Has anyone ever caught one of these spring pig reds on a fly around here? I'm not talking out South Carolina or Indian River in Florida but in Virginia? A few years ago we were catching them so fast on bait I litterally had to give up and take a break. I latter fished with a fly rod and a jigging rod and couldn't buy a bite. There had to have been a massive school of monster reds under us because fresh bait in the water wouldn't last 3 three minutes but they wouldn't hit a properly casted spoon/ deciever/ bass assasin.
Are you guys still getting into these fish or has the bite slowed down?
yes, these big reds can be caught on the flyrod here in Va. I've caught them up to 44" and 40+ pounds. It is not a consistent thing and on a good day you might get 2-3 hookups so it's not something most people want to do as it is usually blind casting and for hours at that. I don't mind because there is nothing like it when you do hook up. These fish just seem to fight a lot harder than they do down south. When you catch them in shallow water they don't have the option of going deep so they run long and hard. I've nearly been spooled a few times on a 9wt with 300 yards of backing. Then there is the tricky part of landing them.
I've only been once this year and I did not find any but I plan on trying this week on the full moon. Hopefully I will not be let down.
Last year I managed a 35lb fish on of all things my 7wt but he was unexpected as I was targeting a school of smaller fish.
They are very unpredictible on the fly. Some days they will nail anything you throw at them and others they will turn their nose up at everything you throw at them. That's just the way they are though.
You say they turn their noses at your fly, does that mean you are site casting? Even with the numbers of fish around the few times I tried it I never was able to see a big red in the shallows around Va.
Yes, the fishery is probably split 50/50, sight fishing v. blind fishing. I have often encountered large schools of very large fish on the various shoals of the eastern shore. none of these fish are less than 36" and most are 40+. Some days they will pounce on anything you throw at them and other days they will shun anything and everything you throw at them.
Sometimes you will just see a pair swimming together and for some reason they are often much more receptive. Then other days you see none and just blind cast and hookup fishing the various sloughs that they travel in between the shallows or along the beaches.
usually I catch them on large clousers, large crab flies or spoon flies.
being bottom feeders and always pretty much feeding downward (unlike most fish that only strike from above) you pretty much are only using sinking lines with a fly that is going to present right on the bottom, unless you encounter traveling fish that are swimming high in the water column (like migrating fish).
Right now these fish can be found on the shoals where you have seen that the bait fisherman are catching them. There still seem to be fish migrating as they are still spotting schools swimming up the Carolina coast so hopefully the run here in Va will last a few more weeks.
Been thinking about a kayak. So, periodically I'll probably aska question like this............. doesn't a fish like that take you for a ride? What would happen to someone who hooked into a large red or a cobia?? Would it tip them over? And if you got tipped over could you get back in? Thinking it might be a long swim to shore................
Yes any large fish can drag you around quite a bit. So if you are going to tangle with large fish you need to be careful. Many things that seem harmless suddenly become collision hazards such as bridges, docks, other boats, jetties, etc.
I usually fish where I can get to a shallow area and get out of the boat, or may already be out of the boat wading and fishing the edge of a drop, etc.
As long as you don't get turned sideways, etc you should be ok from a capsizing standpoint. If you got pulled out of your yak your biggest danger would be getting separated from your yak, then you could be in real trouble. I've caught and landed fish to 60lbs from my yak and you just need to be real careful. No fish is worth your life so if things go wrong you need to break the fish off quickly.