For many, the bonefish (Albula vulpes) is the first saltwater flats fish they will catch. It is a fantastic species to target because it is so visible on the flats, very willing to take and puts up an excellent fight. They are fondly called the “grey ghosts of the flats” because they are stealthy, fast and typically grey in color, but they can also be olive, green and yellow due to their mirror scales. Bonefish live in tropical waters and typically live in shoals but you will find larger solitary fish. They feed on fry, crustaceans and mollusks. They mature at three to four years of age. They are best fished for on an outgoing tide where they are moving off the flats into deeper water. They are found across the tropics from the Seychelles to Christmas Island and beyond. Please see below our lodges that offer fishing for bonefish.
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The ideal rod for bonefish is a fast action 7 to 9 weight rod, 9-foot in length matched to a tropical saltwater floating line. Reels should have a good reliable smooth drag that can take a bit of punishment. Leaders should be in the 8 to 12 lb range about 9 foot in length; bonefish can be leader shy so care needs to be taken when presenting a fly.
Bonefish flies are typically tied to represent the local crustaceans and bait that make up their food source. Typically you want to try and match the color of the fly to the sea bed. Bonefish flies are all tied on single hooks; with that in mind make sure that your supplier uses good quality hooks. Weed guards are often added to avoid fouling your hooks on the turtle grass. When stocking up on flies try to ensure you have varying weights, bead heads vs dumbbells; this will help you greatly in the different tidal conditions you will encounter.
Specializes in saltwater fishing and big game hunting.
Senior Program Manager
Specializes in Bahamas and Christmas Island fishing, and United States wingshooting programs.