Capt. Lane Zimmer said understanding redfish patterns this time of year can help you pinpoint general location where you’re likely to find fish.
“Redfish are going to be primarily in the smaller marsh ponds,” he said. “It got real cold (this winter); they got real deep — in the deep holes trying to survive. After that, they kind of came out into the big open bodies of water, and (in March) we were starting to see them transition into the marsh where they should be.”
When fishing those small marsh ponds, Zimmer likes sight-fishing the redfish. However, he said he absolutely never goes sight-fishing by the naked eye.
“What you really, really need to do the whole sight-fishing thing is a really good pair of sunglasses,” he said.
Zimmer uses Costa 580G copper lenses, and he said they help his vision tremendously in a bright, glaring sun.
“It gives you a lot of contrast in the water,” he said. “It lets you see that redfish’s fins and tail compared to the bottom.”
Next to sunglasses, finding clean water while floating in super shallow ponds is extremely important, according to Zimmer — but he said it’s not the end of the world if the water is dirty.
“You can make them out if it’s a bright sunny day and you’ve got kind of stained water,” he said. “You can still pick up on their pectoral fins and tell they’re moving, but it does make it difficult when the water is pretty stained.”
One of the most difficult things in fishing is locating productive areas. That’s easier, though, when sight-fishing because Zimmer said there’s usually a clear sign if there is redfish in a pond.
“You’ll see a couple sheepshead and drum, but you’ll see a lot of stingrays,” he said. “If you’re in a pond with some stingrays in it, you’re going to have redfish in there. They get in there together.”
When Zimmer spots a fish, the aggressiveness of it determines what he casts.
“If they want to hit something flashy, I’ll throw a spoon. If they want something a little more subtle, I’ll throw a (Mad Mullet),” he said.
A Mad Mullet is a soft plastic swimbait made by Zimmer.