Fly fishing for redfish, also known as red drum, has become extremely popular in recent years. Redfish are a saltwater species that are commonly found along the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. They are predatory and known for their powerful runs and fights when hooked.
Redfish are strong and hard-fighting fish, and they can be a challenge to catch on a fly rod. They provide anglers with some of the best sight-fishing opportunities as they are most commonly found in shallow water, often tailing. The visual aspect of fishing for redfish only adds to the excitement.
Uses these tips and tricks to find success on the water:
How to Catch Redfish
When fishing for redfish, it is important to consider the tides and water depth, as well as the time of day, as redfish are known to be most active during incoming tides in the early morning and late afternoon.
- Choose the right location: Redfish are often found in shallow, murky waters along the coast, particularly in estuaries, bays, and lagoons. Look for areas with a mixture of mud and grassy bottoms, as these areas often attract baitfish, which in turn attract redfish.
- Select the right flies:
- Approach quietly: Redfish are spooky and will quickly swim away if they sense danger. Use your rod to push your boat quietly through the water and try to avoid making too much noise.
- Make the right presentation: Redfish are bottom feeders, so you want your fly to sink slowly and imitate a crab or shrimp. Cast your fly upcurrent (depending on the tide), let it sink to the bottom, and slowly strip the line to make the fly swim back towards you.
- Set the hook: When you feel a tug on your line, quickly strip set the hook by pulling the fly rod back towards you.
- Play the fish: Redfish are powerful fighters, so be ready for a good fight. Keep your rod tip high and use a combination of reeling and stripping to tire the fish out.
Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep at it and enjoy the experience!
Tips for Catching Redfish
- Presentation: Make long casts and strip the fly slowly, pausing periodically to let the fly sink. Redfish are often wary and slow presentations can entice them to strike.
- Location: Look for redfish in shallow flats, along the edges of grass beds, and near oyster shells.
- Tides: Pay attention to tides, as redfish are more likely to be feeding during incoming tides.
- Stealth: Redfish are easily spooked, so be mindful of your approach and try to make long casts from a distance.
- Strip sets: When a redfish strikes, quickly strip set the hook by pulling the fly line towards you with a quick, firm motion.
- Fight: Redfish are strong fighters, so be prepared for a battle. Use a steady, tireless retrieve to tire the fish and bring it to the shore.
- Regulations: Familiarize yourself with local fishing regulations and ensure that you are fishing within the limits of the law.
Best Flies for Redfish
These are the 5 best flies for redfish:
- Bait fish
Different patterns and variations may work better than others depending on where you’re fishing. We recommend checking with your local fly shop to get the best fly patterns for the area.
Best Fly Rod for Redfish
The best fly rods for redfish fly rod should have several key characteristics, including:
- Power: Redfish can be strong fighters, so a good fly rod for redfish should have enough power to fight and land these fish. A rod with a fast or medium-fast action will have the power needed to handle redfish.
- Sensitivity: A sensitive fly rod will allow you to feel the subtle takes of redfish, which can be important when fishing in shallow waters. A rod with a sensitive tip will help you detect these bites and set the hook quickly.
- Accuracy: Redfish are often found in tight quarters such as mangrove shorelines or around oyster bars, so a good redfish fly rod should be able to make accurate casts in tight spaces.
- Durability: Saltwater can be tough on fly rods, so a good redfish fly rod should be built to withstand the harsh saltwater environment. Look for rods made with corrosion-resistant materials such as graphite or fiberglass.
Douglas Fly Rods for Redfish
Our SKY G series is the perfect rod for redfish. It has the power to cast long distances into the wind, while being able to delicately deliver a fly at close range. SKY G fly rod models for redfish include:
- SKY G 9’ 6wt (saltwater version for extra delicate presentations and smaller fish)
- SKY G 9’ 7wt (perfect for days with lighter wind)
- SKY G 9’ 8wt (best overall rod weight for redfish)
- SKY G 9’ 9wt (something a little extra for those larger fish or windy days)
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