Pros and cons: Best stand height for sight-fishing reds

Some anglers use a cooler, others tower 6 feet high or more. Which one is best?

If you’ve been sight-fishing, you know it’s a lot of fun. But a casting platform, or “stand” from which you can get more of a bird’s eye view to spot fish, is a necessary piece of equipment to unlock that fun.

But how high should your casting platform be?

That’s a question that’s always plagued budding sight-anglers. To really address it, we have to look at the pros and cons of both short and tall stands.

Taller stands

It’s obvious that taller stands make spotting redfish easier. But there are also downsides to a loftier perch.


1. See more from farther away.


1. Redfish can see you, and may spook as a result.

2. Getting under bridges may be impossible.

3. A bigger stand is more difficult to install/remove.

4. There is more surface area for wind to blow against.

5. Getting up and down from a tall stand gets old.

6. Typically, it’s a greater expense.

Shorter stands


1. Easier installing/uninstalling.

2. Smaller profile.

3. Climbing up and down is convenient.

4. Getting under bridges or trees is easier.

5. Costs less.


1. You can’t see as much.

So what height is considered to be a tall stand — or a short one?

This is subjective, but to me, a tall stand is 6 feet and a short one is 18 inches.

Shorter stands tend to work best in areas with cleaner water, like grass-laden ponds. Dirtier water calls for a taller stand — but only up to a point.

So what’s the perfect height?

It just all depends on you and your individual needs.

I have interviewed redfish tournament anglers for my inshore fishing podcasts, and they all have varying stand heights.

I’ll tell you this: In the beginning of my sight fishing experience, I liked tall stands. Mostly because, above all else, I wanted to see the redfish.

As my experience grew, I found shorter stands work better for me. (That’s 3 to 4 feet, depending on the bow height of the boat it’s being mounted to.)


You have to decide what works for you, and that comes with experience.

Should you try your hand at sight-fishing, I’d begin with a foot stool or step ladder lashed down with ratchet straps.

It’s an affordable — but effective — way to learn which stand height works best for you.

Editor’s Note: Devin Denman is an avid inshore fisherman who writes the Louisiana Fishing Blog. To read more of his articles, visit