Albula Vulpes

Albulidae

Albuliformes

Onshore, Muddy Flats

4 - 16 pounds

16" - 41"

Bonefish 

Also Known As: Grey Ghost, Bones, macabi

Guides Who Fish This Species

Bonefish (Albula Vulpes) 

Bonefish have an elongated, torpedo-shaped body with silvery scales. The dorsal fin (top) has a triangular shape similar to that of a shark. The tail has a uniquely deep fork. Bonefish have blue-greenish backs with dark streaks that blend exceptionally well with the grass covering many flats' bottom. The sleek body and bottom have bright silvery scales that reflect the ocean bottom like a mirror. This natural camouflage allows the fish to remain largely undetected by anglers and their natural predators. 

Bonefish are known for a couple of unique traits. First, bonefish tail in the water while feeding in shallow water, commonly referred to as tailing. Second, they will take a fly/lure 100 yards or more once hooked in a dramatic run. 

  • Nicknames: Silver ghost, white fox, Maccabi.
  • Food value: Seldom eaten in Florida, too bony.

Distribution & Habitat

Bonefish live throughout portions of the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Pacific Ocean, and the Caribbean Sea. Its range extends from Florida Keys, Biscayne Bay, Bahamas, Caribbean, Cuba, and Florida coasts.

Bonefish heatmap

During different times of day, bonefish occupy different types of habitats. When they are not hunting for food, bonefish live in deeper waters, down to about 300 ft. As the tide comes in, the fish swim up into the shallow mudflats to search for food. You can find them in water as shallow as 4 inches deep.

Size & Weight 

Adult bonefish typically measure between 16 - 40 inches. Most weigh 6 - 8 pounds on average, but some reach up to 16 pounds. As adults, females grow larger than males and live up to 20 years. 

Interesting Facts 

Bonefish Species Across the Globe
  1. Speed – Bonefish are strong and fast, reaching speeds of 30 mph and quickly reaching top speed. When spooked, the grey ghost will travel 100 yards before you even finish your cast.
  2. Unique Snout - Bonefish has a distinctive snout. The bonefish's inferior mouth and conical nose extend a third of its l