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#12592983 - 01/23/18 09:42 PM Anybody ever bonefish in Mangrove Cay Bahamas?
LearnedHat Offline
Angler

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 483
I know it’s a Texas board but I am going to be tagging along with a small group in June and was wondering what tips I could glean from the board. I will be using spinning equipment but any recommendations on rod, reel, line, lures, etc would help.

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#12593124 - 01/24/18 04:06 AM Re: Anybody ever bonefish in Mangrove Cay Bahamas? [Re: LearnedHat]
lconn4 Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 12/02/12
Posts: 9516
Loc: Cherokee County
I fished in Miami, Biscayne Bay, when I lived there. Caught my first one by accident on a saltwater assassin while blind casting for trout, with a baitcaster. Swore my reel was going to explode and held it as far away from my face in fear as that fish almost spooled me on 15 lb test mono and 30 lb fluro leader.


I would rank bone fish as the hardest fish to catch I've ever targeted and until you've caught one you really can't compare the fight to any other fish on the flats. After catching the one above I was obsessed with catching another and went 5 full days without ever even seeing one. When I finally spotted my first school of tailing bones I just sat and watched them in awe for half an hour watching how they moved over the flat while feeding, back and forth. Biscayne Bay is known for having some of the biggest bone fish in all of Florida and 8 lbs to 10 lbs are not uncommon. When you have a school of these sized bone fish tailing it gets your heart pumping. Caught my second one out of that school on a live shrimp and I was hooked. Spent the rest of that summer fishing only for bone fish. Ended up using a spinning reel with 15 lb mono and 20 lb fluro leader as the 30 I normally used was better for snook and trout. To make a long story short, without a guide, you'll be damn lucky to catch one. roflmao

What I quickly learned was that if you have no idea what to look for, which I didn't, you'll spend countless fishless hours of nothing before you have a clue. roflmao And when you finally find them, you may only get one shot so you better make it good. I learned that the area I fished was only good for about 4 days a month for about 45 minutes on each of those days. It was always low light either first light in the morning or low light in the evening when the tide was just beginning to come in... which obviously doesn't happen every day. When the tides were in between my scheduled best times, either later in the morning when tide started to come in there was too much boat traffic, or if I was there at first light or at dusk and the water was too deep, I'd never see them tailing. The pattern that worked best for me was to only fish at night when no one was there, by the lights of downtown Miami. By fishing this way, if the tide started in at 6:30 pm at low light, the next night the tide would come in approximately and hour later. So now I could find a window every night at some time if I was willing to go out at all hours of the night. On low cloud covered nights the lights from Miami bounced off the clouds and made the sight fishing incredible. Often you would hear them coming before you ever saw them as sounds are magnified and they make a lot of racket when tailing, nose down digging out the shrimp and crabs with tails thrashing the water. I eventually learned that the best bait was a silver dollar sized live crab. Got them by accident when the bait shop didn't have any smaller ones, only those normally used for tarpon. The live shrimp I started out using on a small jig or with weightless hook were always getting eaten by pin and lizard fish before a bone fish would get to it. I needed something that the little stuff couldn't eat. By using these bigger live crabs I also had to make long casts well in front and beyond the bone fish to keep from spooking them, then quietly reeling them into position. I don't think I ever caught a bone fish smaller than 6 lbs using them. After catching my biggest 33.5 inches to fork in tail and 18.25 girth, estimated close to 14 lbs I pretty much quit fishing for them that summer and then later on that winter we had the big deep freeze that killed thousands of bonefish. I only caught a couple of bonefish the next year and went back to tarpon and snook fishing.


Perfect conditions with low clouds helping light everything up. Moonlit nights with clear skies was also good.



Don't forget the mosquito repellent if you try it at night.

Good article about bone fishing in Biscayne Bay.

http://www.tailflyfishing.com/giant-bonefish-biscayne-bay/


Edited by lconn4 (01/24/18 04:22 AM)
_________________________
A good rule of angling philosphy is not to interfere with another fisherman's ways of being happy, unless you want to be hated.

Zane Grey, Tales of Fishes, 1919

https://vimeo.com/73372194


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#12593415 - 01/24/18 09:09 AM Re: Anybody ever bonefish in Mangrove Cay Bahamas? [Re: LearnedHat]
LearnedHat Offline
Angler

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 483
Thanks - we will have a guide for four days. This place is remote however and there is very limited retail. I don’t think it is like Islamorada where you just step onboard and everything is there. There is some locally made tackle which probably works great since it is touted as “the bonefishing capital of the world” (Andros - where we are staying).

So I will be taking some tackle. I also have to take some bigger stuff for young tarpon and permit.


Edited by LearnedHat (01/24/18 02:56 PM)

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#12593814 - 01/24/18 01:51 PM Re: Anybody ever bonefish in Mangrove Cay Bahamas? [Re: LearnedHat]
lconn4 Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 12/02/12
Posts: 9516
Loc: Cherokee County
I hope you will post a lot pictures of the waters and the fishing when you come back. I've never fished there but have friends that fish Andros ever year and I follow a guide on facebook that lives in Lowe Sound. I envy you.

cheers
_________________________
A good rule of angling philosphy is not to interfere with another fisherman's ways of being happy, unless you want to be hated.

Zane Grey, Tales of Fishes, 1919

https://vimeo.com/73372194


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#12594822 - 01/25/18 08:06 AM Re: Anybody ever bonefish in Mangrove Cay Bahamas? [Re: LearnedHat]
Jim Ford Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/28/12
Posts: 1609
Loc: Texas
The guide(s) you will be using will be the best source of that information. Take some good polarized glasses. It's been a while, but I used to see more bonefish by spotting their shadows than the fish themselves; they are very well camouflaged in their environment.

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