Turn an Average Day on the Flats into an Epic One!

 

Turn an Average Day on the Flats into an Epic One!

The sight of a cruising redfish nosing down on a well-presented artificial bait is enough to get any angler’s heart pumping at a rapid pace, but stalking redfish in skinny waterfalls outside the comfort zone of many fishermen.  Whether fishing the Laguna Madre, Biloxi Marsh, Everglades, or Carolina coast – or anywhere in between – following a few common guidelines will help turn an average day on the flats into an epic one.

First and foremost, silence is the key when hunting redfish, as these finicky predators spook very easily from the slightest sound or vibration.  In windy conditions or in turbid waters, a trolling motor may allow you to get close enough to spot and cast to pods of reds, but savvy anglers rely on push poling to quietly ease across the shallows in search of signs of life.  A stealthy approach is critical, particular when fish are pressured or in unusually calm weather, so keep splashing and moving around the boat to a minimum.

In terms of spotting fish, just a few inches of added elevation off the water can make a world of difference.  Most flats boats offer raised poling and casting platforms, but anglers without such specialized craft can enhance their fish-spotting capabilities using a sturdy, roto-molded cooler or small stepladder to gain a better vantage point.  Even in cloudy conditions, a pair of quality, polarized sunglasses are a must, and most inshore guides prefer those with amber lenses that match the tint of backcountry waters.

When scanning for signs of redfish, anglers must keep a sharp lookout for a variety of clues that could lead to paydirt.  Redfish tails are the most obvious giveaways, of course, and indicate fish tipped nose down rooting for crustaceans or cruising slowly through very shallow water.  In clear water, the dark outlines of fish can be spotted, sometimes easily against the contrast of a light-colored sand or mud bottom.  While V-shaped head wakes, or sometimes a series of wakes in the case of schooling fish, are surefire signs of active fish, sometimes a small patch of slightly riffled, ‘nervous’ water can be a dead giveaway to the presence of laid up or milling fish.  Skittering shrimp or baitfish also signify the presence of larger predators like redfish.

When casting to redfish, there is little room for error, as a cast too close to the fish will spook it and send it scurrying, but a cast too far away from the fish will seldom get noticed.  The objective is to lead the fish, casting beyond the fish’s path and bringing the bait into its field of vision, all while being careful not to swim the bait towards the fish in an unnatural manner.

While redfish are opportunistic feeders that eat a variety of crabs, shrimps, worms and baitfish, choosing the right bait is not so simple.  Redfish will take a variety of soft swimbaits, hard baits, spoons, and spinners at times, but rarely will they pass up a slow-moving shrimp meandering in their path, so a soft plastic shrimp imitation gets the nod as the most versatile lure for sight casting to redfish.

At the top of the list of shrimp, baits are the new EZ ShrimpZ from Z-Man Fishing Products.  When rigged with the company’s EZ KeeperZ weighted hook, the pairing is aerodynamic and easy to cast accurately and lands softly in the water, so as not to spook the fish.  In fact, its re-entry sounds similar to a shrimp skipping across the surface.  When twitched slowly, the segmented tail comes to life, and when paused on the bottom, the buoyant ElaZtech body of the bait floats up and hovers just off the bottom, just like a real shrimp.  Unlike most other artificial baits, this combination can be presented very slowly while still maintaining a natural look, allowing the bait more time in the fish’s field of vision than other baits that must be fished more quickly.

While sight-fishing redfish can be a tricky undertaking, employing stealthy approaches, precision casting, and ultra-realistic bait presentations will certainly tip the odds in your favor.

Visit Z Man Fishing.com Today!

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com 

More Stories & Fun Things to Do

Travel

Swimming Holes Ain’t What They Used to Be. They’re Better!

Oh, come now, you remember back when… The excitement that school was finally over for the year and you were getting that two month reprieve to go and have some fun, leaving those “books and teachers’ dirty looks” behind. Perhaps down the road in your small town there was a swimming hole where you would all gather. The tire swing hung from that old oak limb that looked as if it would break, even though it had held up under all kinds of weather for hundreds of years. Maybe you lived in a city and you longed for a swimming hole, but the only thing available was the community pool. It was okay but, let’s face it, it was confining and every time you wanted to go with you and your friends there were always a million others who had the same idea to do it before you got there.

Business

The Hottest Locales for Small Business in the U.S.

No, Silicon Valley is not being replaced. However, with the Kauffman Foundation releasing its annual Startup Activity Index last week showing, in detail, trends in U.S. business startups for 2017, it was revealed that California has been booted out of first place. The top spot for new businesses to be built and thrive in the United States has been taken over by the big, sunny city of Miami, Florida.

Entertainment

For movies opening June 9, 2017

It Comes at Night (R for profanity, violence and disturbing images) Post-apocalyptic suspense thriller about a couple (Joel Edgerton and Carmen Ejogo) with a son (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.) who successfully evade the deadly plague terrorizing the planet until, against their better judgment, they decide to share their cabin in the woods with a desperate family seeking refuge from the scourge. With Christopher Abbott, Riley Keough and Griffin Robert Faulkner.

Health

Making Your Health “Resolute”

It is time for those New Year’s Resolutions to be made

Books

331 Innings

“331 Innings is a powerful tale narrated by elderly, Nebraska native Jack Schram, a lifelong witness to the folly of war and hypocrisy. Jack tells of the bullying encountered by his nephew\’s teenage son, John, born with physical disabilities. It hasn\’t been any easier for John\’s close friend, Sarah Jenkinson, harassed at school since moving to the area a few years ago…