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Fly fishing for redfish is deceptively tricky. Especially if you're fly fishing in shallow waters during the summer. Even when they're digging for crabs in the sand, with their distinctively red fins poking out of the water, it can be difficult to snag one. And there's a reason for this. Before 2007, redfish were going extinct because restaurants haunted and served them to customers. Then-President Bush, in the fall of 2007, categorized them as federally protected gamefish. Love him or hate him, as an angler, you've got to be thankful since it's because of his policy that fly fishing for redfish remains a thing today.
Now you've got to assume redfishes picked up a few survivalist skills from their hunted ancestors. That's how evolution works. If you're having trouble fly fishing for redfish, here are some mistakes you could be making, and how to correct them.
Fly Fishing For Redfish Mistakes and How to Correct Them
#1. Going without a weed guard.
Shallow waters are the best places to go sight fly fishing. Unfortunately, shallow waters tend to have a lot of grasses - which you can't do without. Crabs, shrimps and many of the tasty food redfish love, hide in these grasses, which is why redfishes go there in the first place. Because redfishes spook very easily, once spooked good luck catching them, you can't afford to notify them of your presence. The best way to catch them unaware is with a weed guard on your gear.
A weed guard's a tiny, but strong, monofilament line that's tied to your fly's front to prevent the hook form being caught in the grass. Without a weed guard, you risk your fly getting stuck (so you'd have to pull, which could alert the fishes around), you also risk your gear pulling some grasses, which will hide your carefully chosen fly. With a hidden fly, your fly fishing for redfish might as well be over for the day.
#2. Too Many False Casts
You need to be sure before throwing your cast because redfish get spooky - and thanks to their heavily hunted ancestors, know how to hide fast. False casts send the wrong message, that there's danger about. As an angler, the message you want to send is that all's well and calm, so fishes should feed. False casting ruins this narrative. In all fairness, experienced anglers know this, so only new anglers make this type of error in judgment. Limit yourself to one backcast, which is one of the most ideal casts to throw intense situations like this.
In addition to this line of thinking, try to be very patient before throwing your cast. Often times, eager beaver anglers throw their casts at fishes that are moving away from them. If your fly hits the back of a fish, trust us, it won't suddenly take the bait because it's used to digging for its food, not watching it fall from the sky. In most cases, it'll run from you. Be patient, if a fish is lolling about, it hasn't had anything to eat, and may turn and face you - which is a much better position for you. So fly fishing for redfish may give you lots of bragging rights, but it takes a lot to earn it.
#3. Not Being Still
Even though anglers have a reputation for sitting in one spot for hours on end, the reality is a little different. Most anglers move a lot while they're in boats, which rocks it. If you're fly fishing in shallow waters with a tiny boat, rocking it is going to cause ripples and waves over the whole water. Fishes interpret ripples as danger. Do you see where we're going with this?
The most common reason anglers "rock the boat" is because they keep shifting their feet, taking the weight from one foot to the other, for proper blood flow. We're not saying you should get paralyzed, just get into a proper position that won't require you to keep moving your feet, rocking the boat, and possibly causing ripples with your fly fishing rod. Start with a loose, relaxed stance, so your feet are wide apart, while your body stays upright. You can learn more about positioning your body on YouTube, the key thing here is, to begin with a stance that you won't tire of before catching your reward for the day. Having a ready, untiring stance is probably the most critical part of fly fishing, because it puts
you in the best position for your shot.
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