Consultant’s Corner with Travis Baker: Choosing the Right Bonefish Flies

by Travis Baker
Species: Bonefish

Choosing the right flies or lures is imperative to any successful fishing trip.  When it comes to chasing bonefish on the flats, here are a few easy rules you should follow:

Match the bottom

For the most part, you want the body of your fly to match the color of the flat (ocean floor) you’re fishing.  For example, you probably wouldn’t fish a dark bodied gotcha on a white sand flat.  However, areas with turtle grass or lots of coral would require a darker fly. Why?  Food that bonefish forage on such as shrimp, crabs, and baitfish need to blend into their surroundings.


Bigger fish want a bigger meal!  Hook size is also important when selecting the right bonefish fly.  The Bahamas is notorious for big bonefish.  Therefore, #4’s and even #2’s are the rule there.  However, in the Yucatan or Belize, where the bones run smaller, #6’s and #8’s are the rule.

Weighted Flies

Have an assortment of weighted vs. un-weighted flies. Flies tied with dumbbell or larger lead eyes are great for fishing deeper water where you need to get your fly down deep fast.  Bonefish are predominately bottom feeders so you always want your fly on or near the bottom.

Unweighted Flies

Fishing for bones in skinny water will require a delicate presentation so not to spook the fish when your fly hits the water. You’ll want bead chain eyes or very small lead eyes for these situations.


Always check with your consultant or guide on the conditions you’ll be fishing. Be prepared with the correct flies ahead of time so you can hit the water right away and get all the bonefish you can.


I hope these tips will help ensure you catch the most fish possible the next time you go after bonefish

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