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How to tell the difference between a shoal of Bonefish and a shoal of Mullet in under 2 minutes

12 July 2016

We are luckily based at one of the most prolific Bonefish fisheries in the world and often I see guests casting frantically at a shoal they believe to be Bonefish, but that just don’t seem to bite. Nine of ten times this is because they are casting to a shoal of Mullet. 

Mullet fish_alphonse Island_best fishing in The SEYCHELLES

Although the fish are easy to tell apart up close, in a shoal it becomes difficult to distinguish. However, there are some general rules that one can apply to tell the difference between a shoal of Mullet to a shoal of Bonefish.


These are the details you can look out for:

  • Mullet generally swim higher up if not on the surface of the water column.
  • Bonefish on the other hand are benthic (bottom feeders) and will most likely be swimming at the bottom of the water column.
  • Mullets are usually more brown in colour, whereas Bones have a silver-green look to them.
  • More often than not, Bonefish are bigger than Mullet.
  • Mullet tend to swim much closer to each other making their shoals more dense, whereas Bonefish have a gap of about half a foot between each fish.
  • If you have had a few casts and a 2-3 fly change without any result, the chances are that you are casting to Mullet.

alphonse-experience-fly-fishing-species-bonefish-04If you want us to update you with more stunning catches, have a look at our Instagram account to see rare species, record catches and of course, a lot of Water. Visit @alphonsefishingco



Please note that these tips are just a general rule of thumb to look out for, but hopefully they can help you save some arm power and countless fly changes.