Tackle and Tactics
Mike Ladle

Information Page.

Redfish with Peter.

I occasionally have unsolicited emails from anglers in other parts of the country or indeed other parts of the world. Recently, Peter Young from Cheshire wrote to me asking about bass fishing guides and he also mentioned using plugs and soft baits.

I replied saying that I don’t do any guiding myself but suggesting that if he could tell me a bit about the sort of places he hoped to fish, I might be able to give a spot of advice?

In our subsequent correspondence it turned out that Peter had been on holiday to the USA and done some fly fishing for redfish. Now I’ve always fancied catching a redfish myself, so I asked for a few details. I think that information like this has lots of interest, particularly to potential holiday anglers, so here’s Peter’s account:-


My brother and I agreed to try redfish on the fly in Louisiana and what a choice it turned out to be. We booked with Yellow Dog and guide Captain Greg Moon, fishing out of Hopedale Marina. Every day started with a glorious journey across the wetlands: alligators, bald eagles, raccoons and water rats and no-one else in sight: a wildlife paradise empty of people.

The flies we used were black crab imitations with a loud rattle (metal beads I think). I have a feeling that the lateral line vibrations from the rattling crab fly might work with UK bass. Greg reckons it’s the vibrations that makes redfish, feeding hard on prawns, go for the black crab fly: he reckons using prawn imitations rarely works.

My brother was soon in to the technique: a fly close to the nose (i.r.o 12-18 inches)and worked away quickly. Greg worked very hard and put us over lots of big fish (40 plus) that he spotted with ease. Initially, all I could see was a few prawns jumping ahead of the feeding redfish. I cast behind fish, hit the fish and lined them. I covered every mistake possible including having too much slack on the line as I hooked one that spat out my fly in a blink.

Finally, I got the hang of it and hooked some of these stunningly beautiful strong golden-orange fish. It was heart stopping stuff as the fish caught made run after run. It felt like I had hooked onto a passing cyclist. Out of the water, they looked truly incredible. We landed 10 good fish over 3 days, two in the ‘bull-redfish category’ of over 20lbs. My PB was a 25 pounder I will never forget. The last one I hooked looked a monster but I made a schoolboy error and stood on my line. I was embarrassed and devastated as the leader broke and the air turned blue for a good few minutes. We had a few shots at the black drums but failed to hook one. They have the habit of showing an enormous fin out of the water as if to encourage us to cast to them: they looked massive and 30-40lb is not uncommon.

Louisiana fly fishing was memorable and a return trip for the black drum is now in my thoughts…

How about that? With fish like that taking the fly I might even have been tempted to put down the spinning rod and leave the bait in the bucket - at least for ten minutes or so. Wonderful fish and clearly a memorable trip enhanced by the scenery and the wildlife. Magic!

If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you.'get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to - docladle@hotmail.com

Peter's brother with a lovely redfish.

Another spotty monster.'

One for Peter - note the fly still in its mouth.

Another spotty monster.'

...and another!

Another spotty monster.'

...and another!

Another spotty monster.'

...and yet another, phew!

Another spotty monster.'