Snook And Redfish Charters: On The Fly
Snook and redfish are among the most prized inshore gamefish in much of the South Atlantic. Weather you're looking to hook some reds in the mangroves of Marco Island or haul a big snook from under a dock in Tampa, the most challenging way to land these fish is via fly.
Here are some tactics your fishing charter is likely to employ to put your fly on a big snook or red:
Match the Invertebrates
Although snook and reds are opportunistic, much of their diet consists of invertebrates like shrimp and crabs. Although matching the look of these invertebrates can be achieved with some clever fly tying, matching the movement of these critters can be tough for novice snook and red fly fishermen.
- Crabs: if you visualize a crab scurrying at the base of a mangrove tree, how are they moving? Many anglers employ a stripping motion that "swims" the crab fly through the fish's strike zone. Unfortunately for these anglers, crabs don't really swim. Particularly when targeting reds, you need to make sure that your crab fly maintains bottom contact. You can achieve the desired crab imitation by slowing down your retrieval and keeping your rod tip low. If you notice that your crab isn't getting bit, you can subtly twitch your rod tip periodically when a hungry fish approaches.
- Shrimp: similar to crabs, shrimp don't really swim. Unlike crabs, however, shrimp "hop" slowly along the bottom in search of an easy meal. To imitate the shrimp's hopping motion, you need to strip the shrimp fly and pause. The length of the pause should be a reflection of the bottom depth and the size of the shrimp you're throwing. A larger, heavier, shrimp fly will fall more quickly, while a smaller, lighter fly will fall more slowly.
Snook and redfish typically feed in clear water and have notoriously sharp eyesight. To maintain a stealthy profile and avoid detection, many snook and redfish charters utilize long fluorocarbon leaders.
- Roll Casts: longer leaders require a slightly different fly casting style for a natural presentation. Roll casts require you to sidearm your fly, keeping the fly just above the water until you reach your desired location. As the fly descends toward the water, you'll need to pull against the momentum of the line, creating a natural rolling motion in your fly line and leader. These roll casts will slip your fly into the water, rather than having it slap against the surface.