By Neil Taylor
What you see: Is what you get. See the fish you want to catch: Then try to catch it. That is the whole thing with sight casting a fish. There is more to it than you think. Reading your clues. Do you know what you are seeing? That is experience. Once you know what to look for, sight fishing gets better.
Delivery of a lure to a specific location is much more successful than blind casting. It is always better to “fish where the fish are.” The total picture, seeing the fish is big but presentation is key. You need to have talent with making a lure look like something to eat. Lesson number one I always give: Long casts. The people who make longer casts catch more fish.
Can you see the fish? Regular sunglasses versus polarized technology. A lot of people are using paddle craft these days. From a kayak: Can you stand? From a boat you can see things that are in the water from farther away. From the kayak, seated, you are limited on how far you can see. Power boats you are already higher and can see farther. A tower makes this even more pronounced. The cobia guys will tell you: A tower is gold.
The polarized glasses, I wear Smith Optics. Smith is the best company in the industry. I go by performance and durability. Sponsored by Smith they have kept me in glasses and I get my clients to buy their glasses. My feedback and that from my clients? Smith makes a product that is superior, and their durability is unbeatable. I’m pretty good with stuff. But I use it heavily. I have had Smith glasses that I wore every day for six years. Peter Crow at Smith will tell you: I don’t ask for new glasses very often. I don’t have to.
Lower to the water, wading or in a kayak the sight fishing opportunities are more limited. If you can stand, you gain distance in vision and have the ability to see your prey and make a better odds cast.
You see the fish: You deliver the lure in the most desirable location. This is the number one reason for wanting to see the fish.
It really is quite fulfilling to catch the fish you saw first. A feeling of accomplishment it is something that is memorable. All that water out there: But the opportunities are in specific spots. See it before you cast to it: Be more successful.
“Tailing” redfish are an easy one but rare. A redfish tail poking out of the water is the easiest sight fishing there is. Weightless lures are often key in these extremely shallow, grassy locations.
Sighting fish is a clue to itself. Paying attention, if you have fish spooking out from under you then you are into the fish. That clue will lead to a catch. Not necessarily “sight fishing” this is a reality.
Species to species: Some are unlikely to sight. Trout, basically only in winter is it possible. Permit, possible in the right locations such as down in the Keys. Redfish, nearly everywhere are a sight fishing possibility. Snook too can be spotted usually up against the mangroves. A light, quiet lure like the 12 Fathom Buzz Tail Shad is key in situations like this.
No question, success sight fishing has everything to do with elevation. Get higher: See more. Have better opportunities.
Neil Taylor, owner capmel.com
Owner and guide: Strike Three Kayak Fishing