People from all over the world travel to the Key Largo/Islamorada area to try their luck and skill at fishing for the elusive bonefish — which has been rightfully compared to a rocket with fins. When hooked, it can peel off 100 yards of line in the blink of an eye.
These fish — also known as the “Gray Ghost” or “Ghost of the Flats” — like to eat shrimp and crabs but can be fooled by flies patterned after their favorite live baits. All you need is hook-up to understand why these fish are so prized as gamefish. There are many techniques used to capture bonefish. One of the oldest is to position your boat on a flat where there is good water flow and anchor up or stake out, toss out a few lines with live shrimp on the hook, and wait.Throwing out a few broken up pieces of shrimp never hurts either. This has been an effective method and is still practiced to this day.
Today, the most popular method is to sight-fish for them. Bonefish can be spotted cruising the ocean side flats in search of tasty little morsels to eat. Nose to the bottom, their tails will break the surface of the water — called “tailing” — when feeding, which makes them a little easier to find. It is hard to beat the feeling you get after stalking your prey, making the correct presentation of a bait or fly, and watching it eat your offering. When that happens, the chase is on. More times than not your guide, has to pole after the fish just to keep line on your reel.
It is a celebrated fish and one that weighs in the double digits will get you your share of high fives back at the dock.