Much of the fishing I do in the Mosquito Lagoon as well and the Indian and Banana River Lagoon is sight fishing. Simply put, I pole the boat across the flats and you cast to fish you can see. many times, you can see the entire fish in the water less than 30 feet from the boat. Other times, you may spot a tail or dorsal fin sticking out of the water. As the fish move across the shallow flats, they may also create wakes that give away their location. Watch this video on tailing redfish near Orlando to see exactly what I mean.
Sight fishing is exciting as you are certain you are casting to a fish. With other types of fishing such as blind casting or soaking live baits, there is much more luck involved as you hope the fish are where your bait is. People often ask me how many fish they will catch. When sight fishing, it usually boils down to the better you cast the more you will catch. Sight casting is most often done with artificial lure or fly. Your presentation must be in front of the fish and act in a manner consistent with their natural food sources. Our fish learned long ago that their food does not fall from the sky on their heads. They never bite with their tail and usually will not go to investigate something 5-10 feet away from them.
The number one thing you can do to increase your hookup rate is to practice your casting before the trip. Many of the presentations are short quick casts, sometimes less than 15 feet. Check out my videos of spinning rod casting tips. If you are a fly fisherman, having the ability to deliver your fly in less than three strokes is essential. See my fly casting quick cast video for my recommended method.
These are the species we commonly sight fish for. You can catch redfish, drum, and seatrout, year round. Tarpon fishing is usually best from June-September. In order to spot the fish, you will need a proper pair of sunglasses. Polarization is a must and lens color will make a big difference. I prefer a copper, vermillion, rose, or brown lens. Gray lenses are the least effective for sight fishing our flats. I provide both spinning or fly tackle for all sight fishing trips. I use 7.5ft medium action rods with 2500 size reels spooled with 10lb braided line for spinning applications. For fly fishing trips, I have a variety of rods from 5wt to 12wt depending on the size of the fish and weather conditions.
Watch some sight fishing action for redfish in the video below
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