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Bonefish, Macabi, Pez Ratton or Lady fish
Bonefish can basically be found anywhere in the shallow waters of Los Roques, in the beaches surrounding Gran Roque if you are on a budget, and in the shoals located in Los Corales with more than 50 top flats and in the shoals located at the western end of the national park (special permit needed) about one hour in boat from Gran Roque.
Small boats with local guide will take the fishermen from shoal to shoal while looking for the schools of Bonefish which due to the clear and shallow waters can be easily spotted. Fishermen fish on bare feet and look through out the shoals for the fish that move between sand bottoms and marine algae. Sometimes slight waves are produced on the surface by the movement of fish swimming after their food and at times due to the shallow water, the green - gray backs and the tails of the mouse fish can be seen. This is known as tailing fish. One of the main features of bonefishing in Los Roques is the possibility of fishing for bonefish all year round due to the fact that Los Roques is out of the hurricane and tropical storm path. The best catch can be done from January to October; this makes Los Roques a privileged destination for the sport fishing of this species in relation to other area of the Caribbean.
Level of experience: beginner (B), beginner to advanced (BA), medium to advanced (MA)
LOS ROQUES "Bone fishing Flats Index"
The access to these shoals is by boat and with a local guide, who must be able to recognize the different shoals and to choose the most suitable one, according to the tide and wind conditions of the day. The guide must have knowledge of the different fishing styles, different baits and flies as well as the zone regulations of the park since fishing is prohibited in areas of complete protection. The guide must also rotate the fishing areas in order to avoid behavior which can cause excessive stress among the different species. In summary the guide must make sure that this activity creates the least impact on the area.
The Bonefish has survived for more than 125 millions of years on this planet making it one tough creature. We do not know much about its life (where and how it breeds), apart from it is a great sport fishing pleasure. Bonefish has never been valued for its meat because of the great amount of bones that go through its body which makes it quite uncomfortable when eating. Even though the taste of its meat is nice. Fishermen have developed techniques to make use of its meat by beating the fish and extracting the meat in pulp or mashed form and then have it cooked. In the sport fishing of bonefish the catch is freed once it has been paid for. The sporting interest is based on the search, the fight during the catch and the enjoyment of the marvelous landscape instead of consuming the fish. The freeing of fish after their capture has allowed in spite of the high number of those who practice this sport, for the abundance of this fish in the Caribbean. However in places where the pressure of fishermen is strong signs of over fishing can be seen as well as a decrease in the size of fish and the absence of new records of weight among the fish. It must be borne in mind that if the fish is captured too frequently, they tend to become reluctant when biting the bait. For up to date price and online reservation!
The freeing of the fish must be done carefully thus avoiding as much harm as possible, without having to take it out of the water. At times the captured animal is exhausted after fighting to release itself and it is necessary to move it carefully from the tail to force the pass of water through the gills helping it to recover this way.
It must be kept in mind that bonefishing not only provides the excitement of the search and catch, another very important element is the opportunity of enjoying such unique and beautiful, lonely and quiet landscape such as the shoals of Los Corrales, the different colors and hues of the sea, the mangrove and the variety of birds and marine life which surrounds the amateur fisherman. In order to enjoy this passionate sport it is necessary to preserve the species and the environment where it lives.