Using The Right Leader For Nearshore and Inshore Fishing
Back in the good old days, many anglers didn’t use a leader when inshore fishing. They would tie the rigs to their fluorocarbon fishing line and start casting. In recent years fishermen have been more detailed about leaders, the type of line, the fishing environment it’s used in and what they’re fishing for. Here are a few tips for nearshore and inshore fishermen and how to determine which leader setup you need for the best fishing results.
Nearshore Fishing for Redfish
Many inshore fishermen will occasionally pop out of the inlet looking for Redfish that may be feeding on bait outside the surf. It’s pretty simple. I use a shorter leader, about 12-16 inches in length, with about 25–30-pound test fluorocarbon line. In cleaner water I use the longer leader to avoid spooking off the fish.
Since I tend to find myself inshore fishing for Redfish around structures, a shorter leader is needed. A fluorocarbon leader anywhere between 12-24 inches is used with live bait or longer is you’re fishing with artificial lures. I like to use 30-pound test because of the contact with the structure. The last thing you want is a break with a big fish around a dock, since this is where Redfish often feed and protect themselves. If I’m fishing with artificial baits or jigging, I tie a fluorocarbon Uni-knot to my braid. This works well when fishing with jigs like a 3/16 oz. Texas jig head, which I prefer.
Fishing For Big Bull Redfish Inshore
As you might guess, fishing for the biggest of the Redfish species requires a bit larger rigging than those smaller Redfish you find in the creeks. I’m talking about the 31 pounders and up. I learned that lesson the hard way when a Bull Red drove out my reel. Now I use 50-pound test fluorocarbon for the leader being about 12-14 inches, and make sure to have a higher test line than I commonly use for the other Redfishing. Hook up and hang on and be ready to work your drag.
Speckled Trout Inshore
I use a fast action rod, and a reel with 10-pound braid. The leader is made with 10-pound fluorocarbon. It’s important that the leader is as close to invisible as possible. Specs are a bit more skittish, therefore rig accordingly.
Remember, your leader plays a big part of your presentation to the fish. You can have a great lure in a great location, but if you come to the party announcing what you’re there for, you’re wasting time. However, don’t overdo it by using too light a leader material that will only result in breaks and fish swimming away with a hook in his mouth.