HHI on the Fly Blog

Hilton Head Tailing Redfish

Andrew Mahoney - Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tailing redfish in Hilton Head is one of the most incredible angling experiences you can have on our island.  The catching of a "tailer" combined with the hunt is very rewarding, and a true test of an angler's skills.  As summer comes to a close, it becomes a little more complicated to get your eyes on a tailer.  I believe that this is due to the amount of other creatures, besides fiddler crabs that have moved into the grass.  Most grass flats are now covered in shrimp and finger mullet which leads to a stealthier predators. Sometimes only tailing for a moment.  

We will still have some amazing tailing sessions on the better tides for the next four months, but there are a few things that may help to see more fish and get you more shots when they are feeding on shrimp and baitfish.  

-Fishing from a skiff, instead of wading...  Often times when the fish aren't tailing a lot, the higher perspective can be all the help you need to see that purple thing floating around just below the water's surface.  I don't know how many times I've seen a redfish "tail" on another side of a flat I was wading, walked over to stand next to him for 5 minutes while it didn't tail not even realizing the fish was still there, because I couldn't see into the water.  

-Fish Pockets... When arriving on a flat that I know holds fish, but I do not see them "doing their thing" I will pay more attention to the pockets of bare bottom in-between the grass where I can see easier into the water.  This is a easy way to get my guests to see the fish due to the contrast between the redfish and the sandy bottoms in the grass flats. 

-Patience... If you don't see them, casting and catching is pure luck.  Tail pops up and goes down, you know he is there.  Chances are good he will show himself again if you're patient.  If he doesn't or gets out of range then let him go.  If the fish is comfortable and feeding in the flats, I feel waiting for a better opportunity is a much better technique than blind casting to a fish's tail.  




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