What to look for when sight fishing reds

Capt. Ryan Lambert has no problem with stalking a clean marsh edge to find cooperative fish, but it’s also nice when the targets do all the work for you. Sight fishing, he said, sometimes starts in the vague sense of the term.

“It’s good when you have fish coming at you because you can put your Power-Poles (or mud anchor) down and wait on them,” Lambert said. “You can see them coming from a long way. A lot of times, you’re looking for wakes and such before you see the fish.”

Other signs of fish in the area:


When a fish swirls on a meal, whether he catches it or not, that flushing motion is a dead giveaway.


A spooked red bolting off the bottom will leave a concentrated mud cloud. Ideally, you’d rather see them early enough to make a cast, but even such “oops” moments help dial you in by showing that there’s fish in the area and where they’re holding.

Bait/Shrimp scattering

Forage of any type tends to do better when it remains in the water, so consider leaping baitfish or shrimp a clear sign of predators — likely redfish — below.

Birds diving

Expounding on the previous point, gulls and terns will take advantage of redfish feeds by picking off the meals they flush topside. Spot the feathered friends working an area farther down the grass line or deeper into the pond and this will often lead you to reds you can sight fish.

About David A. Brown 323 Articles
A full-time freelance writer specializing in sport fishing, David A. Brown splits his time between journalism and marketing communications www.tightwords.com).