by Capt. Neil Eisner
When fishing, we all need to practice more stealth. I like to fish for redfish in the back-country waters, skinny water, maybe two foot or less. Over the years I’ve found the quieter you are, you improve your chances greatly. I’m not asking you to get up on the polling platform and push your boat around with the push pole. You paid two thousand dollars or so for that electric trolling motor, use it. They work great. When was the last time you ran yours? It’s not a bow ornament and you don’t have to run it at full speed. Just ease yourself into the spot you want to fish. If you don’t have an electric trolling motor, the next best thing to do is shut your motor off early and coast into the spot. Make sure you turn that radio off after you leave the dock. Music is a no no; you’d be surprised at all the tunes played for the fish. And by all means, don’t slam hatches when you want a drink. Once you have hooked that trophy redfish, reel, but make sure you reel smoothly, it’s not a race to see how fast you can get the fish back to the boat. Just keep the tip of the rod up, let the rod bend. When the fish pulls on the drag, stop reeling. It does nothing when the fish is pulling on the drag and you are reeling. He will stop pulling soon and you can start your retrieve again. Many great fish are lost right at the boat. Remember, when the fish sees the boat he will try to dive under it. Let him dive, don’t pull, nothing good will happen if you pull on him. Sometimes I will loosen my drag a bit knowing he’s going to dive. He will soon give up the fight. Have your net ready to scoop him up. Take a picture or two and gently lower him back in the water as soon as possible. You might have to rock him back and forth (fish CPR) to revive him. Don’t let the fish go until he can swim off on his own. Now you can turn the radio back on and head on in for that cold one.