The bonefish (Albula vulpes) is the type species of the Albulidae family, or bonefishes in order Albuliformes. It is amphidromous, living in inshore tropical waters, moving onto shallow mudflats to feed with the incoming tide, and retreating to deeper water as the tide ebbs. Juvenile bonefish may be observed in large shoals of like-sized individuals with large mature fish swimming in smaller groups or in pairs. Bonefish are considered to be among the world's premier fly game fish and are highly sought after by anglers. Bonefish are primarily caught for sport. They are not commonly eaten. Bonefish are eaten in Hawaii, where they are known as ʻōʻio.
Bonefish weight is up to 19 pounds (8.6 kg) and length up to 90 centimeters (35 in). Silvery in color with dusky fins—the bases of the pectoral fins are yellow. They primarily form schools, although some of the larger individuals travel singly.
The bonefish, also known as "phantom" or "gray ghost"[by whom?], is probably[according to whom?] pound for pound the strongest and fastest moving animal of any salt-water fish. Bonefishing is a shallow-water pursuit done in depths ranging from 8 inches to several feet of water.
This fish may improve its tolerance to oxygen-poor water by inhaling air into a lung-like airbladder.
Live shrimp and crabs are some of the most effective baits for this species.
Bonefish feed on benthic worms, fry, crustaceans, and mollusks. Ledges sporting currents; drop-offs along the edge and clean, healthy seagrass beds produce abundant small crabs and shrimp to nourish the bonefish. Bonefish may follow stingrays, looking for small prey items disturbed by the rooting rays.