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Discussion Starter #1
Don't get me wrong when the conditions are right I love to sight fish. That being said, conditions aren't always right. Muddy water and overcast days are pretty common in south Ms where I fish. Also couple that with muddy bottoms that easily stir up in the wind and that doesn't make for optimal conditions most of the time. It also probably worth noting that I'm no veteran at spotting fish in the marsh. Sure if they are pushing a wake, tailing or any other obvious sign then I'm right on them. But picking them out in a huge grass flat where they are barely moving is still a developing skill for me. Which leads me to my next question.
How many of you guys blind cast for redfish? I blind cast for panfish, trout, bass and every other species. So why not Redfish? I just never see it come up. Maybe I'm ignorant for casting a 7wt at them all day. But I have had some great days doing it!
 

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Throwing fly can certainly put us at a disadvantage in tough conditions.

But then no one picks up the fly rod without being a little bit of masochist, eh?

I blind cast gurglers for snook around here on the edges, but every time I've slipped and started blind casting for redfish I've found myself with my fly way out in the wrong direction from the next redfish I see and could have made a shot on. So I stopped doing it.
 

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This is how it usually turns in to a blind casting session for me. Say I get on the water and its just too low of visibility one way or the other(sun, water,temp). If I start using conventional tackle and there is a real good bite going on I will switch over to blind casting. My best day to date was 14 fish on the fly and 4 or 5 of them I sighted. It just so happened I found a small semi clear pond and spotted them. But when that happened I stopped blind casting in that pond and picked right back up afterwards.
 
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I’ll usually stake out and wait in bad conditions. Find a super skinny creek that you know reds will be in. Beat the reds to the spot and wait for them to come in with the tide. Even in windy conditions it’s hard to miss a slot red pushing wake in 8” of water
 

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I have thought about doing more sitting and waiting. More times than not we won't even have tidal movements where I fish. If we do they will be around 6". But more than anything I could wait it out in the morning waiting on the flat to warm up and catch them going in. Looks like so far I'm all alone in my blind casting efforts!
 

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I'm not sure if you are speaking of just fly fishing, you mention conventional also. I am no fly guy, yet, but I can speak to the conventional method. As far as redfish go when I can't see them due to water conditions or feeding conditions, I would say I move to more of a pattern style of fishing. In other words, when given conditions present this pattern typically works. No different than fishing for bedding bass in the spring that we can see, or catching largemouth suspended off of secondary points earlier in the year.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
I'm not sure if you are speaking of just fly fishing, you mention conventional also. I am no fly guy, yet, but I can speak to the conventional method. As far as redfish go when I can't see them due to water conditions or feeding conditions, I would say I move to more of a pattern style of fishing. In other words, when given conditions present this pattern typically works. No different than fishing for bedding bass in the spring that we can see, or catching largemouth suspended off of secondary points earlier in the year.
I'm mostly talking about fly fishing. If it's not a good day to see fish but I'm picking up lots of fish on my conventional tackle (baitcaster/spinning) then I will switch over to a fly rod sometimes. That is if the presentation I am using on my conventional tackle can translate over to my fly rod. Thanks for responding.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
All the time. Conventional tackle & fly.
If you’re not casting, you might as well be trolling
MY MAN!! Also if it wasn't for blind casting I would rarely get in any casting practice. I'm am a mediocre caster at best but I am far better than when I began. I went from a 3wt to a 7wt, boy was it a different animal!
 

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For the past few years, due to hurricanes and excessive rain, water where I fish here on the Nature Coast has been pretty murky. As a result, sight fishing has been more of a fantasy than a fact. Blind casting at spots where Reds are known to feed works best for me, but I'd certainly prefer to sight fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
hard to beat a hulu hoop in the yard for target practice. Its alittle quieter than the other target practice that goes on around here.
I have done that many times. Especially when I have a new rod or line.
 
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Blind casting with a fly rod vs conventional nod goes to conventional. More efficient, more fish caught, and put the lure in the fish zone of the water column and keep it there longer in any wind speed or direction and at any depth. Plus more than one angler can cast from a skiff or boat with conventional. Ten times more casts made with conventional gear. If you have to get your groove on with the fly rod blind casting, wading is the best way. From a poling skiff, there is very little enjoyment for the skiff pusher watching the angler blind cast all day. Good luck finding some one to do that.
I was never really comparing the two. I'm sure conventional tackle will outperform a fly outfit 90% of the time when it comes to blind casting. I was mostly wondering how many people blind cast. Plus I mostly fish alone on a casting platform using a Terrova.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
For the past few years, due to hurricanes and excessive rain, water where I fish here on the Nature Coast has been pretty murky. As a result, sight fishing has been more of a fantasy than a fact. Blind casting at spots where Reds are known to feed works best for me, but I'd certainly prefer to sight fish.
That's pretty much what has happened here. It's not that sight fishing conditions don't exist, just rare. I still like to fly fish so I do the same as you. Hit the good spots and move on. I've had some real fun days doing so. Even caught some nice flounders and specks.
 

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In the interior of the 'Glades blind casting is almost as effective as sight-fishing if you know where to fish (and when...). In short, with all the heavy mangrove jungle shorelines the places we blind fish are downed trees, places where big trees lean out over the water, points, creek and river mouths -very much in prospecting mode whenever we're "beating the bushes" as a few locals call it... When conditions are right I'm the first one to run to places that are shallow enough and protected enough to allow sight-fishing -but that's just not always possible in a day on the water. The great part is that the same places hold snook, snapper, big speckled trout - and a few surprises each day. I've found more than one really great laid up big tarpon spot while we were blind casting a shoreline (you see this mud boil about ten to fifteen feet across just about where you positioned your skiff so that an angler can work a shoreline spot... and that's where that first big tarpon was...).

One of the reasons we fish a lot of big (relatively...) clousers with wire weedguards is that we're tossing them into downed trees or other tangles while blind casting... Here's our most successful pattern for that kind of work - it's done up on a Mustad 34007 size 2/0 hook - and you can see that it's about three inches long (and no, it's not what we use sightfishing unless a target of opportunity presents itself while we're blind casting...

It's called the Whitewater clouser -and it's deadly effective for "beating the bushes"... note the relatively large beadchain eyes. We don't want it to sink as quickly as flies with the standard lead eyes... but I do want it to push some water when stripped along...

By the way, it took years before we started using that pattern - before we used lots of different bugs with mixed success - but fishing a fly without some kind of weedguard really handicaps an angler since you need your fly to make actual contact with downed branches and other places that reds, snook - and so many other fish in the 'glades hang out in or around...

I always make a point of asking my anglers to allow the fly to sit still for a few seconds whenever it lands next to structure (unless there's weed or moss or algae it might pick up....) to give nearby fish a moment to come look for whatever just landed nearby... Some of the strikes we get just hook themselves - they hit so hard. I prefer a 9wt rod for the big clousers and an 8wt when we're sight-fishing (and of course using a bit smaller pattern..).

Hope this helps - there's just nothing like the 'glades....
 

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I have thought about doing more sitting and waiting. More times than not we won't even have tidal movements where I fish. If we do they will be around 6". But more than anything I could wait it out in the morning waiting on the flat to warm up and catch them going in. Looks like so far I'm all alone in my blind casting efforts!
Nope. Never caught a fish sight casting. When I see them, they appear to be totally concentrating on the job at hand and ignore whatever I offer. I am sorry. You might say I've caught two sight fishing. I sighted them as they came out of the water after my gold spoon.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
In the interior of the 'Glades blind casting is almost as effective as sight-fishing if you know where to fish (and when...). In short, with all the heavy mangrove jungle shorelines the places we blind fish are downed trees, places where big trees lean out over the water, points, creek and river mouths -very much in prospecting mode whenever we're "beating the bushes" as a few locals call it... When conditions are right I'm the first one to run to places that are shallow enough and protected enough to allow sight-fishing -but that's just not always possible in a day on the water. The great part is that the same places hold snook, snapper, big speckled trout - and a few surprises each day. I've found more than one really great laid up big tarpon spot while we were blind casting a shoreline (you see this mud boil about ten to fifteen feet across just about where you positioned your skiff so that an angler can work a shoreline spot... and that's where that first big tarpon was...).

One of the reasons we fish a lot of big (relatively...) clousers with wire weedguards is that we're tossing them into downed trees or other tangles while blind casting... Here's our most successful pattern for that kind of work - it's done up on a Mustad 34007 size 2/0 hook - and you can see that it's about three inches long (and no, it's not what we use sightfishing unless a target of opportunity presents itself while we're blind casting...

It's called the Whitewater clouser -and it's deadly effective for "beating the bushes"... note the relatively large beadchain eyes. We don't want it to sink as quickly as flies with the standard lead eyes... but I do want it to push some water when stripped along...

By the way, it took years before we started using that pattern - before we used lots of different bugs with mixed success - but fishing a fly without some kind of weedguard really handicaps an angler since you need your fly to make actual contact with downed branches and other places that reds, snook - and so many other fish in the 'glades hang out in or around...

I always make a point of asking my anglers to allow the fly to sit still for a few seconds whenever it lands next to structure (unless there's weed or moss or algae it might pick up....) to give nearby fish a moment to come look for whatever just landed nearby... Some of the strikes we get just hook themselves - they hit so hard. I prefer a 9wt rod for the big clousers and an 8wt when we're sight-fishing (and of course using a bit smaller pattern..).

Hope this helps - there's just nothing like the 'glades....
lemaymiami thanks for responding. I've read more of your posts than I can count on here. I do pretty good with a Redfish Crack or a popper/dropper using a double barrel popper and a clouser. Unless I know it's open water I second the weed guard. I use a thin titanium wire called Knot2Kinky. It seems to work great on my smaller flies. Most of my flies are #2. I use either 34007 or 930's. I have also had some decent success on a #4 crab pattern I knocked off the Contraband Crab by Drew Chicone. I will have to tie up some bigger clousers with weed gaurds like you suggested and give them a try.









 

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I have guys on the skiff all the time who will spend way too much time blind casting and then of course they miss a shot. I suggest to my friends that they only blind cast under two scenarios.
1. A known hot spot where fish hang out but rarely show themselves such as along a ledge at a deep drop off.
2. On a spot such as a point with current coming off it.

Other than that I think its much smarter to keep at the ready just in case you have a shot. And a good friend of mine who is visiting this week has said. If I can't see the fish and gotta blind cast then I might as well use conventional tackle as it gives me a way better chance to hook up.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Good stuff "You might say I've caught two sight fishing. I sighted them as they came out of the water after my gold spoon."
 

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I have guys on the skiff all the time who will spend way too much time blind casting and then of course they miss a shot. I suggest to my friends that they only blind cast under two scenarios.
1. A known hot spot where fish hang out but rarely show themselves such as along a ledge at a deep drop off.
2. On a spot such as a point with current coming off it.

Other than that I think its much smarter to keep at the ready just in case you have a shot. And a good friend of mine who is visiting this week has said. If I can't see the fish and gotta blind cast then I might as well use conventional tackle as it gives me a way better chance to hook up.
To each their own. Maybe I'm over energetic but I like them on my fly rod how ever I can get it. Well short of a putting a spinning reel on it!
 
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