Fishing for Bonita

Hey guys, this might be a stupid question, but I will be back in SWFL in December and throughout the winter, and I am wondering if there are bonita (false albacore) there to catch in the winter? I have a 13' Boston Whaler so I can go a few miles offshore on calm days. If they are there, what is the best way to catch them?

I have never caught one and they look like a ton of fun, plus they are great for shark bait as I love to fish for sharks from the beach.

Thanks for the help.
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Replies

  • RoyalflushRoyalflush Posts: 535 Officer
    I'm sure u can catch something for shark bait, Bonita, jacks, bluefish, mackerel, rays. What kind of shark are u trying to catch ?
  • MuskyChaserMuskyChaser Posts: 134 Deckhand
    I don't ever actually have a problem catching shark bait, I just want to catch a new species and from what I've seen Bonita look like fun. In terms of shark species blacktips/sandbars mostly in the winter.
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  • nfairbanknfairbank Posts: 266 Deckhand
    We cath them in the winter while fishing for snapper...
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  • whipachawwhipachaw Posts: 505 Officer
    I have seen the schools fairly close to shore. Look for birds and/or surface activity. They tend to not let you get too close so maybe something like a Kastmaster spoon would work. Trolling in the vicinity could work too. Try your best to match the size of what they are after because I have had them ignore my offerings if it wasn't what they are eating, but they're usually not too picky. I have heard if you bleed them, ice them and cut out the dark meat when you clean them that they are pretty good. One guy told me he slices them paper thin, then soaks it over night in a 50/50 lemon soy mixture and eats them raw.
  • MuskyChaserMuskyChaser Posts: 134 Deckhand
    whipachaw wrote: »
    I have seen the schools fairly close to shore. Look for birds and/or surface activity. They tend to not let you get too close so maybe something like a Kastmaster spoon would work. Trolling in the vicinity could work too. Try your best to match the size of what they are after because I have had them ignore my offerings if it wasn't what they are eating, but they're usually not too picky. I have heard if you bleed them, ice them and cut out the dark meat when you clean them that they are pretty good. One guy told me he slices them paper thin, then soaks it over night in a 50/50 lemon soy mixture and eats them raw.

    Thanks!
    Please subscribe to my YouTube channel for HD big game fishing! https://youtu.be/gArGhITKlzE
  • have kayak will travelhave kayak will travel Posts: 90 Greenhorn
    Hey guys, this might be a stupid question, but I will be back in SWFL in December and throughout the winter, and I am wondering if there are bonita (false albacore) there to catch in the winter? I have a 13' Boston Whaler so I can go a few miles offshore on calm days. If they are there, what is the best way to catch them?

    I have never caught one and they look like a ton of fun, plus they are great for shark bait as I love to fish for sharks from the beach.

    Thanks for the help.

    Albies tend to be most active in the morning. You shouldn't need to go out more than a mile to find them. Look for diving terns and gulls. The beaches around the passes are good place to start searching. Be ready to make a quick cast to the schools feeding on the surface. They move quickly and pop up randomly. A super fast retrieve to burn lures across the surface will get their attention. Keep the rod tip high and reel as fast as you can. Don't worry the Albies will see it and chase it down. A long thin lure with a single J hook or treble is best. Keep the hook relatively small. I like SI Epoxy Jigs, Swedish Pimples and small diamond jigs. All in the 1 oz range. Avoid any lure with a lip or curved surface. Yo want something that will skip along the surface at high rate of speed in a straight line.
  • whipachawwhipachaw Posts: 505 Officer
    I would say that is some solid advice.
  • MuskyChaserMuskyChaser Posts: 134 Deckhand
    Thanks guys. I will definitely try that. Sounds like fun!
    Please subscribe to my YouTube channel for HD big game fishing! https://youtu.be/gArGhITKlzE
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