Tailing Redfish On the Fly
Targeting tailing redfish is a lot like hunting. You’re stalking your prey, quietly and patiently just waiting for the perfect shot. There are times where it’s more of a waiting game but once it turns on, it is an absolute sight to see. When we target tailing redfish on the Crystal Coast, we are typically fishing what’s known as a “flood tide” or a “king tide”. That just means that the tide is a bit higher than normal and that number is purely based on what area you’re fishing. Those areas that are typically covered in shorter grass and swarming with fiddler crabs are the perfect zones to target when the water comes up enough to cover them. Being that we are fishing is super shallow water, stealth is key here. The less noise, the better when it comes to this. Get your sea legs sound, make sure to have line out and ready and be prepped for the possibility for a quick, short cast.
Normally we like to throw the standard 8-weight rod, but feel free to grab anything from a 5-10 weight depending on the size of the fish and weather conditions. A weight forward, floating line is all that’s needed. For most instances, we are throwing sub-surface flies imitating the bait which is typically fiddler crabs. Most flies are either crab or shrimp patterns in sizes #2-4 work perfectly. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, try throwing a gurgler for some top-water chases in the grass!
Take the time to go out and explore, learn your area and discover all that is has to offer for fishing all the tides. Flood tide fishing is by far one of my favorite times of the year and probably the most exciting and rewarding time I get to have. Standing up on the skiff and seeing that tail wave across the flat and saying “ I see you… now I’m going to catch you”. Have fun, be safe and tight lines!