The Bonefish also called phantom and gray ghost is probably pound for pound the
strongest and fastest running fish in salt water. Bonefishing is a shallow-water pursuit done
in depths ranging from 8 inches to 8 feet. Flats sporting currents; dropoffs along the edges;
clean, healthy seagrass that promotes rooting around for food; and cruising stingrays that do
the rooting for the smart but freeloading bonefish are all things to look for.
Bonefish is caught in the Florida Keys all year round. The spring and fall are probably the best
times of the year to find fish all day long because the water temperatures are more constant.
In the winter, mid day is very good once the water warms up. And in the summer pursuing
bonefish early and late in the day will likely be more comfortable.
There are three basic ways to fish for bonefish. Some people chum with bits of shrimp or crab
to bring the fish on to the flats. Some anglers will stake up the boat on the edge of the flat and
wait for bonefish to come in with the tide. The third way is to pole the boat around on the flats
and sight fish for them. Flat seas and calm conditions offer the opportunity to spot tailing
bonefish. A bonefish with its head down nosing around for food in shallow water often leaves
its tail and dorsal finning above the surface.
A fly angler can try a more aggressive approach because the flies are so light in weight..
Bonefish are great sportfish because of the challenge involved in fooling them.
A census of the bonefish Bay
area of Miami to southwest of
Key West was conducted in
October of 2003 by the staff at
the University of Miami
Rosentiel School of Marine
and Atmospheric Sciences.
Sponsored by the nonprofit
research foundation Bonefish
& Tarpon Unlimited, the survey
asked captains and fishermen
to record every bonefish they
saw in an assigned area. The
scientists then did
mathematical analyses to
estimate the overall bonefish
population to be 317,730 in
the 160-mile stretch of coastal
The bonefish census is
expected to be an ongoing
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|Florida Keys Bonefishing