What's hot: Tailing redfish can provide one of the most rewarding catches of all flats species. It takes patience, time and more patience to wait out these wary feeders. The tail of the redfish comes out of the water because it has its head buried in the sand or mud digging for crabs and shrimp. The tide has to be low enough so you see the tail come out of the water. I have seen "tailers" all this past week on the outgoing tide as the water level gets lower on the flats, exposing the tail of the aggressive feeders.
Approach: The water has become extremely clear on the flats around the Fort De Soto area. Extreme care has to be taken when approaching reds. Wading to these easily spooked fish is probably the easiest and least-invasive way to get close enough for an accurate cast. Take your time, pick a spot and walk slowly into a flat and wait for the fish to come to you.
Bait: I like to use a tail-hooked shrimp, so I bite off the last section of the tail. This provides longer casts and a scent trail. Shrimp will also land softer on the water, which helps in not spooking the redfish. I figure out which way the head is pointing and make my cast 1-2 feet in the direction that I think the fish will move. If you cast it right next to the fish, he will spook off.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit www.captainrobgorta.com