Bonefishing in the Abacos

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Bonefishing in the Abacos

The Blue Marlin that are at the heart and soul of our Bahamas Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament aren’t the only sought-after fish in the waters around Abaco. Bonefish favor the saltwater flats that can be found throughout The Bahamas and attract those who enjoy fly-fishing to Abaco and other islands from around the world. 

“This elusive, silvery fish is prized among fishers, but because of restrictions and its many bones, it is often released instead of brought in as food,” the experts at the Florida Museum explain. “These hard-to-find ‘gray ghosts’ appear dark blue-green from above with silver sides streaked with darker grey.”

In addition to the bones that give the fish its name, the museum offers another reason to release these fish after you’ve hooked them. “Due to their feeding habits, they carry a minor risk of ciguatera poisoning to humans who eat them.” Just saying. 

Common Characteristics of Bonefish 

  • Fish in Floridian and Bahamian waters usually weigh 4-6 pounds 
  • Characterized by silver sides, often with subtle striping; the backs are darker
  • Don’t be surprised if you see a bonefish in Abaco with a bit of yellow at the base of its pectoral fins 
  • Is most plentiful in The Bahamas, Bermuda and South Florida 
  • Have occasionally been seen as far north as New York and New Brunswick
  • Despite its abundance of bones, bonefish don’t have spines 


Where to Look for Bonefish in Abaco

As the Florida Museum reports, “Bonefish are predominately a coastal species, commonly found in intertidal flats, mangrove areas, river mouths, and deeper adjacent waters. The flats vary in composition from sand or grass to rocky substrates.”

Bonefishing, which is a popular sport in Florida and Puerto Rico in addition to The Bahamas, is usually done from a shallow-draft boat or by simply wading into the beautiful blue waters of the Abacos with a fishing rod.  If you’re in the mood for a little fly-fishing, save the fishing tournaments in the Bahamas for another day and let a guide help you find a promising place to cast your line. 

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