Nov 12

Trouble in Paradise

Islamorada is the Bonefishing Capital of the US. That makes the story I found by Sue Cocking about diminishing numbers of bonefish around Islamorada even more troubling.

“A lot of places where we used to find them, they’ve left,” Brewer said. “They’re just not around anymore. I lost a lot of days because of that. The ‘sportfishing capital of the world’ is not here as far as bonefish are concerned.”

A study published early this year by University of Miami bonefish researcher Mike Larkin and colleagues found the bonefish stock from Biscayne Bay through Key West is “bordering on an overfished status.” The last bonefish census in the region conducted in the fall of 2010 by UM and the non-profit Bonefish Tarpon Trust found a “substantial decrease” since guides and anglers began the annual count in 2003.

Well… this is not good.

The story goes on to talk about how researchers are going about trying to figure out what is happening so corrective action can be taken. It all starts with Science.  An interesting player, beyond the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust (who are involved, as you might expect) is Audubon.

An interesting read if you fish there now, or plan to in the future.

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Nov 10

Fall Bonefish Census… not awesome

Well, the numbers are in from the Fall bonefish census and the picture is not rosy.  Numbers are way down.  The Miami Herald (America’s most bonefishy newspaper) break the story.

About 60 guides and anglers who poled across the flats from Biscayne Bay to the Marquesas Keys west of Key West on Oct. 23 counted about 200,000 bonefish — way down from the mean estimate of 339,595 over the past eight years. Ault said the past three fall censuses have been below that mean but not nearly as low as the latest count.

Nice to see Joe Gonzalez getting recognized for the effort he’s put in to helping out…

Some South Florida flats guides — especially Miami captain Joe Gonzalez — have taken up the cause of bonefish research.

Gonzalez, 50, has tagged more bones than any other captain — about 1,700 during the past seven years.

Here are the folks doing the work.

Joe G with a tagged bone. (photo from Sam Root)

Aug 10

Blackfly Bonefish Club via the Miami Herald

SCHOONER BAY, GREAT ABACO ISLAND, BAHAMAS — After nearly 20 years as a founding pastor of the 500-member New Providence Community Church in Nassau, Clint Kemp was starting to burn out. So he took three months off and went fly fishing. After praying, casting, and catching and releasing many fish, he decided it was time for a new career.

“Instead of a pulpit, I have a poling platform,” Kemp, 45, said.

via A new fishing haven found and created in Bahama Islands – Outdoors – MiamiHerald.com.

Sue Cocking (yes, unfortunate) writes up another bonefishing story for the Miami Herald focused on the Blackfly Bonefish Club. Doesn’t sound like she had totally awesome fishing, but such is life and fishing.

The club even has a facebook page. The club is an extension of Black Fly Outfitter out of Jacksonville, FL.

looks nice. find more pics on their facebook pag.

Jan 10

Miami Herald and Bonefish

The Miami Herald had a good story recently focused on bones in those islands to the East of Miami.

Miami Herald Bone

The writer was Sue Cocking (yes, unfortunate), the guide was Captain Ronnie Sawyer and the location was Green Turtle Cay in the Abacos.

The story serves as a reminder that some days are tough, the weather doesn’t care what your plans are and a good guide is a good idea.