One of the most exciting and heart pounding fly fishing opportunities that occurs throughout the year is the blitz Bonita (False Albacore) put on the Nature Coast during the summer and fall months. As bait balls swell to acres in size throughout the year, massive schools of Bonita invade the local flats off of Crystal River to intercept these tinny baitfish in order to stock up fat for the winter. As awe inspiring as an acre wide bait ball may seem, a 5 acre school of Bonita can decimate a bait ball of this size in a matter of minutes.
When targeting these “Feeding Frenzies” a run and gun style of fly fishing is the method of choice. Fly anglers will find themselves in an all out hunt for diving birds, sky rocketing fish, and massive pods of dolphins which all feed on the same schools of bait. Once a feeding school is spotted a quick approach is necessary to get anglers in position. The good news is that once a fly hits the water in the fray it’s normally off to the races before your first strip, as a Bonita will do it’s best to peel every ounce of fly line and backing off your fly reel.
Although the food value of a Bonita is at best considered “Cat Food,” there are not too many fish swimming that can make a drag screaming run like a Bonit. With most Bonita ranging in size from 5-20lbs and multiple hookups the norm, fly fishing for Bonita is quickly becoming the species of choice for summertime fly fishermen.
So if you haven’t seen the spool of your fly reel in a while, consider fly fishing for Bonita with Capt. Kyle Messier and Reel Florida Fishing Charters. We’ll do our best to make you say “Oh NO!! Is that all the backing I have left?”