Line rigging and terminal tackle for Bahamas bonefish

By Ray Mackey, Tranquility Hill Lodge, Behring Point, Andros, Bahamas

Here’s all you need to know; when bonefishing in the Bahamas, your line should be in the intermediate range, with a 6 to 9 foot leader, and with a tippet not less than 12 pound test. This is the recognized gear for flyfishing in Andros, in the North, Middle and South Bight, where your bones generally average four pounds, but where you are apt to catch a double digit bone at any time.

If one prefers a floating fly line, then you should get a sinking tip on your fly line; this would assist you in taking your fly to an intermediate level for better fishing. Eightweight fly rods are good when you have a fairly smooth day and are fishing for fish under double digits, but when you are fishing for bigger, heavier bonefish it would be better to move up to a nine-weight, and even use a ten in the event of a strong wind.

Your fly should be either a number one or two tan Clouser, with red eyes; bead eyes in shallow water and lead eyes in deep water. You can also use shrimp colored Gotchas with lots of sparkles. A fly called the Toad has been proven to be a good fly for big bones, also.

The 15′ leaders are not necessary; as we said earlier, we would recommend leaders anywhere between 6′ to 9′ nine feet. This is the maximum length needed for fishing in these areas; anything longer than that gives you a lack of control, especially for the new angler. The rules are different when fishing for tarpon. Your basic gear can remain the same as for the larger bones, except we recommend a twenty to thirty pound tippet. Use a floating line to keep your fly near the surface.