Bonefish is a popular gamefish and are known as "grey ghosts of the flats" because they are stealthy, fast swimming fish that are fun and challenging to catch. Bonefish mature at three to four years of age (17-18 inches total length), may live longer than 23 years, and grow to be three feet long and 15 pounds.


Body elongated, silvery, with darkish areas at the tip of the snout and at the base of the pectoral fin. May display faint bars. Dorsal fin single, tail deeply forked. Mouth short, underslung, ending before the eye.

Size up to 1 m.

Inhabits shallow coastal waters, estuaries and bays, over sand and mud bottoms, down to 84 m. Often in schools, except for large individuals that are solitary. More or less pelagic, but feeds on benthic worms, crustaceans and mollusks. Tolerates oxygen poor water by inhaling air into a lung-like airbladder.

Abundant to occasional South Florida, Bahamas and Caribbean; rare North Florida.


Live shrimp and crabs make good bonefish bait, but bonefish also respond to fies and artificiallures. They also can be enticed to bite by anglerschumming with chopped shrimp. Casting is another test of the angler’s skill; casting too close to a fish will send it scurrying, whereas a line dropped too far away will never get its attention.Once hooked, a bonefish makes a mad dash for deeper water, often breaking the line on rocks or corals as it streaks across the bottom. Most anglers use 10-pound test line on bonefish. Although bonefish can be caught any time of day, tailing fish are most likely to be spotted in the early morning or evening. In the winter, bonefish are not as numerous in the shallows, and deeper waters are a better choice for the angler

Species Information

Scientific Name:Albula vulpes
Environment:Inshore, Surf
Ideal Temp:70-85ºF (21-29ºC)
Technique:Casting, Fly
Lure Type:Flies, Plugs, Spoons, Topwater
World Record:8.61 kg (19 lb 0 oz) Zululand, South Africa
Other Names:bonefish, bananafish, banana fish, grey ghost

Latest Bonefish Fishing Reports and Spots

BIG pink snapper off Bunbury and Dampier red emperor on sunset featured in Recfishwest's State-wide Fishing Report 16 July 2021 🎣 - 7/16/2021 12:00:00 AM

96 Recfishwest Newsletter View this email in your browser Recfishwest Fishing Report 16/07/21 Picture: Marco Fraschetti Our Contributers Zach R (View)

Windy Rainy May Key West Fishing - 5/19/2021 9:35:00 PM

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From land-based pinkies in the South West to metro 1m mulloway there's plenty to read in Recfishwest's State-wide Fishing Report 7 May 2021 🎣 - 5/7/2021 1:30:00 AM

96 Recfishwest Newsletter View this email in your browser Recfishwest Fishing Report 07/05/21 Wetting a line from a beach somewhere in the Sout (View)

From chunky ruby snapper off Exmouth to 48cm black bream at Albany there's plenty to read in Recfishwest's State-wide Fishing Report 16 April 2021 🎣 - 4/16/2021 3:16:56 AM

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Florida Keys Flyfishing Guide - 2/25/2019 1:49:50 PM

Florida keys Flyfishing Guide Hot water and air temperatures along with strong winds have kept the bonefish permit and tarpon very active. If t (View)

Getting a chance to fish - 12/10/2019 11:36:49 AM

I have told many clients of mine that if you really love to fish don’t become a fishing guide. I got a chance to break out my fly rod and go fl (View)

A day off flyfishing with good friends - 12/25/2019 10:50:13 AM

‪I had a day off to go flats fishing. We went west of Key West in search of bonefish permit and barracudas. I fished with Captain Mike Bartlett (View)

Bonefish barracuda sharks and jacks - 1/3/2020 5:03:46 PM

I have been fishing mostly west of Key West for the past week. with the warm weather My clients have been landing sharks bonefish barracudas sh (View)

Great day of fishing - 3/15/2020 8:00:01 PM

Paul had a banner day of flats fishing west of Key west. He landed 3 bonefish 2 permit and a barracuda The post Great day of fishing appeared f (View)

Permit Me - 7/2/2013 9:08:59 PM

April-May is my favorite time of the year in the Florida Keys. One of the many reasons has to do with what I feel is the most exciting species (View)