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Old 04-22-2014, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: Gulf Shores

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Originally Posted by rjsac09 View Post
Great stuff my man! What size weight are you using for the eyes? I am unfamiliar with much saltwater fishing, but can you eat ladyfish?
I'll let him answer the weight question. I've never bothered to add weight to flies in the surf. Fish find the fly.

Ladyfish are like miniature tarpon. They leap constantly, have fast runs, rip apart their mouths, and are mucho fun. Eat? Naw.
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Old 04-23-2014, 02:06 PM
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Default Re: Gulf Shores

I'll have to check the size out tonight, but they are not very big.


I've always heard they were not good to eat and really bloody. But I'm not expecting a meal, just trying to have a little fun. Ladyfish are perfect for that. Their leaping abilities are sometimes amazing. They look small but they have plenty of speed and stamina. Thinking this year I should change up my techniques and look for something better, but if the Ladyfish are there it will be really hard to ignore them.

Here's one my middle daughter landed. She really wanted to catch one but waited till the last morning to actually get out of bed. Of course the wind was howling, the surf was rough. So I took over casting and actually sticking the fish. But after that I just handed her the rod, wished her good luck and walked away. It was awesome hearing her screams while that fish put on a flight show.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:22 AM
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Default Re: Gulf Shores

flysmallie thanks for all of the info. If I can hook a few of those I will be happy as can be! I was more so curious about their table fare. Not planning on doing any cleaning while down there.

Thanks again!
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:00 AM
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Default Re: Gulf Shores

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Originally Posted by rjsac09 View Post
flysmallie thanks for all of the info. If I can hook a few of those I will be happy as can be! I was more so curious about their table fare. Not planning on doing any cleaning while down there.

Thanks again!

No problem. If you can't hook one give me a holler and I'll come slap you around. It's really easy as long as you are where they are. You should be able to spot them chasing baitfish and the birds chasing them around. Get a fly out in front of them and they will take care of the rest.

These fish are fun but they are hard on flies and leaders. And mono isn't going to cut it. Be ready for anything. While I was only able to catch ladyfish I hooked three other fish that I'm pretty sure were something else. I saw my backing on those three. Twice in about 15 minutes the first morning.

Looked at the eyes and they are just listed as small by Wapsi. But I don't think it matters. Just get something in front of them and they will take it.

Good luck!
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: Gulf Shores

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Originally Posted by flysmallie View Post
...

These fish are fun but they are hard on flies and leaders. And mono isn't going to cut it. Be ready for anything. While I was only able to catch ladyfish I hooked three other fish that I'm pretty sure were something else. I saw my backing on those three. Twice in about 15 minutes the first morning.

Looked at the eyes and they are just listed as small by Wapsi. But I don't think it matters. Just get something in front of them and they will take it.

Good luck!
Spanish Mackerel often school with Ladyfish, and they'll really test you. They'll cut the leader unless you use steel. I've caught them on fine steel leader (~30# test), which you can buy locally. Just cheap leader works, like this:

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: Gulf Shores

Since I am pretty green...how do you attach a steel leader to your fly line & fly? I will probably do some YouTube searching, but just curious. I have a steel leader made by Rio I think that I use for pike in our area. I will have to grab some of that stuff above. Thanks again guys for the help!

---------- Post added at 10:32 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:05 AM ----------

Also is there any possibility to get after some redfish back in the Bayou St John or Terry Cove? I was thinking if I could rent a paddle board for the week (or make one if I have time) I could do some exploring back there. It looks like we will be staying close to where that water comes into the ocean...
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:55 PM
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Default Re: Gulf Shores

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Originally Posted by rjsac09 View Post
Since I am pretty green...how do you attach a steel leader to your fly line & fly? I will probably do some YouTube searching, but just curious. I have a steel leader made by Rio I think that I use for pike in our area. I will have to grab some of that stuff above. Thanks again guys for the help!

---------- Post added at 10:32 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:05 AM ----------

Also is there any possibility to get after some redfish back in the Bayou St John or Terry Cove? I was thinking if I could rent a paddle board for the week (or make one if I have time) I could do some exploring back there. It looks like we will be staying close to where that water comes into the ocean...
The leader comes as just a length of wire. Loop it over on itself and twist to hold the loop. You may have to google that. I'd add a very small swivel, because those ladyfish spin a lot, as do many flies in the surf.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: Gulf Shores

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Originally Posted by rjsac09 View Post
flysmallie thanks for all of the info. If I can hook a few of those I will be happy as can be! I was more so curious about their table fare. Not planning on doing any cleaning while down there.
My Dad's cousin (by marriage) fileted some nice sized Ladyfish one time, not knowing any better, and complained afterwards that it "just fell apart" on him before he even had a chance to cook it. The meat's pretty much useless for anything but a soup base, if that--I really don't know about the flavor but I assume it's nothing to write home about. They're a fun fish to catch in the surf though.

If you're lucky some bluefish will be moving through the area while you're there. If your casts can reach them, they'll hit almost anything, but white or chartreuse Clousers will work well. You'll need to account for their teeth with a bite guard leader, fly tied short on a long shank hook, etc...
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Last edited by biggie_robs; 04-24-2014 at 09:26 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:28 AM
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Default Re: Gulf Shores

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The leader comes as just a length of wire. Loop it over on itself and twist to hold the loop. You may have to google that. I'd add a very small swivel, because those ladyfish spin a lot, as do many flies in the surf.
Here is a video showing one way to tie thin steel leader. I simple loop through the fly's eye, then loop the wire around its own shaft ~6-8 times. MALIN wire works that way too.

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Old 04-27-2014, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: Gulf Shores

I leave for Gulf Shores Saturday. My buddy was in Fort Walton last week, and a guy on the beach was catching bunches of pompano with sand fleas. So I tied a bunch of thigns that should be sand flea like and plan to use them for the pomps. I also plan to stalk some backwater lagoon/bay areas and see what I can find up there.
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