Jun 15

Day 5 of Tarponless Tarpon Fishing with Bill and Dan

Day 5 was ugly. The wind was up in a big way and ruled out most of what we would have wanted to do. I was fishing with Bill Horn, the guy who wrote the (or at least a) book about the Keys. He’s also on the Board for the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust. Also in the boat was Dan Dow, who works at BTT.

It is always good to be in the boat with Bill. He has his home waters dialed and managed a couple of wizard-like moments in conditions that were beyond rough. We were taking green rollers over the bow. The bottom was stirred up and visibility was sketchy. Bill still managed to put us in the path of some tarpon. How he did that… I can only suspect witchcraft of some kind.

Not great conditions

Not great conditions

We actually got a couple of shots, but the fish were so close to the boat by the time we could see them the shots were not high quality.

We were watching the weather form out beyond us and when it was clear we were in its way we made a run back toward Vaca Cut. The first squall line had moved beyond us by the time we got there and as we tried to make our way to his slip we ran smack into the second squall line. Pretty impressive weather to get stuck in. We hid under the bridge and when the storm passed we even got to try for some of the smaller tarpon rolling in the inexplicably placid waters before the wind came back up.

Yeah... that's some weather.

Yeah… that’s some weather.

That's Dan and Bill, under the rain drop.

That’s Dan and Bill, under the rain drop.

The day was over and I was fish-less again on Day 5. It was a good day though and it was great to share the water with Bill and Dan. I learned a lot from Bill, as I do every time I get on the water with him. Dan… I didn’t learn anything from Dan (kidding), but it was fun to fish with him anyway.

Jun 15

A toe in the water for BTT

Support BTT

Support BTT

Maybe you don’t have a ton of scratch, maybe you just aren’t much of a giver. Maybe you’ve always thought about joining, but just have put it off.

Well, you can now join the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust for $25 and get the $50 bennies, including a new BTT hat.

This is the organization looking out for the fish we love and if you want these fish to be around for generations to come, this is the place to put that $25.

So, join now, if you haven’t already. It is a great promotion and a great organization doing important work on a shoestring.

yeah...  what he said.

yeah… what he said.


Apr 15

Forbes and Cuba

Well… Forbes ran a story about fishing Cuba and that means I need to point you there. Could the bonefish decline in the Keys be partly put on Cuba?

While the scientific research is ongoing, there is much speculation that the Keys bonefish decline may be in part due to the overharvesting of the species in Cuba. Tagging by the BTT shows no evidence of adult migrations between the Keys and Cuba. “But once bonefish hatch from eggs after spawning, the bonefish larvae are certainly capable of flowing with ocean currents from Cuba to the Keys during their 53 day open-ocean phase,” says the BTT’s Director of Operations, Dr. Aaron Adams. “So netting of spawning bonefish in Cuba could have significant impacts on how many larvae are able to drift from Cuba bonefish spawning sites to the Florida Keys.” And that could very well be the problem.




Feb 15

Bucs and Bones and South Andros

Somehow the new season of Buccaneers and Bones (which supports the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust) started without my noticing. But I’ve noticed now and watched the last episode, which was on South Andros at Bair’s Lodge.

bucs and bones

Oh, South Andros. I love that place. Only spend one week there, but it is etched in my memory forever. It was an important trip and the line separating one period in my life from another.

My trip there was FIBFest II, a thing that has gone by the wayside, an experiment of sorts.

The Buccaneers and Bones crew this year is pretty interesting with Jimmy Kimmel among the cast. South Andros is a special place. Glad to see it again, even if it is on TV.

Oct 14

Nautilus Reels and BTT

The Bonefish & Tarpon Trust got a great ally recently in Nautilus Reels. Sounds like they’ll donate 5% to BTT for their award-winning NV-Monster reel and will sign the purchaser up for a year of BTT membership.


I interviewed Kristen Mustad a few years back and got a chance to fish a Nautilus reel back in 2010 on a trip to Belize. Loved it.

Great to see Nautilus partnering up with BTT.

Sep 14

BTT 5th International Symposium and Art & Film Festival – Nov. 7-8

If you like bonefish or tarpon or permit (and I’m guessing you would say yes to at least one of those), you may be interested in BTT’s 5th International Symposium on Nov. 7-8 (IGFA Hall of Fame and Museum, Dania Beach, FL).

Something new this year will be the Art & Film Festival attached to this event. Now… I KNOW there are some folks who should put something together for this. I’m looking at you Eric and Chris. Art. Videos. Bonefish and Tarpon and Permit?

Hope some of you guys put something together to celebrate the places, people or fish involved.

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Aug 14

BTT Artist of the Year, Al Barnes

I do dig some bonefish art. The good stuff catches your eye just for a second while you are on about your non-bonefishing day and just for a second you can hear the sound of the wind through the mangroves and feel the deck sway on the current under your feet… just for a second.

Al Barnes is the 2014 Bonefish and Tarpon Trust Artist of the Year.

His work does just that.

hail mary-1

Aug 14

A good, selfish reason to join or renew with the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

Things I like… conservation, bonefish, tarpon, Bill Klyn and El Pescador in Belize. Compelling reasons to join or renew. Be entered in to win a trip to fish with Bill at El Pescador.

Jul 14

The youth are the future

The Bonefish & Tarpon Trust went looking for baby bonefish. This follows up on an effort to find baby bones in 2013 that didn’t find any.  This year, they did. Babies grow and become adults and the adults become legends.

OK... those are adorable.

OK… those are adorable.

After revising our search strategy based on the previous year’s results and new information from the Bahamas, BTT set out for the week long Baby Bonefish Blitz in June. We are happy to announce that this year we were successful in locating juvenile bonefish in one location of the Upper Keys where BTT staff and volunteers seined a shoreline that had been identified as likely juvenile bonefish habitat. The juveniles were found with a couple hundred mojarras, something we’ve come to expect based on the previous BTT research conducted in The Bahamas. We are currently awaiting genetic analysis to confirm that these were juvenile Albula vulpes, and not one of the other species of bonefish that aren’t caught in the recreational fishery.

I found one, smallish, bonefish when I was there in 2013. The youth movement appears to be going well in the Keys. Here’s to hoping it continues.

My one Florida Bonefish

My one Florida Bonefish


If you find juvenile bonefish like the ones in the photo, please let us know the location and date (email: info@bonefishtarpontrust.org). Please do not collect the juvenile bonefish; a research permit is required to collect.

Jun 14

A nice looking pair of Genes

BTT has announced a new/reinvigorated DNA collection program for tarpon and bonefish. That means a little bit of Citizen Science action and an opportunity for you to participate.

We already know from tagging research that bonefish have a relatively small home range except for spawning migrations, while tarpon are capable of undergoing long-distance migrations. The goal of the Bonefish Genetics Program is to determine the extent that bonefish populations in different locations in the Caribbean and Western Atlantic are related. The goal of the Tarpon Genetics Program is to determine if there is a single, regional tarpon population or multiple sub-populations.


The data will provide invaluable information to help us guide management strategies. But, these multi-year programs will only be successful if anglers and guides participate. To obtain a bonefish genetics or tarpon genetics sampling kit, please email info@bonefishtarpontrust.org or call 321-674-7758.

I actually got to collect some fin clips back on Andros in 2011 and I’m sure the next trip I go on, I’ll be asking for a few kits myself.

A few clips from 2011

A few clips from 2011