A great thing about our fishery at Andros South is that the bonefish aren’t overly picky. It’s a great place to get creative with your flies.. A true fly tyer’s paradise! After all, if its the right size, and some shade of tan, odds are there’s a fish out there that will eat it!
With that said, like any fishery, we have our favorite patterns.. Those which don’t seem to be rejected quite as much. One of our favorite patterns of all time is the Spawning Mantis Shrimp, a variation of Bob Veverkas’ Mantis Shrimp, although we tie it slightly different.
The Spawning Mantis Shrimp is one the most productive fly patterns here throughout the entire season and is often our first choice out of the box. Why do the bonefish love it so much? We’re not sure. We don’t speak fish, otherwise we’d ask.. But here’s why we think it works so well.
- It’s shrimpy. This one goes without saying. One look at the Spawning Mantis and it’s easy to see the resemblance of an actual shrimp. That can’t hurt when fishing for a fish that searches out shrimp all day long.
- It’s not overly flashy. Many commercial bonefish flies today are loaded with krystal flash, flashabou, sparkle braid, and all kinds of other ‘flashy’ materials. Flash certainly has its place, however we’ve found that sometimes too much flash can spook weary bonefish, particularly on bright calm days. The rubber legs provide enough ‘sizzle’ to grab the fish’s attention, but not so much as to put them down when they’re nervous.
- It has a touch of orange. For some reason, our bonefish seem to love subtle spots of orange incorporated into the fly. We’re not exactly sure why, they just do!
- It’s mostly tan. With sharks, barracuda, bonefish, and the many other marine predators cruising our flats, not much survives unless it blends in really well. The majority of our flats are comprised of a white or tannish sandy bottom, so a tan fly best imitates the natural prey, and that’s a good thing.
- It has bead-chain eyes. Our flats are pretty shallow. And, we have the advantage of running to the favorable tide all the time. Therefore, we like to tie our flies with light bead chain eyes as opposed to heavy dumbbell eyes. Bead chain eyes provide enough weight to get the fly down, but not so much to make a ruckus on the surface of the water and spook fish.
- The beadchain eyes are black. Look at most shrimp or crabs around our neck of the woods and usually the most noticeable feature are it’s black beady eyes. On a white sandy bottom, such dark spots stand out quite a bit, so we tie our Spawning Mantis Shrimps with black bead chain eyes to imitate this. The original pattern calls for silver eyes, but we’ve found black to work really well. Plus it saves us the step on tying on fancy mono eyes.
Taking a trip to Andros South? Make sure to bring along a few Spawning Mantis Shrimp! Want to take a trip to Andros South? Drop us a line and make it happen!