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livelli 10-01-2012 12:17 PM

Redfishing, a little help?
So I went out into the inlet on Saturday and got skunked. I started throwing a brown/green #4 fiddler crab fly, then a olive/white deceiver. I'm not arguing the fact that as a new fly fisherman I'm really, really bad at it, but I'm looking for a little help on the locations I fished. The blue line is my direction of travel, red dots represent areas fished. The water level ranged between 2 and 5 feet. If anyone has any input I'd really appreciate it.

chuck s 10-01-2012 06:49 PM

Re: Redfishing, a little help?
Were there schools of reds there or singles/doubles? Without spotting fish, blind casting is hard and often futile work.

racine 10-01-2012 08:30 PM

Re: Redfishing, a little help?
Or sometimes you can stalk all day and not see a thing like a pro I fished with last June. I switched to blind casting and produced when the water was murky. Stealth was essential and the ability to get a fly out quickly on their noses. We as a club are moving to a ninja method- having rod, line, fly ready to deploy on a moments notice. Have a casting basket with line to cast if your friend is poling. If by yourself you will need to be able to transition from paddle/pole to rod PDQ. Our club pro has a belt with Velcro to grab his paddle and his pole on a holder and a modified casting basket. You have to be one with your canoe so you can focus on the hunt. That's just the primer. Next you'll have to deal with a puddlers index on wind, tide, salinity, clarity, etc.

livelli 10-01-2012 08:36 PM

Re: Redfishing, a little help?
About the only sight fishing I could do was to flooded grass that was obviously being disturbed by large fish beneath the surface, and to some nervous water. I fish from a kayak so my view is restricted to about three feet above the water. I was fishing based upon where I "thought" the fish "should" be. I figured they'd be by the creek mouths and hanging around some oyster beds. Standing in my boat is not really an option. I knelt to pee and nearly tipped the boat over. I've been thinking of rigging it for sight fishing, with a push pole, leaning bar, outriggers, etc. I know I should go on a guided trip, but the cheapest I found was $200. I'm hoping to find a few other people here in the Myrtle Beach area who fly fish for reds, or even kayak fish for them.

At one point I did see a school of larger fish chasing some baitfish, I assume they were reds but I didn't see for sure. When I cast it landed about six feet in front of the school, but my line got blown by the wind into some grass. As I stripped the fly it got pulled up and eventually snagged. Luckily I'm stubborn, because I'm starting to think I do not possess the patience to fly fish from a kayak out on an open marsh. If I weren't so stubborn I'd probably have moved on to bream fishing, or basket weaving.

pete a 10-02-2012 05:34 AM

Re: Redfishing, a little help?
If I quit blind casting for redfish our catch would be 1/10th of what it is now. I don't mean casting aimlessly but just because you don't see them does not mean they are not there. What if they are in 28" of water and they are 20-24" long? They'd be there waiting to bite but you'd be leaving looking for tails.

I like the area just north of #10 where the channel splits. The confluence of the channels looks promising.

What were the tides? I prefer a falling tide but rising is good. Low tide blows, high tide is ok. But tide movement is critical. No movement is a waste of time.

Try very bright colors. I love chartruse, white, yellow, reds, flash, tinsel, et c. Brigher color lets you make the fly a bit sparser thus easier to cast on coastal winds. Less weight, not a heavy Clouser fan. You can then work fly slower.

Get out and wade. Kayaks, boats all cover too much water too quickly. Bear in mind that reds move constantly, if you are in a good area they will come to you.

Pete A.

livelli 10-02-2012 10:38 AM

Re: Redfishing, a little help?
The tide was moving out. High tide was at 8:22 and I hit the water right at 8 so I know I had it working against me, but by 9 the tide was starting to move out. I could really feel it when I went over a sand bar and my yak felt like someone was trapped under me trying to stand up. The water is pretty murky, about 1-2ft visibility, and the bottom is a dark greyish brown. Our marshes are mainly pluff mud, and just a half mile south of where I was fishing is Huntington Beach State Park. Alligator infested Huntington Beach State Park. This does not auger well for one wanting to wade. I'm a big, tough, fireman type, but it's what I can't see that scares me. I'm the kind of guy who'll swim out in the ocean and yell to my fiance on the shore "C'mon in! What are you afraid of? Sharks?" But let a piece of seaweed touch my foot and I'll run on the water like I was the second coming.

My idea is just to fish where I feel the fish should be base on tide, time, structure, conditions, currents, and circumstances. This was my first time out fly fishing from my kayak so I wasn't expecting to catch my limit on my first day, but one would have been nice. I did notice that my casting range increased as the day progressed. My double haul got proficient enough to where I did throw about 70 feet out at one point. That was a bit of a surprise when I cast out so far that all the line I stripped onto the deck went and I heard the drag clicking, with a #4 deceiver. I now have a more profound respect for the importance of line speed. Sadly I lost my third (from top) snake guide. The rod is a South Bend I picked up for $40 so I'll cry no tears over it. I don't think it'll help my back cast at all, but once I find a suitable paper clip, my EOD tool and I should be able to fabricate a decent replacement.

Also, I found a guy a few miles from me selling his father's tying equipment. He says it's $500 worth of tools, hooks, materials, books, etc., and he'll let it go for $100. Payday is Thursday so I just might start tying my own soon. I'm thinking deceivers, shrimp, crabs, and various baitfish patterns, all of various sizes and colors. If saltwater fishing is anything like fresh, I imagine the seemingly illogical principle of using lures/flies that match the color of the water or the bottom should still work. Black/reds, black/purples, white/green, white/browns, and so on. I've caught many largemouth on chartreuse so I'll be sure to make a few brighter flies as well.

---------- Post added at 09:38 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:30 AM ----------


Originally Posted by pete a (Post 487910)
I like the area just north of #10 where the channel splits. The confluence of the channels looks promising.

That's what I thought, but my 4lb anchor wasn't strong enough to hold me in in the current. I've got a second that I used to use when fishing for cats in the ICW. I'll have to promote it back into service.

Also, even though I got skunked I do feel a bit more "enlightened." By that I mean I learned about an area I have not previously fished and also gained a few hours of solid fly fishing practice, even in windy conditions. I had to untie about a dozen wind knots, but my skills improved and even though I went home empty handed I still believe there was a benefit from the trip. I've heard people say that you can fish for reds into the winter. Is that so? Last year my yak was mounted to the ceiling of my garage until this February. It would be nice not to have to hoist that beast back onto those hooks again.

gatortransplant 10-02-2012 10:38 AM

Re: Redfishing, a little help?
Pete is right on about getting out and wading. Use the Kayak to access spots like 10 and the 3/4/5 region, then anchor it up and constantly watch the shallows for cruisers while blind-casting to the potholes. I know you said the water could be up to 5' deep but what about those 2' areas? Is that at the highest tide or what? I prefer to get out at the lowest tide and post up on a spot like 5 or 10 and watch as the tide comes in. The reds should move up on to the flats to feed, at which point you can place your fly in front of them and hopefully watch them eat! Look for oyster beds if you have them, this is a favored feeding area. Schools of mullet typically have followers, just as cruising rays do.

Posted this just as you reposted.... alligators and sharks are always fun fishing partners... I wade in one estuary where I have been bumped by sharks and seen sharks caught. But it's also where I've caught my biggest redfish. But if you can outfit your kayak to stand up in and you're comfortable remaining in it (and get a heavy anchor) you could be fine staying in the boat. If you can stand in it, you'll benefit from a few extra inches of height. And while this may sound absolutely ridiculous, if you can figure out a way to haul a step-ladder out there, you'd benefit a whole lot sighting fish from a step-ladder set up in the flats, plus you will absolutely confuse passing boaters and even other anglers, up until you hook the huge bull you sighted from way off.

livelli 10-02-2012 11:49 AM

Re: Redfishing, a little help?
I happen to have a fiberglass 6ft A-frame in my garage. I imagine I could tow it out on a $10 inflatable raft. I'd just need to fabricate a base to give it a bigger footprint in the mud below. And yes, that would confuse the hell out of the locals in the Jon boats. :D

The gears in my head are spinning right now on a modular outrigger system I could easily paddle with, but could be deployed and stowed while out on the water. As much as I'd like to avoid a gaudy looking PVC frame with lobster floats, it's hard to argue with the ease of working with the materials and their low costs.

chuck s 10-02-2012 01:08 PM

Re: Redfishing, a little help?
"Were there schools of reds there or singles/doubles? Without spotting fish, blind casting is hard and often futile work. " Of course I stick by that but like several in here I've fished without the great benefits of seeing the fish first. I was just curious as to your fishing conditions before making a contribution. Where were the oyster bars you mention? Would you say that any of that marsh's bottom is firm enough for wading?

livelli 10-02-2012 03:42 PM

Re: Redfishing, a little help?
Honestly, the only oyster bars I could find were the two spots I fished adjacent to #10 and #9. The current there was very strong. If I anchored and squared my yak broadside against it she would chop up and down like I was getting dragged down a cobblestone road. But, it was the only way I could point to cast where I wanted with minimal wind interference. I can't wait to get back out there though. The next two Sundays are looking promising.

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