Just about everyone in South Florida knows the shrimp here become microscopic in the summer and the fish that feed on these ever present crustaceans change their feeding patterns to offset this annual tradition. The bonefish in Biscayne Bay average 8 lbs. or so and must adapt to the quality of the food source available to them.
Working at Don’s has given me as a fly tier a unique experience in seeing all kinds of food items available from Biscayne Bay ( Biscayne Bay is where almost all the shrimp that are delivered from Miami to Key West are caught). This time of year we begin to see a lot more mantis shrimp in the tanks and this is after they have cleaned and culled their nighttime catches. This leads me to believe that the mantis shrimp are extremely abundant this time of year and they certainly offer a much better food source for the larger bone fish in the Bay.
Here’s a fly I have had a lot of luck with over the years for summer time bone fishing especially during the hottest months of July- Sept. This is a large bone fish fly (3 -4 inches) and not for flat calm slicked off days or the faint of heart. If you get this meal in front of a fish and she doesn’t spook its game on!
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Hook: Gamakatsu b10stinger #2
Tail/ body: barred jumbo zonker
Head: arctic fox or cross cut rabbit in dubbing loop
Eyes: situation specific