Fishing Tips: How to Sight Fish for Redfish
The first thing Capt. C.A. Richardson told us was: “I don’t want any overhead casts.” Kind of an odd comment...
The first thing Capt. C.A. Richardson told us was: “I don’t want any overhead casts.”
Kind of an odd comment from a fishing guide, but Richardson’s directions were right in line with our day’s objective—an exhilarating way of visually targeting redfish known as sight fishing.
It was the last day of the Buras Marsh Media Bash held out of Cajun Fishing Adventures and we wanted to end our Mississippi Delta adventure with some fine-tuned redfish action. So, with Mustad’s Reid McKinstry and me alternating on the bow, Richardson took us to a handful of East Delta bays where he knew the outgoing tide would offer prime opportunities.
Although spotting fish from afar and then quietly poling us into position was Richardson’s plan, the actual engagements were a close-range deal. That’s where the casting instruction was so vital.
When you’re presenting jigs and soft jerk baits to fish maybe 20 feet from the boat, it’s really hard to make a bait land quietly when launched with an overhead cast. For most of the dozen or so fish we caught, low, side-arm casts worked best.
For the tighter presentations, a soft, underhand pitch similar to that of bass anglers did the trick.
With the falling water draining the inner marsh, we worked the outer grass edges and found our fish by looking for:
1. Floaters: Redfish hovering high in the water column in obvious feeding mode.
2. Tailers: Redfish turning headfirst toward the bottom to root out a crab. (More rare in the Delta marshes, but it happens.)
3. Wakes and pushes: Evidence of active reds pushing below the surface.
Each time, we saw our fish before it saw our Z-Man soft plastics. And each time, the key was slipping a bait into the fish’s radar without sounding any alarms.