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Bonefish Camp

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Bahamas Bonefish Fly List

Joel La Follette - Monday, August 10, 2009

With many islands to fish in the Bahamas, you will need to have a very good basic selection. Take plenty of the standards in fairly large sizes, 2-6, but don’t forget the skinny water stuff. Places like Long Island have lots of skinny water flats that require light flies. You will even find places that require flies with weed guards. The more the island gets fished, the spookier the fish will be. Heavy flies can send Mr. Bone off the flat in a hurry. Bead chain eyes will be fine for most flats. Some of the larger patterns like the Bahama Special have heavy lead eyes to help them sink the bulky materials. Big fish eat big flies!

As Bahamas Bones tend to be bigger than the fish you’ll find in Mexico or Belize, take strong tippet or you’re going to need more flies. Here are a few special flies to add to your collection…

Kwan                                                            size 4           Tan

Fur Shrimp                                                   size 4

Swimming Shrimp                                         size 6

Super Swimming Shrimp                                sizes 4, 6     

Slider                                                           size 4

Exuma Mini Puff                                            size 4           Tan or Pink

Marabou Shrimp                                            sizes 2, 6      Tan, Pink, or White

Ragin’ Cravin                                                 sizes 4, 6     

Bahama Special                                             size 4           Tan or Olive Tan

Squimp                                                        size 6

Golden Mantis Shrimp                                    size 4

Bonefish Scampi                                            size 6

Beck’s Sili Legs                                              size 4-6        Pearl

Crazy Charlie                                                size 4-6        Pearl, Tan, or Pink

Gotcha                                                         size 2-6

Gold Gotcha                                                  size 2-6 (my favorite Bahamas fly)

Permit can be found on some islands during certain times of the year. Always carry a few crab patterns and have a rod at the ready. Del’s Merkin or Raghead crab in sizes 4-1/0 will work as well as any. Tarpon, Jacks, Snapper and Cuda are also fair game. Although Tarpon are not found everywhere in the Bahamas, they can show up and it never hurts to have a few Deceivers or Sea Habits in your box. Those will work for the Jacks too. Snapper will take bonefish flies, Clouser Minnows being a good choice. Cuda will eat the baitfish patterns or a Needlefish fly. Remember the wire tippet.

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