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Do you want to experience the thrill of catching bonefish? Would you like to learn how to catch bonefish? It is challenging to catch bonefish as it is elusive, good at hiding, and stealthy. Fishing for bonefish will not only test your patience but also your skills as an angler. In this article, we discuss how to catch bonefish, share fishing tips, baits, and lures, and discuss the equipment needed to catch bonefish.

How To Catch Bonefish
How To Catch Bonefish

How To Catch Bonefish

1. Sight-fishing

One of the popular fishing methods to catch bonefish is sight-fishing at schools or a single fish. Additionally, you can also fish for bonefish by wading or poling a shallow draft boat around shallow flats looking for fish. Sight fishing is an easy and effective way of fishing. it is a good way for beginners to get started with fishing. When sight-fishing for bonefish, you will need to wear polarized sunglasses to clearly spot the bonefish in the waters when it is windy.

2. Fly fishing

Fly fishing is another popular fishing method anglers use to catch bonefish. You must have good casting skills to catch bonefish. Fly fishing for bonefish will put your skills and patience to the test. Fly fishing for bonefish has become more popular as fly anglers have found fly fishing to be effective when fishing for bonefish.

Bonefish Tackle Setup

A light spinning setup, preferably 6 to 12 pounds with a 7 to 7 1/2-foot fishing rod and reel carrying about 200 yards of the line will work for bonefish fishing.  Add a 20- or 30-foot mono or fluorocarbon top shot to prevent spooking the fish if you opt for a braided line.

For fly fishing, an 8- or 9-weight fly gear will work for fishing bonefish.  For smaller bonefish, you can use a 7- or 6-weight fly gear when to fly fishing. When fishing bonefish on foot, to prevent slapping of the water on the back cast, you can go with a 9- or 9 1/2-foot fly rod. Use tapered leaders, that are about 10 feet long, with a 6- to 12-pound tippet.

Tips For Fishing Bonefish
Tips For Fishing Bonefish

How To Catch Bonefish In The Keys

In the Florida Keys, bonefish can be found in clear waters that are less than one foot deep. Bonefish is a schooling fish and the fishing method used to catch bonefish is to pole a flats skiff across a flat with the angler stationed on the bow. Live crabs and flies can be used when fishing for bonefish.

Best Bonefish Bait

1. Shrimps

Shrimp is a good bait for bonefish and other fish.

2. Crabs

Crabs are also used by anglers as bait for bonefish and other fish.

3. Seaworms

Seaworms are an effective bait for catching bonefish.

4. Sardines

Sardines work well as bait for bonefish.

5. Minnows

Minnows are one of the most effective baits for bonefish.

Ideas For Fishing Bonefish
Ideas For Fishing Bonefish

Best Bonefish Lures

1. Skimmer Jigs

Skimmer jigs are one of the simplest jigs to attract bonefish.

2. Plugs

Plugs are also effective for bonefish and are used often by anglers.

3. Soft baits

Soft baits also work well for bonefish fishing.

Fishing Bonefish
Fishing Bonefish

Best Bonefish Flies

1. Shrimp flies

2. Crab flies

3. Clouser Minnow

4. Crazy Charlie

5. Borski Bonefish Slider

6. Dorsey Kwan

Fishing Bonefish Tricks
Fishing Bonefish Tricks

Bonefish Fishing Tips

1. You can catch bonefish on flies, lures, and bait.

2. Bonefish will put up a hard fight when hooked.

3. Bonefish is a schooling fish.

Fishing Bonefish Tips
Fishing Bonefish Tips

4. Bonefish are found in tropical waters that are close to the shore.

5. You can find bonefish in shallow waters sometimes with their tails sticking out of the water.

6. Bonefish are often fished on shallow sandy flats.

Fishing Bonefish Tips For Beginners
Fishing Bonefish Tips For Beginners

7. Many anglers fly fish for bonefish using weighted flies that imitate shrimps and small crabs.

8. Bonefish feed on the bottom by sucking prey from the bottom instead of chasing prey that is above them.

9. You can also catch bonefish using small jigs or plastic tails on spinning gear.

Fishing Bonefish Ideas
Fishing Bonefish Ideas

10. When using baits to catch bonefish, you must drop the bait to the bottom.

11. Always carry polarized sunglasses when you go bonefish fishing.

12. Sight-fishing is an effective way to fish for bonefish.

Fishing Bonefish Hacks
Fishing Bonefish Hacks

13. You can hire a fishing charter to bonefish if you don’t have much experience and want professional guidance.

14.  When bonefish are feeding, the condition of the surface of the water impacts their feeling of security.

15.  Bonefish tend to be more nervous in calm waters.

Bonefish Fishing
Bonefish Fishing

16. When there is a ripple on the surface of the water, cast the fly 3 to 5 feet in front of the bonefish.

17. When calm and still days, cast the fly further away from the bonefish and stripped back into his area of awareness.

18. Large schools of bonefish will move off the shoreline into about 5 to 10 feet of cooler water during warmer months.

19. When you are casting to traveling bonefish, cast well ahead of the fish and let it settle.  When the bonefish is in range, then strip.

20. Bonefish has three main modes of behavior: feeding, mudding, and traveling.

21. When fly fishing for bonefish, most of the time you will use flies in sizes 2 and 4.

Bonefish Fishing Tips
Bonefish Fishing Tips

22. Bonefish crush their food after ingesting it because they don’t have teeth.

23. Bonefish are very fast and can swim up to 40 mph.

24. The design of the bonefish’s body allows it to be difficult to spot in the water by an inexperienced angler which helps it swim and feed undetected by predators and anglers.

Bonefish Fishing Ideas
Bonefish Fishing Ideas

25. One of the ways to improve your bonefishing skills is by learning to identify the leader of the school. When they travel in a school, the leader will be at the front of the group.

26. Bonefish are great at camouflaging themselves and they are highly suspicious. Add their ability to swim very fast and stealthy behavior, bonefish is a challenging fish to catch.

27. Bonefish create “V” wakes, which are large v-shaped trails in the water, as they move in shallow water. These v-shaped trails appear as long trailing streaks in the water and they can give you an idea of the direction of the bonefish as the head of the bonefish will always be the head of the V. You can easily spot them on calm days but are harder to spot on windy days.

Bonefish Fishing Hacks
Bonefish Fishing Hacks

28.  Anglers usually follow a rule of getting your fly to hit the bottom in no more than 3 seconds.

29. Adjust your fly to changing water depths. There are weighted, lightly weighted, and heavily-weighted flies. The depths of the water will dictate which flies to use.

30. Bonefish feed on shrimps, small crabs, sardines, minnows, sardines, mollusks, and other crustaceans.

Bonefish Fishing For Beginners
Bonefish Fishing For Beginners
What is the best bait to catch bonefish?
Shrimp, crabs, minnows, and sardines are some of the best bait for bonefish.
Are bonefish hard to catch?
It is challenging fishing for bonefish as it is elusive, good at hiding, and stealthy.
Can you catch bonefish on a spinning rod?
You can use a spinning fishing rod to catch bonefish.
How far to cast for bonefish?
The regular casting distance for bonefish is about 25 to 30 feet.
What size leader for bonefish?
A 9 to 15-foot leader should work most of the time when fishing for bonefish.
Do you use tippet for bonefish?
You will use a tippet when fishing for bonefish. A spool of bonefish tippet will be all you need as it will last for a very long time.
How long should my leader be for bottom fishing?
A leader of the length in the range of 36 to 48 inches will work for bottom fishing.

The Bottom Line

Bonefish is a favorite gamefish for many anglers as it is elusive, good at hiding, and stealthy. It is a schooling fish and feeds on the bottom. Bait, lures, and flies can be used to catch bonefish. In this article, we discussed the fishing methods most anglers use to catch bonefish, its unique characteristics, and the equipment to use when fishing for bonefish.

If you fish for other fish like bowfin, bonito, and Almaco jack, then read these articles how to catch bowfin, how to catch bonito, and how to catch Almaco jack to improve your chances of catching more of these fish.