Rig Right for Reds

 

Rig Right for Reds

By Capt. Ted Lund

 

When it comes to favorite fish, all professional fishing guides have one.

For Yamaha and Skeeter pro, Capt. Chad Manning (captchadfishingcharters.com; 813-966-3474), that favorite is the redfish.

“No matter where you are fishing for them, the thing that makes reds unique is the fact that they’ll eat just about anything,” says Manning who spends nearly 200 days a year guiding anglers in the waters around the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg area along Florida’s West Coast. “No matter what you want to reach in your tackle box and grab, chances are a redfish will eat it.”

Rig Right for Reds

During different times of the year, the veteran redfish tournament angler uses different strategies to find and target them.

“When the water is cooler, I like to look for them early and late and in shallower water,” says Manning. “It’s mainly a topwater bite then, and you’ll want to target them from 2 to 4 feet of water on flats and around mangrove shorelines.”

As the thermometer rises and fish seek refuge in deeper water, Manning changes strategy.

“During warmer water periods, I like to target schools of fish in 8 to 12 feet of water and in potholes or depressions,” says Manning. “That’s when you move to different offerings like jigs or live bait.”

Regardless of what he’s throwing, Manning uses a Daiwa® Saltist® 3000 armed with a 15-pound braided line on a 71/2-foot all-fiberglass Crowder® spinning rod. At the terminal end, he prefers 20- to a 30-pound fluorocarbon leader.

“I think the number one key is a stealthy approach,” says Manning. “When I’m on the trolling motor, I like to set up a drift and anticipate where I see or think there will be fish. Then, I’ll try to drift down on them only using the trolling motor to control the direction of the boat. You don’t want the vibrations from the trolling motor to spook the fish.”

Manning prefers to stop short of fish or fishy locations and make the longest casts he can in order to make sure fish don’t feel pressured.

And if he only had one offering to target redfish?

“Without a doubt, I think it would be alive scaled sardine (whitebait, pilchard) on 1/0 circle hook with a cut tail,” says Manning. “That just seems to be something redfish can’t pass up.”

Once you’ve brought your fish boat side, Manning also has some thoughts on releasing them.

Rig Right for Reds

“I don’t like landing nets for any fish that you are going to release, but if you are going to use one, make sure to get a net that is slime-resistant to help protect the fish,” says Manning. “Most of the time, I prefer to keep them in the water and use a dehooker on them. If we want to take a picture, we’ll just lift them horizontally out of the water while holding over the side to prevent stress, take a quick picture and then let them go.”

One of his favorite times to fish for redfish with clients is during the summer and fall when the fish move from inshore to deeper passes and along beach lines.

“It’s really cool to see the same fish from the same school that we’ve been chasing go from a deep orange to almost a sandy color,” says Manning. “After just a couple of days living in the deeper water, they really lighten up. They are beautiful fish.”

For more fishing tips from pros like Manning or to learn more about the entire family of Yamaha outboards, visit www.yamahaoutboards.com.

 

This document contains many of Yamaha’s valuable trademarks. It may also contain trademarks belonging to other companies. Any references to other companies or their products are for identification purposes only, and are not intended to be an endorsement.

 

 

 

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

 

 

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