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Saltwater Fly Fishing Bonefish, Tarpon, Redfish, Permit, False Albacore, Striped Bass, etc...

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Old 04-20-2017, 04:40 PM
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Default Anyone else toss flies for ladyfish?

Haven't gotten a chance to fish saltwater for almost two weeks. Got out early this morning and my first choice yielded only small trout over grass flats. Relocated to another area with the same results. So I paddled over to a sharp transition to deeper water that I can often find ladyfish.

This was definitely more exciting. They hit hard and fight even harder. Most anglers that I know consider this a garbage fish and if they happen to catch one, use it as cut bait. I've never heard or seen anyone else target them with a fly.

The ladyfish typically hammers the fly, makes some amazing jumps and fights much harder for it's weight than many more desirable in-shore fish. The last time I went out, one actually jumped in and out of my kayak three times before I tired it out. A word of caution to those that haven't fished for them, don't bring them into the boat. They often will **** everywhere.

If you are really lucky, you can also catch Spanish Mackeral in the same area. Had one on today long enough to see it. Also had something shred the 30# protective leader that I had tied to the end of my tippet. That probably wasn't a ladyfish.

Anyway, so does anyone else toss flies to ladyfish when more desirable saltwater fish aren't biting?

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Old 04-20-2017, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: Anyone else toss flies for ladyfish?

Haha, yeah I've done the Lady fish thing ...if you really can't find anything to catch try getting a mullet to eat a fly ....now that is a challenge
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Old 04-20-2017, 05:09 PM
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Default Re: Anyone else toss flies for ladyfish?

They're great sport alright and there were quite a few around last year on C.I.
It's like handling snakes though they're so greasy!
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:14 PM
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Default Re: Anyone else toss flies for ladyfish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyminded View Post
Haha, yeah I've done the Lady fish thing ...if you really can't find anything to catch try getting a mullet to eat a fly ....now that is a challenge
I've accidentally snagged a mullet with a fly, but was surprised how quickly it tired. The ladyfish seem to always have another burst of energy.

Unfortunately, as Dynaflow pointed out, ladyfish are very slimy.
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: Anyone else toss flies for ladyfish?

I like to catch them, unless I am on a hot trout or redfish bite. We have large schools that patrol the surf at our barrier islands and the oyster reefs at the outer marsh. At times it seems an acre or more of water is boiling. In our area they are one of the few inshore fish under 5 pounds that regularly take you into your backing.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: Anyone else toss flies for ladyfish?

Not on purpose. They are jumpers. I probably should appreciate them. They can get thick in the surf and bay, a fish every cast kind of thick. I'm usually after speckled trout when they move in. But your right, Spanish mackerel and bluefish will at times run with them too. I like both of those in moderation. I try to shake ladyfish off before I have to handle them. Sometimes it works. Ladyfish seem to tear up and surely slime the tippet too. Some locals here love to catch them for the fight and for cut bait. I think ladyfish are especially ugly and stupid. They all look the same to me, no color variation, just bigger or smaller with the same big blank eyes.

I wish I could get excited about ladyfish. Honestly, I'll move and fish some place else after I hook a few. They are lively and explosive. I really like catching flounder on the fly and they aren't exactly known for being great fighters. Everyone gets excited about certain fish for different reasons. Getting a croaker on the fly makes me happy, croak, croak, they go. There is no account for tastes. Enjoy your ladyfish.
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Old 04-21-2017, 04:35 AM
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Default Re: Anyone else toss flies for ladyfish?

I've fished for them in the Tampa/St Petersburg area.
To me they're a lot of fun to catch.
They do tear up flies and leaders, though.
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Old 04-21-2017, 05:21 AM
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Default Re: Anyone else toss flies for ladyfish?

We have a similar fish here in South Africa on the East Coast and we love to fish for them on fly. Elops Magnata grows to a meter and a half in length and they readily take you far into backing and are aerial performers. They are like small Tarpon which we do not have in South Africa.
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:26 PM
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Default Re: Anyone else toss flies for ladyfish?

Karstopo, I will usually move on after a few also. But sometimes the sought after trout or redfish just ain't biting or I can't find them. At those times I will happily catch ladyfish all day. Spanish macks are always welcome. I like to smoke the fillets. I've only caught two flounder on fly and a handful of croakers. I've also caught hardheads and a gafftop or two. At times white trout ( sand trout to Texans) are an every cast deal also. As I am an unapologetic meat fisherman they go in the ice chest with any legal specks I might have. I still haven't a bluefish on fly yet, but I have been bitten off by a few. I still haven't caught sheepshead or black drum yet either.
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Old 04-22-2017, 05:24 AM
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Default Re: Anyone else toss flies for ladyfish?

When I'm fishing from my kayak, I'm strictly catch and release just because I don't want the hassle of taking a cooler for fish. Which is one of the reasons I don't discriminate on what to toss flies to.

I'm looking for aggressive action and a good fight. In that regards, the ladyfish is far more appealing than a gator trout. Trout hits hard, but tires relatively quickly. Jacks, ladyfish, Spanish mackeral and redfish are some of the best in-shore action I've experienced.
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