If you’re looking for ways to spice up your inshore fishing game you might want to try fishing the flood tides for Redfish. It’s different from the more common way of fishing for Reds and in many ways, it’s very similar. Best of all, it’s great fun and filled with a lot of action. It works with both fly fishing and spinning reels.
The first step is determining when the next full king tide occurs in your area. Make sure you note the actual time of day of the high tide and be ready to fish an hour or so before the peak. The size of the tide will differ, depending on where on the Atlantic coast you will be fishing. In North Carolina, the tide will change anywhere from 1 foot to 2 feet. Find a low-lying flat and start looking for fins and splashing. Your best chances will be in an area that’s holding lots of crabs which the Redfish will be feeding on. Set up on the banks and tree lines where there is a good growth of spartina grass. This is where the fun takes place.
Watch the water continue to rise, then slowly and quietly move into the spartina grass and start looking for the Redfish beginning to fin. They’re looking for crabs on the shallow bottom, and that means their tail fins will be seen as they face their prey. You’ll see the Redfish tail waving at you. It happens before you know it and it can be breathtaking. This is when you move in closer, at a range of about 10 feet or less. Make your cast in front of the Redfish by about 10 to 20 feet and then just work it back, bringing it in front of his face.
Keep watching for more tails and repeat the process over and over again. The Reds will continue to move as the water level rises and declines because they are looking for the crabs at a reachable depth which I call the feedline. When it comes to lures, use a weedless hook due to the spartina grass. If I’m fly fishing I use a small fly, and when I’m using a spinning reel, I like to use a Z-Man plastic jerk shard, again with a weedless rig.
As the water level declines, be careful to stay in water deep enough for your exit, and make sure your exit strategy avoids the more shallow water.
Fishing the flood tides is great fun. It’s a way of fishing far from the basic Redfishing. It’s coming nearly one on one with the fish. Give it a try…you’ll be HOOKED.
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