Pro Tips: Top 10 Flies for Bahamas Bonefish

Written by: Joe Buntom, Deep Water Cay


Angler Rory MacKay shows off a 15.44-pound bonefish, a Deep Water Cay Lodge record caught in June 2015.
Photo courtesy Deep Water Cay

Deep Water Cay, located on the east end of Grand Bahama Island, is surrounding by nearly 250 square miles of pristine flats, creeks, and channels that hold some of the biggest bonefish, wily permit, and the occasional tarpon. During the winter months, we recommend 9-weight rods, and a 6-or 7-weights  should do the trick in the summer. But regardless of the time of year,  we recommend the following Top 10 flies..

[Click the name of each fly to be taken to a place to buy, a recipe, or a video.]

1. Veverka Mantis Shrimp
(Sizes 4-8)
Bob Veverka’s creation is productive year-round. The pattern lands softly on the water, due to its bead-chain eyes, which makes it must for really spooky fish.

2. McVay Gotcha
(Sizes 4-8)
I like this pattern in various colors and in both shallow and deep configurations. It helps to have a few with weed guards for fishing over the turtle grass beds that skirt and accent many of the flats.

3. EP Ghost Shrimp
(Sizes 6-8)
Tan seems to be the color of choice for our local bonefish. Carry some with bead-chain eyes, and with or without a weed guard.

4. Christmas Island Special
(Gold or orange; sizes 6-8)
Though fairly small in profile, this fly is always a go-to because of its quiet entry into the water. Carry it in shallow, deep, and blind configurations.

5. Gotcha
(White, pink, and tan; sizes 4-8)
As the pattern above, this fly will work in shallow, deep, or blind configurations, with and without a weed guard.

6. Meko Special
(Tan; sizes 4-8)
Same as above.

7. Peterson’s Spawning Shrimp
(Sizes 2-6)
This is an awesome fly for both bonefish and permit. The larger size works great for permit .

8. EP Crab Three-Tone
(Sizes 2-4)
We use this in various colors for permit, with big dumbbell eyes in order to get it to the bottom quickly or behind a feeding ray.

9. EP Micro Crab
(Tan, blue, and green; sizes 6-8)
A good pattern for permit and bonefish, some with a weed guard.

10. Velcro Crab
(Sizes 2-4)
Another great permit pattern. As with most crab patterns, you want to get it front of the permit, let it settle to the bottom, remove all the slack from the line, and don’t strip until you see the take, which is often described as a brief tremor or shudder of the entire body of the permit.

Joe Bunton is lodge manager at Deep Water Cay on Grand Bahama Island.


This bonefish fell for an EP Shrimp.
Photo by Joe Bunton

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