While I do not consider myself, by any stretch if the imagination, a “red fisherman”. There is a time and place during the year to yank on a few of these fish when the opportunity presents itself. I have minimal experience hunting these fish beyond the Florida Bay and over the last many years, for the most part, avoided fishing them religiously. Most of the “channel drum” in the Florida Bay take the fly with ease and then typically just roll in the mud. Hell if they even clear your stripping line it calls for a celebration. Probably a function of warmer water temps who knows they are simply lazy bastards. I would guess it to be comparable to snagging a nurse shark just ask Honson.
I would have liked to think that once you caught one redfish you have caught them all but with a range from Massachusetts to Northern Mehico redfish are simply not created equal. Even in the Glades they can simply just turn their nose on just about everything you put in front of them, I suppose this is fishing and to be expected but getting refusals from a fucking brainless redfish can perplex even the most seasoned of anglers.
Don’t get me wrong about these “spottail bass”, I do enjoy catching them, from aggressive bites, to occasional table fair, to sometimes forgiving the worst of casts, they are good fun to hunt. I am told that they can even live to be 60 years old……….pretty incredible if you ask me.
On a recent family adventure I had the chance to fish out of my old skiff (no floor original Hells Bay Waterman made when Tom Gordon had a full head of hair, simply a badass poling skiff) in the low country for the first time, not sure what I expected but I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of these grassy mud flats………………….
While I say the derogatory “blue-collar bonefish” stuff the fishery could not be farther from the truth. The Charleston fishery is legit and the numerous estuaries could keep the most local of folks hitting a new area every outing. Hell the 50 or so free local ramps in enough to make anyone happy. Needless to say the flooded spartina grass was a welcomed change of pace.
I can see how this wading to fish in the grass can get addicting………….
fish kept coming to hand……………….
And on the last afternoon with a long drive ahead of me with crying babies and all, we saw one last fish tailing hard in the grass, deep in the thick shit. Feeding them deep in the grass is not done with ease and definitely takes some experience but the fish came up and moved across some open water and I laid the fly out in front of her. It was a nice sized fish and as I stripped the fly in position the damn thing got stuck on a heavy blade of grass. In attempt to not spook the fish I lightly jiggled the fly when all of the sudden the 32inch fish blew up and ripped the fly from the grass…….I am told this is called the “dangler”
apparently this is all the rage in these parts (fish takes you into your backing)
one of the better reds I have seen in a long long time….
definitely hope to be back soon just not in the cold………………….