Photo: Greg Dini

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Big Bonefish Habitat:What to look for

The "lineup" at low tide. You can see the smaller ghost shrimp mounds.

1. Deep water flat or with quick and easy access to deep water. 
2. Large mounds littered with turtle grass
3. large population of crabs and gobie minnows
4. a deep water channel that runs thru flat (preferably along mangroves or a small overhanging cliff) 
5. aggregate spawning site close by 
6. a flat that is below average in size
7. offshore reef within a mile's range 
8. marley bottom 

The flat pictured above is a remarkable one. There are in upwards of 15 resident bonefish over the 10 lb mark. These fish are not loners.  It is the only one of its kind that I know about for at least 25 miles. The flat has it all. An aggregate spawning hole, deep water channel, massive shrimp mounds (underwater in this picture), large school of glass and gobie minnows, healthy population of manta shrimp, and more crabs then one could ever hope for. Looking at the bottom of this flat (not the above pictured intertidal zone) just looks fishy. Even on a dead low tide when the summit of these mounds are almost dry, the base is submerged two feet under.  Fishing this flat one must use a weed guard. The more turtle grass the better. On a side note the big fish do not frequent the dry area pictured above. They tend to stay just above the intertidal zone. The one exception being just after sunset will these big boys sneak above this zone and engorge on crabs. 

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