Carolinas USA

Destination Information
 

Saltwater fly fishing has become the hottest venue for fly fishing in the southeastern United States. Whether you find youself in the Carolinas or in Georgia, there are many species and locations to fish successfully on the fly. The most desired inshore species is undoubetly the Redfish (Red Drum) which has really become a prominent gamefish throughout its distribution. Offshore species are mostly albacore, tuna, marlin & sailfish but there are also shark, barracuda if not too far north and striped bass if not too far south. See what’s hot and where to go with the individual states listed below.

Species & Tactics

Redfish

Unlike most other species that fly angler's target, Redfish are really not that well known. If you talk to an angler that targets Redfish regularly and with success, they might say it's the best species to fly fish for. That debate will rage on for ages, it's preference really, but Redfish definitely have a lot going for them and are certainly gaining popularity among salt water fly fisherman. Redfish are also known as a channel or spot-tail bass, Red drum, or just plain "Reds."
So what makes Reds so special?
First and foremost, they are a strong fighting fish that have a broad distribution from the panhandle states to northern Mexico and as far north in the Atlantic as Massachusetts. You don't need to spend thousands of dollars flying to the Caribbean or Central America to catch them.

MORE ON Redfish >

Tuna

General Information If not already fishing for tuna on the fly, we'll just ask....Why not? This is a serious Saltwater fly fisherman's target. It's big, hits your fly at 40 mph (75 kph) and is found in just about every fishing destination you could possibly think of. Tuna are incredibly beautiful and powerful predators that come is many many different flavors too: Bluefin, Blackfin, Yellowfin, Bigeye, Longtail, Dogtooth

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False Albacore

Looking to test your 12-weight rod? Want to check out the acoustics of your new reel? Head to Jupiter for false albacore. False Albacore are more accurately called little tunny (latin name: Euthynnus alletteratus). They are often referred to as bonito, but albies are not the same fish as the true Atlantic or Pacific bonito.

MORE ON False Albacore >

Sailfish

This is the fastest fish in the ocean!
Individual Sailfish have been clocked at speeds over 70 mph which is the highest speed reliably reported in any water creature. Sailfish are two species of billfish, the Atlantic Sailfish and the Pacific Sailfish and live in warmer sections of all the oceans of the world.

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Marlin

There is no fight like the fight of a Marlin. This is the prized fish of most saltwater anglers all over the world. They span almost all of the waters of the globe and can be caught by a variety of methods at various times of year in many diverse places. Marlin fishing is considered by some game fishermen to be the pinnacle of offshore game fish, due to their power, size and the relative rareness. It is an expensive hobby, requiring considerable money to pursue on a regular basis, single day of Marlin fishing can cost over $1000. They are possibly the most well-known fish in the entire world which probably accounts for millions of dollars in commerce spent hunting them. The novel by Ernest Hemingway, "The Old Man and the Sea" chronicles the struggle of a Marlin fisherman who after 85 days of failure, ventures out to sea to change his luck and catch a Marlin. Hemmingway frequently fished for Marlin, quite successfully with his family. The Marlin is the largest of the billfish and comes in many variations: Pacific Black Marlin Pacific Blue Marlin Atlantic Blue Marlin White Marlin Striped Marlin

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Barracuda

Barracuda may be the most underrated saltwater species to catch on a fly. After hooking one, imagine this scenario: the fish is on the end of the line thrashing and running, suddenly the line goes slack. You think the fish is off but he's not because you stand in amazement as you watch a 5 foot barracuda leap 15 feet into the air like a missile being launched from below the surface of the ocean.

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Spinner Shark (& other shark species)

One of the best kept secrets in all of salt water fly fishing is the Spinner Shark migration in late winter through early spring in. It happens in a place where you least expect it...West Palm & Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Really, we aren't kidding. This is spring break for sharks. They migrate to the beaches off of Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach chasing fish (snook, blues and false albacore & other tuna species) that are breeding & feeding in the surf or just beyond the surf. You can sight fish for a 100+ lb. powerhouse in just 8 feet of water. Flyfishbonehead had so much fun that we went out twice in 2012, hooked 9 and landed 5 on our first trip and landed 5 of 6 on the second. Considering the fight and how hard it is to subdue this beast that was pretty darn good.

MORE ON Spinner Shark (& other shark species) >

Striped Bass

The Striped Bass, or "striper," are one of the most avidly pursued of all coastal sport fish. They are highly prized for their size, battle on the line and culinary merit. Stripers are native to the Atlantic coastline of North America from the St. Lawrence River into the Gulf of Mexico to approximately Louisiana. They are anadromous fish that migrate between fresh and salt water. Striped bass spawn in freshwater and although they have been successfully adapted to freshwater habitat, they naturally spend their adult lives in saltwater. Stripers can live up to 40 years and can reach weights greater than 100 lbs., although those larger than 50 lbs. are rare. Females reach significantly greater sizes than do males; most stripers over 30 lbs. are female. Males reach sexual maturity at two or three years of age, however, females will not mature before the age of four and some not until the age of six.

MORE ON Striped Bass >
What To Bring
 

Redfish & Smaller Species

Snook & Redfish can be caught on a 6-9 weight. Most commonly used an 8-9 weight because most anglers have one, many prefer a 6 weight because its more fun to use little tackle in general. Again as long as wind is not an issue this is certainly ok. Use a floating line with at least 200 yards of backing on your reel. Leaders should be 9-15 feet with at least a 10 lb tippet. (we use 12-15 lb for reds & a 40lb shock for snook) The reel should have a sealed drag and made for saltwater fishing. We use the term ‘bomb-proof” which means a tested & proven reel with the following features: 1. Very few or no moving parts 2. Smooth drag with smooth start-up 3. Sealed drag which will not corrode 4. It will not fail under any circumstance

Redfish Crab, EP Red’s Critter, Big Ugly

redfish flies - flyfishbonehead fly tying videos

Tuna & False Albacore

These species require a 12 wieght despite being under 25 lbs (11 kg) most of the time. False Albacore & Tuna will test your gear everytime. They are non-stop and once hook won’t quit even after they are already on the boat. We use an intermediate sinking line or a full sinking line depending on conditions. Tippet needs to be on the lighter side in the 15-20 lb range as these species have excellent vision especially in clear water. At least 300 yards of backing is also recommended. The reel should have a sealed drag and made for saltwater fishing. We use the term ‘bomb-proof” which means different things to different people. To us, it means simply a tested & proven reel with the following features: 1. Very few or no moving parts 2. Smooth drag with smooth start-up 3. Sealed drag which will not corrode 4. It will not fail under any circumstance

Eat Me, DNA minnow, Green Surf Minnow, Surf Candy

tuna flies - flyfishbonehead fly tying videos

Marlin & Sailfish

Offshore fishing for billfish & tuna usually involves a 12 -15 weight. Here you will have a chance at blue & white Marlin, Sailfish, Mahi-mahi & Tuna. We prefer a 14 weight and there are some which even have a butt suitable for gimbel use. Again because we are all about control of the fish and landing the fish quickly which decreases mortality and injury after release. You can use a 40-80 lb tippet but we do recommend fluorocarbon for the elasticity. Most commonly used is a 60 lb tippet. The reel should have a sealed drag and made for saltwater fishing. We use the term ‘bomb-proof” which means different things to different people. To us, it means simply a tested & proven reel with the following features: 1. Very few or no moving parts 2. Smooth drag with smooth start-up 3. Sealed drag which will not corrode 4. It will not fail under any circumstance

Poppers in bright colors and baitfish with dark backs. See all the fly tying videos & recipes

Marlin & sailfish flies - flyfishbonehead fly tying videos

Shark & Barracuda

Barracuda & Shark usually require a 12 weight. A 12 weight for the lifting power and usually gives the angler more control when trying to land the fish because they fight! Wind is never an issue when casting a 12 weight either. Use a floating line or what we prefer is the intermediate sink line with at least 200 yards of backing on your reel. Leaders should be 9 feet with a metal tippet material. (we use 30 lb metal tippet) The reel should have a sealed drag and made for saltwater fishing. We use the term ‘bomb-proof” which means different things to different people. To us, it means simply a tested & proven reel with the following features: 1. Very few or no moving parts 2. Smooth drag with smooth start-up 3. Sealed drag which will not corrode 4. It will not fail under any circumstance

See all of the fly tying videos and fly recipes.

flyfishbonehead is fly fishing in saltwater.  We make Tail Fly fishing Magazine & saltwater fly tying videos too.

Striped Bass

Depending on where its best to use a 10-12 weight. Most commonly used is a 12 weight unless surfing from the beach. When fishing in the surf a spey rod is better for long casting and better control of a catch. Using a spey rod enables a longer cast and the beach is one of the few places where theres is space to throw it weel without hang ups. An intermediate sinking line or full sinking line is best for both fishing from the beach or on a boat. Leaders should be 9 feet with at least a 20 lb tippet or more. If fishing on a charter and there is a possiblity of encountering other species, toothy critters, we recommend a 10-15 pound test metal tipppet material. The reel should have a sealed drag and made for saltwater fishing. We use the term ‘bomb-proof” which means different things to different people. To us, it means simply a tested & proven reel with the following features: 1. Very few or no moving parts 2. Smooth drag with smooth start-up 3. Sealed drag which will not corrode 4. It will not fail under any circumstance

DNA Minnow, Simple Surf Minnow, Eat Me

Preferred Guides
Lodges
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