Baitfish Imitations

Saltwater Fishing Flies

Most saltwater flies are tied to imitate baitfish.

My personal favorite is the Deceiver. This fly can be tied in various lengths, fullnesses, and colors to imitate many of the baitfish that striped bass prefer. Examples are shown in the table below.

Baitfish Fly Length, in. Fullness Color
Anchovy Deceiver 2-4 Sparse Olive and White
Silverside Deceiver 3-4 Sparse Olive and White
Sand Eel Deceiver 2-7 Sparse (Yellow or Green) and White
Peanut Bunker Deceiver 5-10 Full Yellow and White
Herring Deceiver 4-10 Full Blue and White
Mullet Deceiver 4-5 Medium Blue and White

Deceiver Flies of Different Sizes

Deceiver Flies of Different Sizes and Colors - link to larger image


Most baitfish are white on the bottom. Most smaller bait fish are olive on top. I like olive and white for smaller flies, and yellow and white for larger ones. If they had to pick one color, most fisherman would pick white, except at night when they would use black. Some, however, swear by chartreuse. There is a saying: " If it ain't chartreuse, it ain't no use." Actually, some fisherman recommend chartreuse for use when the water is murky with the idea that it stands out more.

It also has become popular to add a red chin to Deceiver flies. This is to make the imitation baitfish look injured and bleeding under the gills.

To see more about the Deceiver Fly follow this link: Deceiver Fly

Book Guide to Saltwater Prey