The Bones of Florida

I’ve hears some talk recently about there being fewer bonefish in Florida these days.

The past is always better, right? But this isn’t 20 years ago past, this is, like, three years ago past.

Back not too long ago things got kind of cold in Florida. Bonefish, tarpon, snook… these fish don’t like cold water. In fact… they die.

The Florida Sportsman recently ran a story about what the guides are seeing on the FL flats.

Captain Lain Goodwin of Key Largo noted that effects of the frontal blasts varied from area to area. “After the cold snaps in 2010 I did notice a major decline,” said Goodwin. “I’d usually see from 20 to even 100 bones on a half-day trip, but now I’m lucky to find 10 to 20 on a good day. And yet on other flats in close proximity to Largo Sound, the bonefish population has remained steady.”

Anyone have first hand experience or insight to share on this?
I’m headed to FL for the first time (since I was 10) at the end of May and I’m very much looking forward to that trip.
Nice fish.

Nice fish.

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  1. I understand that these bonefish don’t like cold water but they must adapt somehow. They are found in San Diego Harbor and all the way up past Huntington Harbor and that water gets below anything in FL.

  2. I was in the Keys 2-3 weeks ago and we saw, maybe, 10 loose bones . . . lots of tarpon, some permit. Nothing like the good ol’ days of 20+ reasonable shots at bones in a day.

    The guides I’ve talked to all attribute it to the freeze; that said, the snook got hammered by the freeze in SW, and they are back to pre-freeze SPR. That makes me wonder if something else is going on with regards to their spawning/reproductive environment.

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