Technology has come a long way in the fishing industry, including methods of transportation. It is often remarked that only small boats can go shallow-water redfishing, but fly-fishing guide Capt. Tristan Daire said that couldn’t be more wrong.
Although the veteran guide fishes out of a shallow skiff, Daire said he would have no qualms about taking a bay boat to go sight-fishing for redfish — remarking that it can actually be advantageous this time of year.
“Nowadays, those boats are built so well that you’re really not sacrificing much in draft,” Daire said. “People talk all the time about a 6-inch draft, but there aren’t any boats that draft truly 6 inches.
“The ability to make longer runs in that bay boat and get to some of the outside islands is great.”
And outside is where Daire and his clients spend a lot of time this month.
“If the water is falling or if it’s low, I’ll be sneaking … outside into American Bay and all the way down to Baptiste Collette looking for the first few pushes of the big spawning fish,” he said.
Sight-fishing is generally best when the sun’s at its brightest and highest in the sky, but because it’s so stiflingly hot this month, Daire said that takes a toll on the fish.
“This time of year, I like to sacrifice being able to see, knowing you can get the fish activity you want,” he said. “In the middle of the day, it will be so hot that not only can anglers not stand it, but the fish will start getting really lethargic and shut down on you.”
Because of the low-light conditions during the edges of the day, Daire arms himself with every advantage possible to spot the fish.
“Having amber or copper lenses is a big key,” he said. “They separate red and green, and it makes fish like redfish that have a red hue jump out at you.
“It’s more important to have polarized sunglasses than it is to have copper lenses, though.”
Daire said the heat also forces him to fish different places than he would in other times of the year.
“You want access to deep water, because as the sun comes up and it gets really hot, those fish are going to seek out deeper water to keep cool,” he said.
Whether he’s sight-fishing in the marsh or outside, Daire has a water depth that he prefers.
“The deepest water you can see the bottom in is where I like to start, especially if it’s in an area I haven’t been to in a few weeks,” he said.