Welcome to The Bonefish Flat

There's a stiff wind in your face as you squint in the sun trying to see what the guide sees. "Bonefish at 12 o'clock about 90 feet, do you see it, mon?" You don't and keep squinting, your hat pulled low to keep the sun out of your eyes. "Bonefish at 11 o'clock 70 feet out. Come on man, do you see it?" As the guide is calmly shifting the skiff into position, this time you spot the fish, "I got, it," you reply.

"OK, Mon, Bonefish 50 feet at 10 o'clock. Cast when you're ready."

Cast when you're ready. And with that you drop your fly, roll out a cast, false cast once, and then...

Welcome to the bonefish flat.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cheesesteaks, Bonefish, and the Census

I'm less than a month away from my big bonefishing trip. I'm getting ready to get into the mode of casting practice and tying flies. You've seen a few of the flies on the site and if not, you can check them out on our fly tying page here.

I'm really looking forward to a few days of R&R and using what I've learned in previous trips to be a better angler on this trip.

This is the last day in Philly so I had to put up Pats against Geno's. I went to Geno's tonight and here's a pic.

Sorry Geno's, but Pats is the winner.

In bonefishing news, Bonefish and Tarpon Trust is conducting a bonefish census in Florida ranging from Key Biscayne to the Marquesas. Below is the press release.

Spring Florida Keys Bonefish Population Census

Esteemed Guides and Anglers, we need your help! This will be our third consecutive year of conducting a Spring Bonefish Population Census to calibrate with results from the Fall Florida Keys Bonefish Population Census, now in its 8th year. The 2010 Spring census event is planned for *Wednesday, April 21, 2010*.

Bonefishing is a multimillion dollar industry in the Florida Keys and virtually all of the fish are released unharmed to fight again. The bonefish census, coordinated by the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT) and the University of Miami RSMAS, helps to determine population trends of one of the Keys most important sport fish. This is the first and only population estimate ever done on bonefish anywhere in the world. The census information is vital to evaluating year-to-year changes in the bonefish population and providing guidance that ensures a sustainable fishery!!!

Fall census results have indicated a population of just over 320,000 bonefish in the Florida Keys fishery. We want to use the Spring census to calibrate our Fall estimates and to determine if there is a seasonal component to the bonefish population size estimates. Of particular note, your participation in this year’s census is critically important because we are trying to get a handle on the extent to which January’s extremely cold weather has impacted the Florida Keys bonefish population.

Our ability to detect population size differences from year to year depends on the number of census participants. *The more participants we have the more robust our population size estimate.* Please volunteer to help us as we need greater coverage of the fishery running from Key Biscayne to the Marquesas. *All the information collected during the census will remain strictly confidential and be used only for scientific research purposes.*

If you are able to participate please contact Dr. Jerry Ault at jault@rsmas.miami.edu This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 305-421-4884. Once we have heard from you we will mail you a census package with a datasheet. Your responsibilities are minimal, all we ask is that you record: the zone(s) you fished; the distance poled; and, the number of bonefish seen. Simple, but very important! Finally, census datasheets will also be available from Florida Keys Outfitters (305-664-5423) or can be downloaded at www.bonefishresearch.com.

We are counting on you to help us determine the current population size of this very important sports fish.

Dr. Jerry Ault

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