen densely grouped schools moving with purpose on big tide days in areas where huge cuda live and sharks prevail. And from everything I read schooling is a defensive behavior.

Fred A and I came upon a school like this in a heavily cuda and shark infested spot (south of Binnacle Pt, Acklins) and any cast within eating range was taken but it was hard to keep up with the school which was so dense it blackened the water where it moved.