05 Dec Winter Time bonefishing
Winter time bonefishing in south Florida requires timing and knowledge of the local weather patterns and how those affect the fishing for shallow water species.
The bonefish and permit are very sensible species to changes in barometric pressure and water temperature. If a cold front comes up and drops the water temperatures below the fish’s comfort zone (usually below 65 degrees) they will immediately leave the shallows and move to deep water, to find a more comfortable and warmer thermo zone.
Remember that the fish don’t have fans, heating or AC like humans do. They adjust their body temperature by moving deeper or shallower into the water column.
If a cold front settles down for several days, dropping the water temperature below 65 degrees with strong northerly winds, the bonefishing gets very tough as most fish will be in deep water and very lethargic. The colder it gets, the deepest the fish will be for a longer period of time.
If a weak cold front comes through for only a couple of days, The bonefish will still be feeding and holding in fairly shallow water. Even more if the winds happen to shift from the north to the east or better yet, to the south.
Winter time cold fronts
As now, at least 2 cold fronts have rolled in through south Florida bringing the typical pre-frontal strong NW winds, along with clouds and some rain, followed by post-frontal NE winds and blue bird skies. The usual pattern for this time of the year is finding big schools of fish mudding and cruising the ocean side shorelines. In fact, I’ve had some of my best days bonefishing during the coldest months, so do not completely call off the bonefishing in winter time.
Another good incentive for your effort is that some very big double-digit fish are always caught during the cold months. These fish will surprise you, making extra long runs when hooked, as the cold water holds more oxygen, giving the fish more stamina and power.
Winter time bonefishing in Miami
The bonefishing during winter time is not consistent but if you pick your days and Learn how to read cold front activity, some epic days with great catches can be had.
Give me a call and I’ll be glad to keep an eye on the weather so we can line up those magic days when the bonefish will be active and hungry, waiting for a well placed fly or live shrimp.
Capt Alex Zapata
Flats fishing guide
IFFF certified fly casting instructor
Miami, Everglades and the keys
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