Gulf Coast Fisherman Magazine Vol 39 No 2 - Spring 2015 - Page 14

(Continued from previous page.) Keeping the sun at his back does two things: It affords him optimal visibility and minimizes the fish’s ability to spot his silhouette. Wind behind him is also key, as going into the waves increases fish-spooking hull slap. Holeman’s a big fan of dead-boat fishing - finding a promising area, staking out and intercepting the fish. It might sound random, but he said it’s really more about observation than site selection. “You have to find their happy spot,” Holeman said. “All fish have a happy spot where they feel comfortable, so I look for that area where they’ll make a big circle and every 20 minutes or so, they’ll come back around and I’ll catch a couple. “I don’t ever want to be chasing redfish; I want to dead-boat fish them and wait for them to come to me.” Also, dead-boat fishing means he never worries about “lining” a redfish. When an angled cast carries your line across part of the school, the moment that line drops onto a red’s back, it’s like someone grabbing you in a dark alley not good. Notably, Holeman has also guided Southwest Louisiana where spotting fish from elevated towers has become a popular tactic, particularly for tournament types. But in areas like Tampa Bay, Charlotte Harbor, and the Keys, reds have become so accustomed to being chased around by tower boats and skiffs with bow towers, they’ll often scoot away from the site of an angler standing taller than nearby mangroves. Bait UP Having spent more than two decades refining his redfish repertoire, Randazzo offers a bait selection game plan that can be easily adapted with regional specifics for most anywhere the bronze bullies roam. “For sight fishing, we usually try to have three types of lures ready at all times,” Randazzo said. “First, we like a lure that has a high percentage chance of getting attention such as a jig spinner. The lure has flash, vibration, and a great strike-to-catch ratio. You can also cast it a long distance if you need to be stealthy. If you see a fish and make a good presentation, the odds are high that you’ll get bit.” If the jig spinner fails to impress, Plan B involves a jig head rigged with a 4-inch paddle tail bait. Randazzo said he’ll swim this rig right in front of the fish and allow it to fall straight to the bottom. Reds usually react quickly and di