So when it comes to fly fishing for Corbina, considering they can be worse than permit at times, the fly selection can be  crucial in success in fooling the SoCal Bonefish know as the “ bean” or Corbina. 

Having the right fly to present can mean the difference between getting a take or a major refusal. The majority of the time chasing these fish up and down the surf we are fishing them in very shallow water, therefore they get a very good look at our fly. Playing this sight fly fishing game can be rewarding but also can be  down right frustrating if your fly isn’t to there liking. Presentation is a very important factor in success as well as the saltwater fly pattern you choose to throw at them. These saltwater fish are very keyed into the food source and are not easily fooled by patterns that don’t represent it well. Corbina have very big eyes and excellent vision in the shallow water and have no problem nudging the fly before they give you the fin or turn there nose away in refusal. This is not a game for the faint of heart but for the ones that enjoy an extreme challenge along our beautiful SoCal Coastline chasing a ghost amongst the surf.


There is a lot of different forage that dwells in the surfline, but what is it that the Corbina really want to eat? Well, thats a great question to be honest. During the warmer parts of the summer June-September there are an abundance of sand crabs shallow spawning. This creates a major food source for the corbina to come feed on at the appropriate tide and time. The sand crab has become a very deadly fly on a regular basis and is fished primarily on cruising fish. The size of the crab can vary, as with the color or shade as well. In general, having a good selection of sizes and colors can greatly help your success in figuring out what they prefer on each given day. Here is a list of discount flies that we use when we go Corbina Fly Fishing.

Sand Crab Patterns :

Surfin Merkin - Sizes #4-8

Colors:  Pink  /  Gray & Pink  /  Tan & Orange

This crab pattern has a great profile, and works especially well on Corbina, Bonefish, and Permit. It's tied from an ultra supple material that gets a wonderful translucent look when wet.

This patten is probably the most popular by far in representing the sand crab in its true form. All colors work at different times. Sizes vary on the abundance of what is around on the beach. 

Corbina Crack - Sizes # 6-8

Colors: Orange  /  Pink

This fly is a must for any person Corbina Fly Fishing San Diego. It is represents a Corbina's favorite food.... the sand crab. It also works great for any fish that forages in the sand, looking for crabs.

Another big hitter along the beaches of Socal. Good choice when the selection is all on the smaller side.

Corbina Crack

Foxy Clouser - Sizes # 4-6

Colors: Red  /  Peach  /  Natural


Tied out of fox tail, this fly is designed to land very delicately in shallow water. Fox tail is also a very soft and supple type of hair, so this fly has incredible movement underwater. It is perfect for Bonefish and Carp.

I have found this to be an excellent trailing fly. This little Foxy kinda looks like a lot of things, so the Corbina have told me.

Foxy Clouser, Peach

Another favorite of any surf / bay dwelling fish is the shrimp, particular the ghost shrimp. These critters dwell in the sand and come out to feed from time to time making them a good snack for any fish. There are other shrimp species as well that vary in size and color. Having shrimp patterns on hand can be very effective at times.

Shrimp Patterns:

Beach Bugger - Sizes #4-8

Colors: Orange  /   Pink  

This is an all around great pattern for a variety of saltwater fish. Try it for Redfish, Bonefish, and Corbina and you won't be disappointed.

A very good searching fly for blind casting or sight fishing. Good profile mimics a varity of food and has a very natural action in the surf. Orange has proven to be most popular color for San Diego Fly Fishing.

Beach Bugger, Orange

Sili Shrimp - Sizes #4-8

Colors: Tan  /   Pearl

This is a bonefish and Corbina killer! Tied with bead chain eyes, this fly lands softly in shallow water. The rubber legs provide an irrestible movement that fish can't resist.

When the sand crabs start getting thin this is a great fall back. Also a great trailer behind a sand crab pattern as well. Have found the Pearl to be very effective at times when all else fails, typical Corbina fishing.

Sili Shrimp, Pearl

Polar Vortex - Sizes #4-8

Colors:  Pink   /   Tan   /   White Pearl

The Polar Vortex is tied with a wing of Polar Hair, giving it a natural translucent look when wet. It works great on flats and beaches that receive lots of angling pressure.

The Polar Vortex is tied on heavy dumbbell eyes which helps it get to the sand fast and stay down. The profile of this patten seems to imitate more than just one thing to the fish, especially Corbina. 

Polar Vortex, Tan

Bonefish Improved Crazy Charlie - Size #6

Colors:  Orange   /    Pink   

Bonefish-Improved Crazy Charlie, Orange--The Crazy Charlie is one of the very first bonefish flies ever invented. It has fooled millions of bonefish, and continues to do so today. This improved version has rubber legs on it, creating more movement underwater. Every bonefish  angler  in the world should have these in their fly box.

Along with being one of the best bonefish flies, this pattern fools the corbina just as well. It can be retrieved fast or slow and the corbina seem to react.

Crazy Charlie, Tan

Baitfish Fly Patterns:

Clouser Minnow - Size #4-6

Colors: Chartreuse and White  / Blue and White

This is the all-around, got-to pattern for any kind of saltwater fishing. Also a great choice for bass and pike. The lead eyes add weight and a swimming motion when stripped. Truly a must-have, at times corbina will chase a fly. 

This fly is effective when there are not a lot of crabs around anymore. There are a lot of different fin fish in the surf as well that many fish key on, one being surf perch fry for sure.

Clouser Minnow, Chartreuse and White

Shiner  -  Size # 4-10

Color: White

This streamer is designed to replicate a wide range of baitfish. Its profile and color looks very similar to surf perch fry along with smelt and anchovy alike. All these baitfish dwell in the surf along with many other. Sometimes when the sight fishing game is not happing this can prove to be productive at the right time of year, spring threw summer and into the fall months. 

Shiner Fly for Corbina

Guides Tip!!!!!


Worm Fly Patterns: Sand Worms and Blood Worms Sizes #10-14

Well since there are not any flies described as such we will have to improvise on this a bit.

I have found that the simple San Juan Worm Has been effective at times trailed behind a weighted point fly. The blood worm and sand worm are favorites of the corbina along with almost every other surf dwelling species. If you offer it they may except the offering….just saying. 

San Juan Worm - Sizes #10-14

Colors:  Red  /   Pink   /    Tan   

Ya…as simple as that…say no more!

San Juan Worm, Red

Squirmy Wormy - Size# 10-14

Color: Pink / Pumpkin / Chartreuse

This worm pattern is absolutely deadly! Using it is like cheating! This soft, stretchy, flexible material, is similar to that of a rubber band, and wiggles like no other under water. When fish grab on to this fly, they just can't let it go. Corbina see this as straight candy at times, goes to show trout stuff works too.

Squirmy Wormy, Pink

We hope this guide helps when it comes to filling up your surf box with deadly patterns for corbina. These patterns have been proving to get takes along with refusals, nature of the game. Corbina Fly Fishing is not an easy task even for an skilled angler. But with the right fly and the right tide these fish can be absolutely amazing to say the least. Good luck on your hunt for the “Bean” better know as the Corbina.

If you do find that the Corbina are being a little more elusive than you thought or you want to cut the learning curve then please check out our guide service. We have trip that we exclusively Fly Fish for Corbina.