Pacific Bonefish

Albula argentea
Pacific Bonefish - Marinewise © 2024 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Albula argentea
Other names Bonefish, Grey Ghost, Ghost of the Flats, Banana-fish, Lady Fish, Longjaw Bonefish
Size Up to 110 cm (43.3 in)
Weight Up to 6 kg (13 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Shallow coastal waters, sandflats, mudflats, seagrass beds, mangroves, estuaries, river mouths
Depth Range 0 - 10 m (33 ft)
Pacific Bonefish Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Pacific Bonefish is a schooling fish, commonly found in shallow coastal waters amongst mud & sand flats in northern Australia.
  • In Australia, they are often confused with whiting as they are identical looking. However, bonefish only have one dorsal fin and a lower placed mouth.
  • These fish are bottom foragers, feeding on crustaceans, worms & small fish.
  • The spawning season for Albula argentea occurs from December to February, with the fish migrating to offshore waters to spawn. The young of this species are born as larvae and are carried by ocean currents back to the shallow coastal waters where they grow and mature.
  • Estimates of lifespan are between 10 and 20 years, with maturity at around 4 years.
  • Bonefish are known for their speed, quickly reaching speeds of 65 kph (40 mph) in short bursts.
  • The main predators of angelfish include sharks, larger predatory fish.
Species Interaction

Recreational Fishing & Snorkelling

The Pacific Bonefish are a highly targeted sports fish, known for their excellent fight on light gear. Anglers around the world fly to various locations just to target this species. They are a easy fish to spot amongst sandflats, mudflats and seagrass beds. Snorkelers in shallow waters can easily spot schools of the fish foraging flats for food.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Albuliformes

Family: Albulidae

Genus: Albula

Species: Albula argentea

Conservation Status

Pacific Bonefish are not evaluated on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) site. However, as its a fast growing species there are limited concerns of over fishing.

Fish Taste Quality

Pacific Bonefish are not known as a good eating fish, with flesh full of small bones.

Taste Rating: 1/5

How to catch
Pacific Bonefish

Catch Difficulty: Intermediate

Tackle: Patternoster Rig, Artificial Rig

Bait: Crab, Lures, Prawns, Worms, Flies

Technique: Keep bait on the bottom, Cast bait/jig/lure near schooling fish, Cast lures with a fast retrieve

Popularity: Highly Targeted

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Easy

Temperament: Shy

Location: Sandflats

Danger: None