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