Bonefish, also called Banana fish or Ladyfish, are an amphidromous species living in inshore tropical waters and can be found in most tidal flats, mangroves, and creeks. Once believed to be a single species with global distribution, research has identified nine other species; three in the Atlantic and six in the Pacific Ocean.
The Bonefish tend to follow the tides’ daily pattern and move onto shallow mudflats or sand flats to feed. Ledges, drop-offs, and clean, healthy seagrass beds yield abundant small prey such as crabs and shrimp, and it uses its small mouth beneath its pointed piglike snout to grub around on the bottom. Often referred to as the ‘Grey Ghost’ or the ‘Ghost Of The Flats’, they are notoriously wary, and great skill must be taken both in approach and presentation when fishing for them. They are considered one of the premia fly and light tackle game fish and form part of the saltwater fly fishing grand slam and super slam.
Even though they don’t grow massive, they average around 3-5lb in most tropical destinations, with a maximum weight of about 14lb; they are still heavily admired by anglers, particularly for their speed and strength. It’s not uncommon for a good-sized Bonefish to strip 100 yards of line off a reel on its first run, and anglers quite often describe the fight as playing a Trout on steroids.
Below are the top destinations in the world for Bonefish Fishing.
Described as the island that time forgot, Fanning is an exciting tropical island paradise with abundant saltwater fly fishing opportunities. Travelling rods who’ve been lucky enough to visit this incredible destination haven’t even scratched the surface, and the range of saltwater species that inhabit its waters have rarely seen a human, let alone an anglers fly.
Fly fishing is the emphasis of Mango Creek Lodge’s fishing operation, and the Lodge is Roatan’s premier saltwater fishery, presenting the opportunities for travelling rods to hook up with a coveted ‘Grand Slam’. Located in secluded Port Royal on Roatan’s East End, it’s just a stone’s throw away from some of the islands most productive flats.
Southern Belize’s Copal Tree Lodge is an idyllic high-end jungle hideaway overlooking the Rio Grande River in the ‘Green Heart of Belize’. Its location, setting, beautiful grounds, impeccable food, and service rank it among the finest destinations in the Caribbean, and it’s perfect for couples, families, and anglers alike.
This fishing epicentre known as Blue Horizon Lodge is renowned for its vast array of expansive pancake flats that teem with marine life, and its fabled waters are some of the best places in the world to fish for tailing Permit in shallow water. For decades, Blue Horizon Lodge has been known as 'THE' destination for hardcore Permit anglers.
Offering quick and easy access to miles and miles of firm, light bottom flats, Crooked & Acklins Trophy Lodge is perfect for classic wade fishing in skinny water. The flats stretch to the horizon, and travelling anglers can wade and fish as far as their legs will take them, for uncountable Bonefish and large Permit.
With only eight anglers allowed to fish the thousands of kilometres of waters in and around Zapata each week, many area's have never seen an angler. From a saltwater fly fishing perspective, the destination is in its infancy and is remarkable and a real jewel in Cuba's ecological crown.
Nubian Flats is home to some of the best saltwater fly fishing available with miles of untouched and unspoilt areas to explore. Previously these waters were inaccessible until now. With our partners, we can now offer two liveaboard fly fishing operations, one in the north and a longer trip in the deep south giving you access to some of the most virginal saltwater fly fishing around.
Cosmoledo Atoll in Seychelles is the ultimate saltwater fly fishing experience. Each week just 12 lucky anglers with 6 guides get to explore this vast area in search of a very impressive species list. If you are looking for world-class saltwater flats fishing, with everything from big Bones to monster GT'S then look no further.
Astove Atoll gives six lucky anglers each week the exclusivity of one of the wildest, most rugged atolls on the globe for a wide range of saltwater flats species. This is a wild, secluded and remarkably remote small-scale destination for anglers seeking adventure and a unique fishing experience not to be missed.
Alphonse Island needs to be experienced to be believed. It's famed for its world-class saltwater fly fishing for numerous flats species, quiet picnics on secluded beaches, sunset cruises with loved ones, mesmerising encounters with marine life and blissful pampering treatments all set within some of the most picture-perfect surroundings on earth.
Ascension Bay in Mexico is home to some of the most fantastic Fly Fishing that Mexico has to offer, the guides are also some of the most skilled and knowledgeable in all of the country. GRAND SLAMS and SUPER SLAMS are very achievable and this is the perfect destination for the flats fishing Enthusiast.
This great resort provides fantastic fly-fishing and provides a great safe, exciting and entertaining destination that you can bring and enjoy with your family. The beachfront location of this resort provides several amenities for your enjoyment, whether it is arranging for a massage in the lodge massage room or a day out on the flats.
Our famous hosted trips to Christmas island have become legendary; they offer you the best saltwater fly fishing along with world-class popper jig fishing. Combine this with light offshore trolling provides one of the most diverse fisheries in the world. A fishing adventure that should not miss at any cost.
Located at the southern end of Ascension Bay in the heart of the 1.3 million acre private preserve, Casa Blanca has established itself as Mexico’s premier saltwater fly fishing destination. For many years now Casa Blanca has mesmerised anglers with its endless expanses of turquoise flats providing the ultimate water for Bonefish, Permit and Tarpon.
Turneffe Flats is one of the world’s premier flats fishing destinations combining a remarkable fishery with excellent English-speaking guides, top-notch equipment and superior service. The ability to sight-fish for Bonefish Permit and Tarpon on any given day makes Turneffe one of the few places where a Grand Slam is always a possibility.
A true paradise where one can wade and sight fish to an impressive variety of species such as, Bonefish, Trevally including the ferocious Giant Trevally, the finicky Permit, Triggerfish, Bumphead Parrotfish and Milkfish. Farquhar is best known for the sheer diversity of species it offers anglers fortunate enough to visit her shores.
The sheer amount of Bonefish makes the Bahamas the go to place for any diehard Saltwater fly angler and with virtually un-fished waters right on your doorstep plus some of the biggest Bonefish on the planet. Some of the best and well known flats are located just a stone throw away from your accommodation.
Providence is the final frontier! It is the largest fishable coral atoll in the Indian Ocean. The hottest and newest destination in the Seychelles for all fly fishermen, who have ever wanted to target huge GT’s and monster Bonefish. This Atoll ranks among the best fly-fishing destinations in the world.
Bair’s Lodge has come to represent the benchmark in terms of quality guiding, ideal accommodations and courteous hospitality. Bair’s Lodge has easy access to some of the under-fished flats in South Andros. With its location ideally located to access Deep Creek, Little Creek, the West side and the Southern.
Ikari House on Christmas Island is a unique and natural operation that magically combines all the elements critical to fly fishing success. Endless hard sand flats, remarkable numbers of cruising fish, the best guides on the island and consistent year-round weather is what awaits all who visit this unique atoll.
Deep within the Indian Ocean, due east of Madagascar and 300 miles northeast of the island of Mauritius, lies an obscure and seldom visited atoll. St. Brandon’s atoll is a wade fisherman’s paradise blessed with enormous hard sand flats and staggering numbers of huge Bonefish making it on of the best Bonefish fishing destinations in the world.
An angler’s paradise in the middle of stunning saltwater flats, the area is approximately 2600 square miles, a vast offshore wilderness where you will rarely see another angler, other than people in your own group. It has to be one of the best places in the world to fly fish for Permit Tarpon and Bonefish.
This is flat’s fishing far beyond your wildest dreams! The Isle of Youth lays 100km off the coast of mainland Cuba, nearly straight south of Havana. If Tarpon are a species on your saltwater fly fishing hit list then this is definitely the destination for you. There are good populations of both resident and monster migratory Tarpon.
With our Cuba partners, we now have access to the exclusive fishing rights on the designated Cayo Largo Natural Reserve, which encompasses some 140 square miles of saltwater flats and channels. This has to be one of the best places in the world to catch a grand slam and super grand slam all on the fly.
The Gardens of the King or Cayo Santa Maria is one of the most precious spots in Cuba and the Caribbean. Renowned as a Tarpon paradise, it's now viewed as one of the best destinations in the Caribbean for catching big Tarpon on the fly. As well as the big Tarpon, it's also home to all the traditional flats species like Bonefish, Permit and Snook.
Cayo Romano is the latest most exciting saltwater fishing locations to become available to ardent fly-anglers. Located on the North Coast of Cuba in the Jardines de Rey, it consists of a huge fishable area, which provides incredible opportunities for big Permit, alongside some really exciting Tarpon fishing on the flats.
Average Customer Satisfaction Score 90%
"I have never seen so many Bonefish before, Caught lots of fish with a good average size or around 3lb, great trip had by all, our deepest gratitude."
"I'd fished once before in the Bahamas, but had never been to Andros South - It was something I really fancied as I'd heard how good the Bonefish fishing was. (If there's one fish I'll never get tired of catching its Bonefish). I certainly wasn't disappointed and every aspect of my trip, from the flights to the accommodation, exceeded my expectations. I had a great week and landed a tonne of fish. A huge thank you to everyone who made it possible."
"Our second and not last visit to Casa Blanca Lodge, after two trips there things only seem to get better and better. I was so nice being welcomed back as the staff and guides genuinely remembered us from the previous year. It now feels like home and I am sure we will be back for a third year in a row."