Mostly Cloudy69° FULL FORECASTMostly Cloudy69° FULL FORECAST
Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Captain's Corner

Captains Corner: Tailing reds litter Fort De Soto flats

Rob Gorta

Rob Gorta

What's hot: Tailing redfish can provide one of the most rewarding catches among flats species. It takes patience, time and more patience to wait out these wary feeders. The redfish's tail breaks the surface of the water because the fish has its head buried in the sand or is mud digging for crabs and shrimp. I have seen "tailers" the past week on the outgoing tide as the water level gets lower on the flats.

Tips: The water has become extremely clear on the flats around the Fort De Soto area, so be careful approaching reds. Wading to them is probably the easiest way to get close enough to make an accurate cast to these easily spooked fish. Take your time, pick a spot, walk slowly into a flat and wait for the fish to come to you.

Bait: I like to use a tailed shrimp and bite off the last section of the tail. This helps in making longer casts and leaving a scent trail. Shrimp also land "softer" on the water, which prevents spooking the redfish. Try to cast a foot or two in front of the fish. If you cast right next to the fish, he will bolt.

Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit

Captains Corner: Tailing reds litter Fort De Soto flats 12/01/13 [Last modified: Sunday, December 1, 2013 6:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2015 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours