Picky Redfish Tips - Bayou City Angler

Picky Redfish Tips

June 02, 2022

Picky Redfish Tips

Picky Redfish Tips 

Redfish love to eat flies, and they always eat well-presented ones. Until they don't. Unfortunately, we do get into a false sense that redfish will always eat, and when they don't, it can be frustrating. We've all been there, and after a recent trip, we reached out to a few guides to see what tips they could share to help us out on those tough days.


Lower Laguna Madre guide, Captain Andrew Pfannkuche of Arroyo City, mentions:

"The single most important advice for catching especially picky redfish is to make the first cast count. We often catch reds with the second or third cast, but the spooky ones won't tolerate a second cast. Ideally, deliver the fly right in front of the fish's face (picture a dinner plate). You may have to wait until the fish are closer to your max cast to ensure accuracy. Maybe you cast 70 feet sometimes, but you are much more accurate at 40-50 feet. Try waiting for the optimum shot. It's also important to minimize boat noise while approaching. Use simple natural colored flies without much flash."

Captain Andrew Pfannkuche


Captain John West guides in Sabine Lake and also the Mississippi River Delta in LA. John had this to say:

"Slow down. Picky fish are typically not in a feeding mood and are very aware of your presence. I could speak at length on the subject but how you approach fish and present the fly is very different when they're spooky. Think of how you'd approach sheepshead or large speckled trout."

Captain John West 

Captain Steve Robinson, who can be found fishing up and down the coast, says his approach is to cut down nearly all variables and do what it takes to get the eat; he suggests going all Fluorocarbon leader and be ready to drop down to 8lb bite tippet. Steve added that he likes going down to a size 6 clouser or similar pattern, sometimes with lots of shine.

 Captain Steve Robinson

Middle Coast Guide, Captain Mason Matejcek adds:

"If the angler is putting the fly in the zone and we're not getting eats, I will keep trying different color flies after every couple of shots. Typically they're going to be picky in very clear water, so I would start with tan, then move to olive, purple, and then black. Also, be careful not to make any noise with the push pole and take it slow." Mason also added some excellent food for thought "A lot of times with rookie saltwater anglers, they might think that the fish are being picky when it's their presentation. Flies need to land on the opposite side of the fish and be stripped across their path, inches from their nose. If the fly lands between the angler and the fish, pick it up and go again. I see it all the time, and it's one of the hardest things to get anglers to do. They always want the fly to land directly in front of the fish."

Captain Mason Matejcek 


If you're looking to get on the water and take advantage of the great summer fishing, we have included links to these great guide's websites. Hit them up, and go feed some redfish!