Description and habitat:
Bonefish are often referred to as
the grey ghost or phantom, due to
its ability to stay well camouflaged
in clear shallow flats, often to the
frustration of the fly angler pursuing
them. The speed and strength of the
bonefish, combined with the sight
fishing technique used to outsmart
this species, make bonefish one of
the most popular salt water species
to target with a fly rod. Juvenile
bonefish may be observed in large
shoals of like-sized individuals while
large mature fish swim in smaller
groups or in pairs.
Bonefish have the ability to reach
a length of 100cm and 10kilograms,
but fish of this size are uncommon,
and in most areas a bonefish of over
50cm is considered a good specimen.
The bonefish’s colouration is
perfectly suited to the shallow flats
on which they feed, they appear blue-greenish
above, with bright silver scales on
the sides and below. Dark streaks
run in between the rows of scales,
predominantly on the dorsal side.
The body is long and thin, with a
bluntly conical snout. This colouration
makes the camouflage of this species
so good that often the only aspects
to betray the bonefish’s position
are the eye of the bonefish, or the
shadow that the bonefish forms on
the sandy bottom.
GT’s, Sharks and barracuda
often prey on bonefish, which may
explain why the fish have evolved
such a sleek body, as speed is their
primary tool in fleeing from these
Angling Tackle and Tactics:
Tides are vital when targeting bonefish
on fly as this species tend to move
onto shallow tidal flats to feed with
the incoming tide, and retreating
to deeper water as the tide ebbs.
Tourette Fishing guides have an intimate
understanding of the movement of bone
fish on the flats of the Seychelles,
and will ensure you are wading the
right flats at the correct time. Polarized
glasses and comfortable rubber soled
wading boots with gravel guards are
Fast action 9ft 8/9wht rods, matched
with a large arbor direct drive reel,
along with a good quality floating
line is the standard bonefish set-up.
Reels should be spooled with 200yards
of 20lb backing.
A pelagic fish, the bonefish nonetheless
feeds on bottom dwelling creatures
such as worms, crustaceans, and mollusks,
rooting them out from the sandy bottom.
Flats sporting currents, drop-offs
along the edge and clean, healthy
turtle grass beds produce an abundance
of these prey species.
Fly selection is made with these
aspects in mind, and some of the best
flies including a variety of charlie’s,
Gotcha’s, shrimp patterns, and
small crab patterns. With smaller
flies in the size 6 range being preferred
in areas where the bonefish are more
skittish, and flies being tied on
hooks up to the size of 2 in other
Leader set up is vital in targeting
the bonefish, as their keen eyesight
can make them a frustrating target
species. A good leader set-up would
entail a 9 - 12 ft tapered leader,
ending with a 15lb fluorocarbon tippet.
Comprehensive tackle lists, compiled
for each unique salt water fishing
area, will be sent out on request
or on booking.
For details on the areas Tourette
Fishing targets bonefish, go to the
Josephs atoll, Seychelles