Bonefishing is a popular sport where anglers catch the challenging bonefish, found in tropical waters. Hiring an experienced guide is recommended. The most popular method is using a pole boat with a guide to search for fish. Catch and release is common as bonefish are not good to eat.
Bonefishing is a type of sport fishing where anglers try to catch a certain type of fish, called a bonefish. The bonefish is known for its sporting qualities and the challenge of finding, hooking and landing it. Many times, those who are new to bonefishing find that the best option is to hire an experienced guide.
Bonefish is a type of fish in the family Albulidae, mainly found in clear tropical waters, offshore flats and backwater areas, especially near mangroves. They range in size from 5 to 12 pounds (2 to 5.5 kg). They are a very popular sport fish, especially in the Florida Keys and the Bahamas. They appear silvery or gray and have longer bodies built for speed.
Bonefishing can be accomplished in many different ways, some easier than others. Chum can be thrown into the water in an attempt to lure bonefish to a certain area of the flats, where most of them are found. Once they are there, throwing a baited hook, or artificial lure, into their midst will usually attract a strike. However, this bonefishing technique is hardly considered sporty by many anglers.
The most popular method of bonefishing, especially when using a guide, is to use a pole boat to search the flats for fish. This is accomplished by using a good pair of polarized glasses and a long pole. The guide often stands on a platform above the main level of the boat and uses the pole to push the boat. You cannot use a trolling motor when bone fishing because the fish are easily spooked. Once you spot a bonefish, your guide will direct the angler where to cast.
While bonefish may prefer live bait, they can be caught by other means as well. Fishing lures are one of the best ways to catch lures. Fly fishing techniques also work well for bonefish because the lures enter the water so gently and don’t scare the fish as much.
Most anglers love bonefish simply for the challenge offered once a bonefish is hooked. Pound for pound, it may be harder to find a more vigorous fighter or intelligent fish. Bonefish are notorious for breaking lines rated for fish twice as large. In many cases, anglers have to let them have an initial run and hope they find no coral, mangrove roots, or hard shells to break the line on.
Bonefishers often try to practice catch and release. Although bonefish are used in some stews, they are generally considered not a good fish to eat. However, they are very fragile, so if they are released, they no longer need to be kept out of the water to take a quick photograph, then immediately returned.