Here's an idea that comes from Ricardo Burrows of Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas. While filming an episode of ESPN's "Spanish Fly" with the late Jose Wejebe at Ricardo's Rickmon Bonefish Lodge, Ricardo demonstrated his unique life-saving technique for just-caught bonefish. Ricardo had shown us this technique a few years back and just like Jose, we had never seen this done before. We were amazed at how well it worked! Here's the technique in a nutshell:
Bonefish can often be exhausted when landed. In this state, after being released, they often fall prey to aggressive sharks or 'cudas who sense an opportunity for a "free lunch". If you want to give the next bonefish you release a better chance, hold your fish in the water near the bottom. With two fingers simply rub the top of his skull with three inch strokes back and forth. The bonefish will "freeze" and appear hypnotized. In the meantime, he will continue to pump life-giving water through his gills. In a few moments, much of the paralyzing lactic acid that had collected in his muscles from the fight will be dissipated. You can continue this stroking until the fish regains his strength. When you stop rubbing his head, he will slowly "come back", then swim off, perhaps a bit wiser for the adventure. Try it... but be sure to look around first for 'cudas and sharks on the prowl.