Bonefish are one of the most popular game fish in the world and a main target for fly anglers. Found all over the world in shallow tropical water, most bonefish are found between six inches to ten feet of water. Smaller juvenile bonefish will travel in large schools while adults will travel alone or in smaller groups. They are fast and powerful, which makes catching them on light tackle and fly gear a fun experience.
Nicknamed the “ghosts of the flats”, bonefish are covered in small silver armor-like plates rather than scales like most fish. These reflective plates makes them very hard to see alone on the flats a characteristic that aids in both hunting and when being hunted. They have very distinct, downward-turned mouths that act like suckers when feeding on the bottom. Unlike permit, bonefish have very soft mouths and are typically much easier to catch.
WHAT THEY EAT: Bonefish feed on crabs, shrimp, clams, sea urchins, shellfish and even small sardines. They typically do this by swimming with their heads down and rooting the sandy bottom. When they do this their tails often break the surface, which is called tailing and is a sight fly fishermen love to see.
WHERE TO FIND THEM: Bonefish are found in warm, shallow water all over the world but are most common in the Caribbean. Bonefish can reach upwards of 10-15 lbs, but most commonly the ones caught in the Caribbean are in the 2-5 lb range. Anything over 10 lbs is considered a trophy, but there are reports of 20 lb bonefish in places like Hawaii and Africa.