Had a question for all you florida salts. If i was bonefishing in the keys/Biscayne bay with a guide, what is a reasonable number of "shots" to expect in a day? Given an experienced caster and fly fisherman, how many fish should one expect?
I'd like to take it a step further and ask the same question for tarpon. How many shots should one expect and how many fish should you at least "jump."
Lets assume we are fishing in late spring and summer for bonefish and prob. april for poon's.
How do baby tarpon work? Do you just try the mangroves for those and toss flys near the mangroves??
It's good to see you over here.
You ask some very hard questions.
It took me 4 trips to the Keys to catch my first bonefish.
Since then the most bones I have caught there in a day was 5.
I have had days when I had 4 shots and caught 4 fish.
Ten shots in a day is a lot.
A good day is probably 2 fish.
The question about tarpon is also very difficult to answer. It is so weather dependant.
I was in the Keys this year at the middle of April. They fish had just started their migration and there were quite a few fish about. I had about 10 shots, jumped 2 and landed one 130 pounder.
I have had days in the Keys when I have jumped 15 fish in one afternoon. I have also had days when there were fish everywhere and not jumped any.
There are (were) a lot of different places in the Keys where there were baby tarpon but they are becoming fewer all the time because of fishing pressure.
They are mostly resident fish.
In summary when I go to the Keys I don't actively chase bonefish any more. I prefer redfish and snook. Also it is a fantastic place for tarpon when the conditions are right.
I hope that helps a little.
I have had a devil of a time finding a keys guide - tried 4 times and had 4 bad experiences. Admittedly, this was in the late '90's, when they were booked solid, but still, it was a disagreeable experience.
What is the trick to finding a keys guide one can live with? I'm not into casting tests, judgements whether I'm 'worthy' of a particular fish, and such. I do think I'm a decent caster and like just getting out and fly fishing.
Is there some reason I fail to click with guides in the keys? I get along fine with folks as close as Miami and Everglades city.
There definitely seems to be a unique guides' mentality down there.
Pete, as always, you are great. Thanks very much. Haven't been around much b/c i just changed jobs and had a little one so time is tight.
I'm Just trying to figure out where to plan a trip next year (if i can swing it). Josko, i have a great keys guide, if you want his name, PM me.
It's really hard to weigh where to go. Florida is so easy for me to get to, but I also want to catch some fish and its tough to put it all together. The answer is to do what Pete does and fish them all.
Lots of places to look. While I have never fished with a guide, since I have my own boat, I'd be happy to give you some contacts I know if you PM me.
Catching your first bone on a fly is and can be a challenge. First, the weather must cooperate, then the bones must be in a feeding mood, finally your guide must be able to put you on the fish. Remember, these bones are probably the most targeted fish in the world. Most have seen a fly so good and accurate casting skills are imperative to success.
Mangroves are excellent areas to target red fish and snook. If you get a hook-up at the edge of the mangroves, YOU MUST stop him from entering the mangroves; he will break you off! Bones and permit are usually target out on the flats, tailing in the turtle grass.
Giant tarpon are visually sighted and usually hooked close to the boat. Indigenous tarpon can be located in specific areas year round and are a blast to catch.
Tight lines and good fishing!
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