Florida Keys Bonefish Fishing Charters

Florida Keys Bonefish Fishing Charters

Top Florida Keys Bonefish Fishing Destinations

Best Bonefish Fishing Charters in Florida Keys

Top Bonefish Fishing Charters in Florida Keys

Bonefish Fishing in Florida Keys

Bonefish
  • Size 4 to 6lbs
  • Food Value None
  • Game Qualities Excellent
  • Habitats Flats, Backcountry, Inshore

(Albula vulpes)

Bonefishing in the Florida Keys will put your angling skills to the test. Also called the “Grey Ghost” of the flats, this is one of the most elusive—and prestigious—species known to light tackle and fly fishermen.

Bonefish in the Keys typically weigh 7-9 lbs, though some can top 15 lbs. Islamorada and the upper Keys produce some of the largest specimens, while the lower Keys host the highest numbers. In Key West, anglers sometimes catch 10-15 of this fish in a day.

When to Catch Bonefish

Bonefish inhabit the Keys all year, everywhere from Key Largo to Key West. You’ll mostly find them on the flats and in the shallow waters of Florida Bay, known around here as “the Backcountry.”

The best time to seek out this Grey Ghost on the flats is between late spring and early fall, when the water temperature is just right. The biggest of them appear in September and October. Bonefish seek out cooler water at midday, when the sun is beating down on the flats, so it’s best to cast your line in early morning or late afternoon.

Bonefishing on the flats in winter can also prove effective, just keep an eye out for any cold fronts that might drive this skittish fish away. Don’t worry—he’ll be back a few days later as the water grows warm again.

How to Catch Bonefish

You can catch Bonefish either by spinning with light tackle or fly fishing. Always remember that stealth is of the essence, since this hard-won prize scares easily.

If you’re targeting Bonefish while they feed on the grassy bottom of the flats, you can catch them on light spinning tackle (6-12 lb line) using live Shrimp or Crabs. Jigs are also suitable. If you’re fly fishing, use an 8 or 9-weight rod.

What makes this fish especially difficult to hook is the need for precision. Your cast must land in exactly the right spot—not too close, but not too far. A cast that lands too close to this fish will startle it, while a cast that lands too far will escape his attention entirely.

You can also lure the Grey Ghost toward you by tossing Shrimp as chum before casting a baited hook.

Most of all, experienced anglers love sight casting for Bonefish in the Keys. Much like hunting, this method will have you scanning the flats for tailing fish and clouds of mud as they root around for Crabs and Shrimp. Also keep an eye out for dark shadows and shaky water, caused when Bonefish swim against the current.

Once hooked, these ghostly game fish streak across the flats, easily ripping through 100 yards of line or more. For the light tackle and fly fisherman, it’s impossible not to chase that feeling.

Need to Know

Anglers age 16 and older must have a Florida fishing license. Any licensed charter boat in the Keys will provide a fishing license for you, but always confirm this with your captain ahead of time.

While you can fish for this species year-round, Bonefish in Florida are strictly catch and release.

Florida Keys Bonefish Fishing Seasons

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Seasonality

Bonefish fishing in Florida Keys varies moderately throughout the year. High season is April to May and September to October. Low season is January to February and December. There is no closed season.
Florida Keys
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Based on 22,720 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Reviews of Fishing in Bonefish Fishing in Florida Keys

July fishing trip
Mary B. fished with Fish Key West - The Coolcast on July 21, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Recommend 1/2 day trips. John our captain was great..very knowledgeable. Will do this again next time we're here. Thanks!
Fishing with Jim
Jon B. fished with Reel Therapy Fishing Charters on July 20, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Great trip! My son and Captain Jim bonded immediately. After trying to make me a fisherman, Captain Jim accepted failure with dignity . Luc and Captain Jim were able to catch enough Mahi to satisfy our taste for fish. If you want to learn about the ocean and learn how to catch fish, then Captain Jim is the charter to book. It was a pleasure to spend the day fishing with a man with similar old fashioned American values as myself. GOD BLESS AMERICA AND GOD BLESS CAPTAIN JIM.
Sharks
Melissa Y. fished with All Hanns On Deck on July 20, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Fishing was great I would definitely bring bug spray though lol.
Fishing with Maryann
Brenton C. fished with Boa Vida Charters on July 14, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Research your captain. Don’t base everything off reviews
Successful half day trip
SCOTT F. fished with Overtime Sportfishing Charters on July 13, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
You can't go wrong with Overtime SportbFishing
Epic experience with Fishizzle and Captain Kevin!
Christian C. fished with Fishizzle Sportfishing Charters 30' on July 12, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Hire the Charters. They will put you on the fish. Inshore-Offshore it doesn’t matter.
Highly Recommend
Mary L. V. fished with Island Girl Charters on June 30, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Book your trip today with Island Girl Charters you will not be disappointed!
Awesome shark bite
Brian R. fished with Singing Reel Charters on June 28, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Ask the locals they will tell you the best charters to catch fish on