Fishipedia Top 5: Things you didn’t know about bonefish

June 27th, 2011| No Comments

The fly angler’s favourite is a surprising little beast – they’re more valuable than you think for starters…


Some things we know about the grey ghost of the flats: they live in the world’s most beautiful places, they’re more-or-less perfectly designed for the fly angler, and they’re impossibly strong for their size. But how about a few things most of us might not be aware of? Here goes…



1. It used to be thought that there was one species of bonefish worldwide. Actually, there are as many as nine. The one most anglers are familiar with is the Albula vulpes variety.

2. How is it that bonefish seem able to thrive in backwaters seemingly devoid of oxygen? It’s all thanks to a unique evolutionary quirk; they inhale air into a lung-like airbladder to supplement oxygen from the water.

3. Bonefish don’t have teeth in the conventional (or at least visible) sense. They do, however, have granular, crushing teeth on their tongue and upper jaw, and in the throat, helping them to grind up prey.

4. Recent research suggests that bonefish in the Caribbean grow at a slower rate than their Florida Keys cousins: a fork length of 23 inches in the Caribbean represents a 16-year-old fish while the same length represents a fish just 6 years old in the Keys.

5. One recent study carried out by the University of Miami put the value of a single Florida Keys bonefish at $3,500 each year, making it worth nearly $75,000 over its lifetime.

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