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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Being a NE transplant now living in NC (with no desire to live anywhere else) I'm on a mission to catch my first NC Redfish. I've had good success fishing in FLA around oyster bars and the associated cuts and sloughs associated with them, so I'm pretty confident I can fish similar areas when I come across them here in NC.

I prefer to fly fish most, if not all of the time. My goal is to learn about the conditions, areas (in general terms), and all of the subtle "what to look for" when scouting out areas where I stand a decent shot at finding some tailing redfish to catch on the fly.

I've got the tackle, flies and casting ability down (I can usually place a fly inside of a 3' target area up to about 75'). Now I just need some help understanding what to look for in terms of high percentage areas to concentrate on.

Any thoughts or suggestions?
 

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Red X Angler
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As the tide turns out, you will find reds working along the grasslines and shallow creek mouths catching baitfish, crabs ( their fav) coming from the hiding places as the water receeds. You can also find them working the grass on shallow flats. Those are just a couple of the "best bets" a 26" red in 8" inches of water is a a beautiful thing!!!
 

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I'm right with you Joe - still not sure I've ever seen a tailing red or exactly where or what to look for them.

My last trip down to Beaufort was the first time I actually saw a school of reds - puppies, anyway - and caught one from it. Then I saw (=spooked) a second school later in the day and GanzAndere caught three of them to my zero - I was glad to provide the guide services though!. As it was Nov/Dec, they weren't tailing, just roaming the skinny creekwater in packs.

We're clearly handicapped on visibility by sitting so low in the Kayaks, but I'd gladly make up for it with stealth if I knew where I was going!
 

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While we don't have the mangrove sounds or the huge sand flats like they do in Florida, we do have plenty of oyster beds, shoals (sand flats) and small mud flats. These are a great place to look for reds on the lower half of the tide cycle. This time of year and on into early summer near the inlets is the best place to look (by near I mean within a mile or less).

Look for the marsh creeks that have oyster beds and especially ones with flats on one or more sides of those beds. The drum will go in very shallow water looking for crabs and other small prey. The tailing of course comes from the fact they are in shallow water and when they dip their mouths to eat their tails will sometimes come slightly out of the water.

As mentioned above it may be harder to see them in a kayak as you are low to the water. A lot of folks "wade" fish for them. Find an area like described above and get out and walk along the bar or across the shallow flats watching for those tails and shadows.

Good luck, hope you catch 'em up!
 

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You don't always have to see the tail of the fish to know they are there......watch for fish moving or pushing water.......then put a fly in front of that and hang on......


Agree on being so low to the waters surface it makes it hard to see...but the water movement you can see......

Beach the yak on small islands and wade the island and fish it well.....re yak and do it again further up.....

tight lines and good luck..........<*)))))>{
 

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Wait for a full moon high tide where the water peaks towards the late afternoon.

First, find some sparse grassy flats with a hard muddy bottom that has holes in it but is typically never underwater. These holes have little crabs living in them.

When the full moon high tide rolls in come back to those flats and just keep an eye out. Put the bait in front of them and bring it past their nose and hold on.
 

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if you're wantin to sight fish around here with any consistency (especially when it's cold), it aint gonna happen sitting down. they do tail here, both high tide and low, but you're gonna see (and have more opportunities to catch) way more fish by poling and looking. being able to stop yourself quietly and make an accurate presentation is the key since you usually get so close to the fish.

 

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Nice picture, uncdub... That is as classic a picture of a tailing red as I have seen. Nice oyster island/shoal, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm wondering...can tailing redfish be found throughout the spring, into summer and during the early parts of the fall? Or is there a time of the year when searching for these fish is optimal?
 

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Red X Angler
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Please remember in the hot waters of summer Red Drum stress easily when fighting so get 'em in quick and free them as fast as possible, be sure to "revive" them a bit before you let them loose. Same for Stripers.
 
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