Keep your flies basic — as a rule, it is one fish, one fly. Guides on the coast of North Carolina have found that 4-inch flies with a rabbit-strip tail and a crosscut rabbit-strip or marabou collar in bright colors work best.
Riding the bag offers opportunities to catch multiple species — the key to success is being rigged and ready. Capt. Sarah Gardner keeps four fly rods ready to go at all times. Two rods are prepped for sharks, one with a red rabbit fly and the other with a white rabbit fly. Both have wire bite leaders, and she prefers to use an Albright knot rather than a swivel. The third rod is rigged for cobia, with no wire and a yellow-and-red rabbit fly without lead eyes. The last rod is rigged for mahi or used as a backup cobia fly rod. It is rigged with a 2/0 chartreuse-and-white Clouser Minnow. She uses mostly intermediate lines, but floating lines do come in handy for a variety of situations.Joe Mahler / www.markerjockey.com
Capt. Brian Horsley
Chumming attracts not only sharks but also other species. A well-outfitted crew is prepared for whatever swims up the slick.Capt. Brian Horsley