Quick and Easy Grand Slam Crab
On our latest Trip to San Lazaro, Cuba the hunt for Permit was on, and I mean really on! Some of our guys literally spent more than half of their fishing time on Permit. Daytime fishing – night-time tying. We experimented quite a bit with different types of flies, commercially bought ones as well as own recipes.
Main factor that was cruicial into provoking a bite – well as far as a permit can be analyzed – was in our opinion the sinking rate, as well as the balance and “orientation” of the fly (color of cause matching to the bottom). After a couple of weeks of Prep-time prior to the trip I had tied a whole bunch of flies – which would all potenially work on some fish – but all to eventually find out, that none of these flies really were the key for success.
This pattern is a quick Version of Fulling Mill’s “Grand Slam Tan” (http://www.fullingmill.com/Products/Crabs/Grand-Slam-Tan.html) with some minor changes to it, which has certainly proven to be Grand Slam worthy, producing a slam and a few nice permit as a matter of fact.
This little step-by-step tutorial will walk you through the basic steps. Although this version is held rather simple, you can ad quite some more details to the fly – this is meant to be an quick-on-location kinda Version to get the job done: efficiency is the key!
Hook: Gamakatsu SC15 (#1/0 – #2)
Thread: UTC Ultra Thread 140 Denier Chartreuse green
Claws: Grizzly Marabou
Flash: Pearl Polar Flash
Eyes: Mono eyes
Keel: 16-20 lb RIO’s Alloy Hard Saltwater Tippet (on the pictures was used 35lb Mono for visual purposes)
Weight: Keel: 4 brass/tungsten beads (depending on the depth) 2,5mm – 3,5mm | Head: medium brass eyes
Body: tan/sand/olive EP Fibre
Legs: any kinds of crazy legs of your liking
Adhesive: Zap a Gap “Brush on”
Step 1: Start your thread at the eye of the hook and lay a good base right up to where the bend starts.
Step 2: Pic two nice and even grizzly marabou feathers out of the pack and splay them out in about the length of the shank of the hook.
Step 3: Take 2-4 strands of Polar Flash (or any kind of flash you like) and ty them in on either side of the marabou. Cut them to about the same length.
Step 4:Now it’s time for the keel: snip of a peace of saltwater Mono and lay a good bunch of wraps onto it, all the way across the shank of the hook and back. It helps to flatten the mono with a pair of pliers. Leave it hanging out of the back for now.
Step 5:Invert the fly and ty in the eyes with a couple of good figure eight wraps right where the marabou starts. Make sure they stick out a little (couple of wraps underneath and around them).
Step 6:Pick out a strand of you EP Fibre that is about the diameter of a pencil and cut it into pieces of about 3-4 cm (1-2 inches) (For EP always: Less is more – be sparse). Figure eight them onto the shank of the hook as close to the eyes as possible (fly still inverted) and lay two good wraps infront of them.
Step 7:Do the same for the crazy legs – figure eight and two wraps in front.
Step 8:Repeat the process untill you have 5 segments of EP and 3 pair of EP (I like to have 2 segments of EP in between every pair of legs)
Step 9:Add the brass eyes on the upper side of the shank, right at the eye of the hook. You can also start with this step, whatever you feel more comfortable with.
Step 10:Fill up with another 1-2 segments of EP (to cover the space between the legs and the head) and load up the keel with your 4 brass beads. Build up a nice bend, lay it over the brass eyes and ty in the mono right at the eye of the hook (it helps to go through the eye once and ty in the mono on the other side of the shank of the hook). Whip-finish and cut off the excess.
Step 11:Give your fly a good trim and cut the legs to a proper length. Depending on the area, that you are fishing you can be more or less generous with the amount of EP you cut off. Here in Cuba the Permit likes it fairly slim. To give your fly more durability, ad some Zap a Gap to the head and your figure eight wraps. Your fly is now ready to go!
Weedguard: A lot of people like to fish with a weed guard, including me for some scenarios. Thanks to the keel, it is very simple the ad a weedguard by just cutting off less mono. When you go through the eye of the hook, lay a few good wraps on and under the mono, and cut it just so it touches the point of the hook – Cement it with some Zap and There you go!
Eyes: Instead of the Mono eyse, shrimp eye look very cool on this fly, too. Make sure they stick out a little.
Color: We always ty this fly in either Sand or Tan color. We want it to be a blank fly! That means: take a couple of waterproof markers with you and match the fly on location to the color of the bottom – you will be prepared for any situation.
Shape: This fly can also very well be tied on a bonefish hook. Make it a little more slim, take a bright orange or shrimp colored thread and and there you go, you will have a great all purpose Spawning Mantis Shrimp imitation (Although your average bonefish won’t say no to a well-served crab either).
Cuban Slam species that fell for it…
Now that you have the ammunition, how about some targets. Check our hosted trips if you are in for some fun times and damn good fishing.