Bonefish love to feed on shrimp and the ideal fly to imitate this form of fish food is the White Gotcha saltwater fishing fly pattern. The underwing and the weight of the eye on top of the shaft makes this fly fishing pattern ride hook up and reduces snags on the bottom.
INVERTED HOOK PATTERNS. Hook size 6 & 4 - $US each
Jim McVay, a retired oil well driller who fished Andros Island in the Bahamas, is reported to have made the first Gotcha out of yellow carpet fibers he ‘aquired’ from the back of taxicab on the way to a fishing trip in Cargill Creek. Later models were made from blond craft fur. Many anglers consider it one of the best bonefish patterns ever devised. This fly is responsible for thousands and thousands of bonefish catches. Jim was not the one to give it its name. Rupert Leadon of the Andros Island Bonefish Club would say 'Gotcha' every time a bonefish hit the new fly. He did this again and again as the fly kept catching fish. After a while the name stuck.
The Gotcha is a long time favorite fly used all over the world. It is great for spooky shallow water bonefish tailers. It differs from the Crazy Charlie in a number of ways, It has a tail and the bead chain eyes are tied away from the eye of the hook rather than close to it. The gap between the bead chain and the eye of the hook is dressed in pink thread. I do not know what makes this fly so successful but I think it has something to do with the pink dressing. Don't ask me why or what the Bonefish interpret the pink color as signifying but they like it and they attack it. I think it is the secret ingredient. It has been around for a number of years now but is still one of the best for shallow flats and nervous fish. It is lightly dressed for a soft presentation in skinny water. It lands like a feather, sinks slowly. The perfect skinny water fly. It is less prone to "bright-light spooking" than shinier Crazy Charlies. The Gotcha is especially effective in Andros, the Berry Island, and other Bahamas locations. It should be in every flats angler's box."
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT – Casting on the flats
"Bonefish 40 feet 3 o'clock moving left". If you have been saltwater flats bonefish and permit fishing and have had problems getting the fly in front of a moving fish that has been pointed out by your guide, read on. The guide has done his job by finding you the elusive fish from his elevated position and punted you within casting distance. Now all you have to do is land your fly in front of its face quickly without spooking these very jumpy fish. You have to get your casting skill to a level where you can deliver the fly using two false casts or better still a single. Find an old plank and put it on top of a small log. Balance on the plank to mimic casting on a boat. Get a friend to roll a trash can lid, large plastic plate, or hoop in front of you and try to hit it. If you do this in your front yard or local park you may get some funny looks but your skill level will increase so you do not waste the time you spend on the water. Last time I did this in a park I had people come up to me and ask if they could have a go as it looked like a lot of fun.
I’ve just got back for a great trip to the South Andros Island, Bahamas. Your pink mini puffs and white gotchas were all the flies I needed. On the first day I saw a school of five bonefish moving towards me and managed to softly drop a pink mini puff in front of them. It only took a couple of short strips and bang my first bone of the week. I kept looking and scanning for more moving shadows in the water. An hour later I see another school of 8 bonefish coming onto the flats from a deep channel. I target the lead fish with a white gotcha a few feet from his nose. He follows inspects and then takes. What a morning. Later in the week I got greedy. I saw the biggest bonefish I had ever seen. It would not take any fly I offered. My guide told me not to waist my time on him and look for younger fish. He has become old and large because from experience he has learnt not to take flies. He has learnt from painful experience.
What works best, a Crazy Charlie or Gotcha saltwater shrimp fly? - More guides and advisors in general have chosen or suggested the Gotcha to me than any other BF fly. But knowing whats happening on the flat you're are fishing and what the bones are eating is critical. I think the actual style, and material of the gotcha wing is better than the charlie. The colors can be altered to the specific circumstances. I think as an all around go to...hail mary putting your faith in one fly to have at all times, Hands down the Gotcha wins for me. By Jimmy Osherow