Biscayne Bonefish

My friend Jesse and I were sent down to South Florida from the Orlando region for a construction project and the first thing that came to our minds was...BONEFISH. Over the past week we did some research, bought some Gotcha flies, and came up with a float plan for Biscayne bay to find the elusive flats ghost. We have extensive redfish experience from our home turf of mosquito lagoon and applied the same tactics to track these fish down. Our wives would not let us leave until the afternoon on Sunday (outgoing tide). The rule of thumb is low to incoming...but we were still determined to make it happen.

We started at west Arsenicker key. I still don't know if we saw them there or not, with the cloud cover it was hard to tell. We decided to move on and headed west to the shoreline northwest of Mangrove Point. There we found the motherlode. Large singles were tailing in <6" of water chasing small shrimp. At one point they were even busting the surface. With only 30 minutes left of day light we made the best of the evening landing two nice Bonefish. The fights were incredible and they most certainly lived up to the rumors. This was an evening we will never forget, who would have thought you could catch bonefish on a Sunday afternoon off the mainland?? The few things I learned for the day were:
1.) you must have a tall poling platform
2.) search for rays and sharks mulling around and the bones are usually nearby
3.) patience and good vision are a plus


  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,097 Captain
    Pretty inside bonefish... In that same area you'll also find a few bones that need license plates - very big, very very spooky... It's been years since I fished that area -glad to hear you found a few.
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Capt.JSuLCapt.JSuL Posts: 73 Deckhand
    Very nice fish!
    Capt. Jason Sullivan
  • Wild BillWild Bill Posts: 16 Greenhorn
    I'm pretty sure I saw one that was 3' long haha. It was in a mangrove trough and by the time I saw it, it was too late. Pretty excited to get back down there to try again. These fish are pretty much year round, correct? Is it better in the winter?
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,097 Captain
    Yep, year 'round - but... when the weather turns cold they'll disappear for a few days. Back when I did a lot of bonefishing, on a cold day we'd concentrate on an early incoming in the mid-afternoon after the sun had warmed the shallows on a long falling tide so that the fish were attracted to relatively warm water.... In winter the kiss of death was a cloudy, rainy day after a cold night - the flats just never warmed up enough to draw them where you could see them....
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • FS ShelbyFS Shelby Posts: 687 Officer
    Great report, thanks for sharing with the FS forum community!

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  • WadeFishermanWadeFisherman Posts: 437 Deckhand
    You have caught the elusive bonefish...just wait until you catch one with some size...your drag run will never be forgotten. Leymaymiami gives you excellent advice. I spent a few decembers in the keys with no luck because of cold and cloudy weather...I also have found that if you sight bigger sharks in the flats, they will not be there...unless there is an escape route. It took me much longer than you to catch my first one, so congrats...such a beautiful fish.
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