It ain’t easy, but no one said it’d be easy.
It sure beats fishing with someone who doesn’t know how to shut their trap when stalking spooky fish. With the right tools and conditions, fishing solo for tailing redfish can be quite fruitful. In fact, it is one of my favorite types of fishing. It’s just you and the fish.
Whether the tide is coming in or going out doesn’t make much difference to the fish. I’ve found that it’s all about depth. Find the right depth with some decent water movement, and you will find the fish. When I do fish with my buddies, I often times tell them “we’re about to find fish.” Inevitably they’ll ask how do you know? And almost without failure I’ll respond, “tail at 2 O’clock.” It’s all about the depth. Once I find the right depth, I know the tailing fish aren’t far behind.
When fishing a new area, I like to survey flats at their lowest point usually at the bottom of the tide. It allows me to see what parts of the flat the fish will likely use to traverse the flats, and where they will stage on different parts of the tides. As the tide comes in, I’ll watch and see which areas the fish use and compare it to the areas I thought they’d use to work their way onto the flat. This becomes extremely useful when targeting tailing redfish. If you find the fish use a certain part of the flat to enter the flat, then it is likely they’ll also use the exact same area to exit the flat.
Once I’ve found good fish, I find it important to have the right gear to get the job done. An Osprey 2500 or 3000 spooled with 8-10 lbs braid (I went with a little overkill and used a 4000 w/ 20 lbs braid in the video) paired with a 7’6” Bull Bay Rods – Stealth Sniper is a perfect set up for solo sight-fishing for tailing redfish. You’ll want the ability to cast as far as possible since you will often find yourself drifting away from the fish either due to the wind or tides if you are on any type of shallow drafting vessel. If you’re wade fishing, you’ll benefit just as much from having the ability to make long casts. There’s nothing worse than watching a fish tail ferociously just out of casting range.
A Camo Slayer Inc. SST on a 4/0 1/16th or 1/8th Oz keeper hook is typically my bait of choice for cruising fish (tail walking fish as anglers often call them) or for lower light conditions. The vibration of the large paddle tail helps alert the fish. If a fish is head deep in the grass, very close to me, or I need to be a little more accurate with my casts, I find a Golden Bream DOA Shrimp rigged on a 3/0 1/16th Oz keeper hook to be a little more effective. Remember that the fish eat from their head and not their tail, so it is important to anticipate where the fish’s head will be in the water in order to increase hook ups.
I hope this article is helpful for those interested in fishing for tailing redfish. It’s an extremely rewarding and very addicting type of fishing, but it definitely takes some time to learn how to do it effectively on a regular basis. Stay tuned for more in depth content on sight fishing for tailing redfish.