What's hot: Tailing redfish can provide one of the most rewarding catches of all flats species. Patience, time and more patience are needed to sit and wait out these wary feeders. The redfish's tail comes out of the water because the fish 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.
Approach: The water has become extremely clear on the flats around the Fort De Soto area. In water that is clear and so shallow that their tails stick out, reds become wary of what's happening around them. Use extreme care approaching them. Wading to these fish is probably the easiest and least-invasive way to get close enough to make an accurate cast. Take your time, pick a spot, walk slowly into a flat and wait for the fish to come to you. The less noise you make, the better.
Bait: I like to use a tail-hooked shrimp. I will bite off the last section of the tail. This provides longer casts and scent for emission from the tailless shrimp. Another reason I like to use shrimp is shrimp will land softer on the water, which helps in not spooking the redfish. I figure out which way the tail is pointing and make my cast a foot or two in the direction I think the fish will move. If you cast right next to the fish, it will be spooked off.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit www.captainrobgorta.com.