Bonefishing on a full moon - Fly Fishing Forum
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  #1  
Old 10-23-2007, 08:51 AM
cc charlie cc charlie is offline
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Cool Bonefishing on a full moon

In the past I've never scheduled a Bonefish trip during a full moon. I've always heard that it s not a good idea.

In looking ahead to my next trip most of the times I can go seem to be around the full moon.

How important is the moon , and should it keep me from going at that time.


Thanks..................CC charlie
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  #2  
Old 10-23-2007, 11:39 AM
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Hey Charlie,

If fishing the full moon is anything like fishing the "full street-lite" like I have on Eleuthera Bahama's...well...things might get tough for you. I don't know how much weight to put on a bone's ability to feed on a Full Moon vs. a Waxing or Gibeous moon. I know they can smell real good....and they're sensitive to movement and vibration. But is that enough to cause them to stop eating?. I doubdt it...though I suppose they could slow down. The overwhelming opinion is that one should avoid the 2 or 3 days around each side of the full moon as supposedly the bones have been feeding all night.

I sure know I can find pizza in the dark...and even after eating it...if somebody tosses a handfull of buffalo wings in front of me!!!...well!!!...I'm eating that too!!!

Later,

Henry
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:48 AM
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My understanding about the full moon tides was around areas with mangrove shorelines. The idea being that on a full moon the bones will feed well up into the mangroves and generally not be accessible to the angler at extreme high tides. This has the effect of shortening the effective window for targeting them. I had never heard the feeding all night theory Henry mentioned.

Sean
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Old 10-24-2007, 08:06 AM
doctorsteve doctorsteve is offline
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mangroves

The last time I was in the Bahamas, we had a pretty high tide which put the water well into the mangroves. They were feeding, You just couldn't cast to the bones.
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Old 10-24-2007, 08:29 AM
BigDave BigDave is offline
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I have asked some bahamas guides about it and the answer has been to avoid the full/new moon and fish neap tides when possible.

Of course the most important element will be the weather during your stay. Can't predict that!
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Old 10-24-2007, 10:22 AM
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Hi Charlie

Don't worry about the full moon tides.
There is a lot of speculation but that's all it is.
OK the tides are higher so the fish can go further into the mangroves when they are there. Also the opposite is true the tides are also lower so they get flushed out.

The most productive time in my oppinion is on the incoming tide, that is before they can get into the mangroves.

I have also heard stories from some people about fish gorging themselves when the moon is out. I don't know if there is any truth in this.

The other thing to remember is that when tides are bigger ther is more water flow and currents are stronger. Bones like feeding in current.

Pete
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Old 10-24-2007, 12:17 PM
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My biggest problem with a full or new moon is the height of the tide. And this depends on where you are fishing. In certain areas (varies from spot to spot on every island) when the water is high the fish will be way back up in the mangroves where they are unreachable for a portion of the day. It also spreads them out more, so they are less concentrated. As dr. Steve said, you can't cast to them in heavy mangroves.

Obviously you can still catch fish, and even do very well on a very high tide, it just depends on where you are fishing.

Leslie Knowles, manager of Acklins Island lodge put it best: "if the tide rose high enough, the bones would be feeding in the streets." They will go as far as they can to feed.
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Old 10-24-2007, 01:09 PM
alan caolo alan caolo is offline
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Only a Blue Moon

I think this is one of those “tribal” notions in fishing that has some thread of truth based on who you talk to and where you’re talking about (like an “urban legend”). Not to be obtuse, I’ve done a lot of bonefishing and look at this issue (by itself) as neither maker nor breaker of good fishing . . . I view the affect of moon phase on tides and water levels as simply another factor to consider in my hourly, daily, weekly fishing plan (my strategy). Do bones feed on the flats on moonlit nights? Probably a lot. Are all bonefish flats lined with deep mangroves? Definitely not. Perhaps this full moon “omen” was initiated by a cadre of guides who, from their “home waters” perspective, speak the truth. As counterpoint, Keys’ guides will tell you they love new and full moon phases (more flow over the flats). And how about the non-mangrove-dominated-habitat areas in the Bahamas, Seychelles, Christmas Isle . . . point moot. Marshrunner would be a nice Forum weigh-in on this one.
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Old 10-24-2007, 01:09 PM
cc charlie cc charlie is offline
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Bonefishing on a full moon

Thanks all for sharing your wisdom.

Come to think of it I've done pretty well during the new moon on some flats that were usually dry or real skinny. I guess the same would hold true on Full moon tides.

I guess it all depends on where you are and the stage of the tide. I'm not going to let it worry me too much just hope the sun and wind will be at my back.

Thanks again...........charlie
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Old 10-25-2007, 07:50 AM
josko josko is offline
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I've been down here (on Andros) for the past two weeks. A week or so back, with 1/2 going to 3/4 moon, I was easily finding bones, with high teens being a typical catch rate. The last few days (near-full moon) I can't find the little buggers anywhere I've looked, and came up with 2 yesterday and 3 the day before. In addition to being scarce, these fish (the last few days) have been a lot more demanding in terms of both presentation and fly selection.
Not sure what this means except that they change their feeding paterns in response to the tide. It's likely that I frequented flats where they feed on neap tides, and that both choice feeding flats and prey selection are different with spring tides. I need to go find them. It's just another piece of the puzzle to unlock, and does not detract from the fishing in any way, if fact, for me, it greatly enhances it.Having to go back to basics just when you think you've cracked the game can be frustrating or rewarding. I think it ought to be the latter.

There's that old adage that says: 'The best time to go fishing is when you can.' and it's very true in this case as well. Micromanaging a bonefishing trip with respect to tides, dates, moon phase, etc is an attempt to control a few of the many, many variables that affect bonefishing; the trick, IMHO, is to come down here and be able to, for a moment, sense the lifestile reflected in the sport, and not to rack up numbers or spout techno-jargon about the new flygear mag ads got us to buy. Sometimes, as I wander around, I wonder what guys like Joe Brooks and Jimmy Albright must've felt as they walked a flat like the one I'm on. With a little effort, a whole lifestile emerges, one that is not easy to experience anymore at such a gut level. I guess what I'm trying to sday, there's a lot more to bonefishing (or any form of fly fishing) than jetting to a remote place and racking up huge fish numbers using the latest TiXP-flex x35 fklrod and the TTB330 reel with the smooth synthetic tr****-stopping drag...
I'm chagrined to see so many bonefishers coming here counting minutes between getting off the flight and their first bonefish. The other day I met one entering each catch into a PDA! 'so he'd remember it all later'. Does it really matter if you caught 15 or 18 fish in a day's outing???

Anyway, I'm sorry if this got off track, but micromanaging your vacations wrt moon phase seems liuke a symptom of A-type behavior that a bonefishign vacation is supposed to cure.
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  #11  
Old 10-25-2007, 08:08 AM
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Josko's got it right. The bonefish experience sits deep in the primal craw for me as well. High-number muds even contradict my perception of the experience whereby coral head mazes with double digit bones I've never so much as hooked after hours of stalking still haunt me. Somewhere in between, a chalky white ultra-remote flat that hasn't seen footsteps in years hosts the ghostly shapes shifting like mice to the hypnotic song of the pied piper of tides. I only hear the deafening silence of nothing mechanized for hundreds of miles in any direction but somewhere deep inside I feel the restlessness and skittish excitement of the approaching pod when crouched in the marl from my ambush on the channel edge. Throw the PDA in the saltwater and hike further down the overgrown road.
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  #12  
Old 10-25-2007, 10:02 AM
Mat M Mat M is offline
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Juro and Josko,

Those are two of the best posts I have ever read on bonefishing!!

Mat
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  #13  
Old 10-25-2007, 11:16 AM
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Nice!
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  #14  
Old 10-25-2007, 12:22 PM
cc charlie cc charlie is offline
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Bonefishing on the full moon

Josko ,Juro................... you've said it better than I ever could. but its the way I feel too. I'm usually down there alone and I don't do big numbers but I've also never been shut out. Even on those days when I catch one or two fish the challenge of spotting and getting a cast on to them sustains me and keeps me coming back for more. Hope I can do this for a lot more years.

thanks........charlie
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  #15  
Old 10-25-2007, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josko
I'm chagrined to see so many bonefishers coming here counting minutes between getting off the flight and their first bonefish. The other day I met one entering each catch into a PDA! 'so he'd remember it all later'. Does it really matter if you caught 15 or 18 fish in a day's outing???
I have found that fishing creates its own memories. You can write down all you want but if you have to go to notes to remember it then its not a memory, just so many scratches on paper. I have fishing memories that seem just as vivid today as when they happened. Some going back nearly 50 years. There was something that stood out that keeps that memory there and it doesn't go away. All fishing trips are good ones but if you can get one of those memories out of a trip then it was special.

Thanks for the post Josko, it got me remembering.
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