Stalk the flats looking for grey ghosts
The Bahamas are a coral archipelago to the south-east of Florida and are a saltwater sportsman or -woman’s paradise. Among those in the know, the islands, like Great Abaco and Andros, are legendary bonefishing destinations. This is due to the abundant bonefish habitat, from seagrass beds to pristine flats. Throw in the sunshine and the white-sand beaches, a relaxed island vibe and some amazing places to stay and you’ve got the recipe for a perfect fishing trip.
Although many people like to use spinning, lure and baitfishing techniques to catch bonefish - which like to feed on marine crustaceans - it is fly fishers who hold the species in particularly high regard. Bonefish are lightning quick and powerful for their size, capable of stripping line and making your reel scream like few other species. They’re aggressive feeders too, which can make for some explosive takes.
That said, they’re no pushover to catch. For those looking to cover lots of water, a flat-bottomed skiff, complete with poling and casting platforms, is the method of transport of choice. If you’re after a more hands-on (or should that be ‘feet-in’?) experience might prefer to wade the flats on foot. Both allow for a stealthy approach, getting you close enough to make a cast without scaring these notoriously spooky fish. And then your cast will need to be nigh on perfect to elicit a bite.
For many anglers the process of scanning the flats, spotting some tailing bonefish, making a cast to the feeding fish and waiting for all hell to break loose, then releasing the fish to fight another day after a heart-pounding battle amid the azure-blue waters of the Bahamas is an experience that they never beat. For some of the best bonefishing packages available, check out the hosts below.
Scientific name: Albula vulpes
Size: 40 – 100 cm
Weight: 1- 7.5 kg
Lifespan: 10 years
Methods: Spinning, Fly fishing, Game fishing, Salt water fishing, Spearfishing
Continent(s): Pacific Ocean, Atlantic, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico