Sight Fishing Redfish
Sight Fishing redfish is one of the most rewarding types of fishing you will ever experience. You can feel your heart begin to speed up as you start scanning a flat for tails and nervous bait. The water is so clear that you feel you're fishing off of some tropical island and the only sounds you hear are bait jumping and birds diving to look for that next meal.
All of a sudden, you hear your guide say, "Redfish tails 2 o-clock, 100 feet out." The adrenalin pumps through your veins as you see a dozen or more bronze and blue tails breaking the surface of the water. Your guide tells you to cast a few feet just past and to the left of them. This is the moment you've been waiting for. It's up to you to do what all your friends have been dreaming about.
You take a deep breath and cast. As your lure soars through the air, you feel your heart skip a beat. "Splash." It lands 2 feet to the right of the school. Your guide tells you to slowly work your plug and suddenly you see a wake come up behind it. He tells you to speed up your retrieve and the second you do, "Pow", a huge splash erupts behind your plug. "Keep working it", your guide says, and "Pow", the fish misses it again. But as you speed it up, you feel your rod begin to bend and your reel start to scream. Now the fight is on as your grip begins to tighten. It's all you can do to hold on as the fish runs for deeper water.
Over the next 10 to 60 minutes, you'll try to gain back some of the line this fish has striped off your reel. Finally, you pull your prize within 5 feet of the boat and sigh with relief, thinking the fight is over. Without warning, your reel begins to howl yet again as this fish tries once more to get away. After struggling a few more minutes, he finally gives in and you're able to pull him to the side of the boat. Your guide reaches down and, at long last, grasps this adversary who's been testing your skill and strength for what seemed a lifetime.
Sight fishing is more than getting a line wet and, unfortunately, is an art that few people practice anymore. When sight fishing on a grass flat, you spend a lot of time polling and watching the water for anything out of the ordinary. You are looking for tails, nervous bait, wakes and cloudy spots where fish have been feeding. In sight fishing on a flat, the name of the game is stealth. You have to be as quiet as possible and be ready to cast accurately.
If you don't feel your casting is all that great, don't worry. I can help almost anyone cast like a pro in no time if they want to learn. The main thing to keep in mind is that fishing is supposed to be fun and relaxing. If you have a hard time, take a deep breath and relax.
If you have a chance to practice, try this:
1) Find a 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 foot rod and spool your reel with 8 to 10 pound test line.
2) Tie a 1/4 ounce weight to the line.
3) Find a spot in the yard with at least 100 feet clear of trees and other obstacles.
4) Place a hula-hoop or box 40 feet away from where you are going to stand.
5) Cast to the target until you can land in the center.
Once you can hit your target, try casting sideways at about a 45 degree angle from both your left and right side. If you usually cast from your right side, try casting from your left. Keep doing this until you can hit your target 4 out of 5 times.
6) Move the box or hula-hoop to about 60 feet and continue casting from a verity of angles. Don't let yourself get caught in a rut of only being able to cast one way. When you are actually out casting to fish, they may not always be in a direction you feel comfortable with.
7) You might want to move the target once more to about 100 feet because, a lot of the time, the only way you are going to get a shot at these fish is by casting to them as far away as you can.
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