Bonefish: Albula vulpes


  • Silvery color with a bluish or greenish back
  • Slender, round body
  • Snout long and overhanging lower jaw
  • Dark streaks on upper half of body and faint cross-bands extending down to lateral line
  • Extremities of dorsal and caudal fins are shaded with black

Similar Species: Ladyfish, E. saurus (mouth terminal, at the very front of head)

Size: Up to 18 pounds; rarely more than 10 pounds



Inshore fish inhabiting shallow waters often less than one foot deep, usually over lush seagrass flats, but occasionally over white sand


Bonefish have deeply forked tails that provide power for chasing prey in lush grass beds. Keen eyesight and a skittish nature make these fish a prized trophy for saltwater anglers. They travel in small schools prowling grass beds and sand flats for shrimp, crabs and other invertebrates. Average size is 3 to 5 pounds but fish weighing more than 10 pounds can be found in Florida. Spawns offshore.


Additional Information

State Record:External Website  16 lb 3 oz, caught near Islamorada

Fishing Tips and Facts: Live shrimp or jigs tipped with fresh shrimp are the best baits for conventional fishermen. Fly fishermen patiently pole through shallow flats stalking these elusive fish. Bonefish are very seldom eaten and should be carefully released.

Recreational Regulations

Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles

FWC Facts:
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