There’s an old saying that 90 percent of the fish are in 10 percent of the water. That’s especially true in the Florida Keys.
And when you determine which 10 percent is holding all those fish on any given day, you’re going to want to put – and keep -- your bait there. Executing your casts correctly will help you do so.
A common mistake many anglers make is closing the bail on their spinning rod as soon as they make a cast to cover. That’s not what you want to do.
When you close the bail, it tugs back on your line as the bait falls, pulling your bait out of the very cover you’re targeting. There’s not point in making a precision cast to perfect fish-holding cover if you’re going to immediately pull the bait away from your target.
You’ll catch more fish if you throw your bait tight to cover and keep it in the strike zone as it falls. To do this, leave your bail open upon making your cast and immediately strip off some line. Wait a few seconds, and then start jigging it out.
Watch the video below to see me demonstrate – and catch a nice redfish in the process. If I hadn’t put my bait up under the trees where it needed to be, I would not have caught that red.
(Note: Blog continues below the video player. Scroll down to continue reading.)
Here are some additional pointers:
1. Make a practice cast in the open to get a feel for your range
2. After you cast, let the line feather through your fingers -- you can slow it down or make a final tweak at the last moment
3. If you totally blow the cast and your bait is headed deep into the trees, just grab the rod firmly, thereby grabbing the line and stopping the lure instantly. Then look around and make sure no one saw you and then re-cast!
Perfect casts into the right spot – that fishing-holding 10 percent of the water – will increase your catching percentage.
Capt. Jim Wilcox grew up trout fishing in ponds and creeks in Delaware County Pennsylvania. As a teenager, he spent most of his time white marlin fishing in the Baltimore and other canyons far offshore from Cape May, New Jersey. After college, while working in the real world, he spent every free moment smallmouth bass and walleye fishing in the Susquehanna River in Central Pennsyvania. For 12 years in those days, he and his family vacationed for all of December in Islamorada in the Florida Keys, where the fantastic fishing and amazing wildlife led to a life-changing experience. In 1997, Capt. Jim left the real world to follow his passion -- spending all of his waking hours fishing, guiding, and sharing the wildlife with others in the Florida Everglades. “The most satisfying part of what I do is being able share this vast wilderness with others.” Jim says. “While fishing, most live for that moment of hook up, but I light up when I see someone else hook the fish they've been after. I actually get more satisfaction out of seeing someone else fight a fish as I ever did catching one myself!” Contact him via his website or on his Facebook page.