Boating Lifestyle

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Saltwater Fish - Bonefish


Albula vulpes

AKA:  Bones

Distinguishing Markings:

Silvery color with bluish or greenish back; slender, round body; long, conical snout, aiming downward and overhanging the lower jaw.  Dark streaks between scales on the upper half of the body and faint crossbands extending down to the lateral line.  The extremities of the dorsal and caudal fins are shaded black.



Commonly 3 to 5 pounds, up to more than 15 pounds



Occurs worldwide in shallow tropical and subtropical waters around flats and intertidal areas.



Primarily an inshore fish inhabiting shallows of the Florida Keys; found in shallows often less than a foot deep, usually over lush grass flats, occasionally over white sand.


Food Preference:

Feed on crabs, shrimps, clams, sea worms, sea urchins, and small fish that inhabit the sandy flats and intertidal areas. They are often seen rooting in the sand, their tails breaking the surface of the shallow water; an action commonly known as tailing.  At other times they will plough the bottom stirring up silt and marl, known as mudding.



Spawns offshore, eggs hatching into ribbon-like larvae that metamorphose into fish-like form at about 2 inches and move inshore


Fishing Tips:

They are powerful and run very fast and hard when hooked. Fishing methods include plug, fly or spin casting from a skiff or white wading on tidal flats, using shrimp, crabs or similar baits. Most bonefish are caught in depths from 6 inches to 10 ft.


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