Friday, June 6, 2014

Sight Fishing demands Skills of the Hunt

Capt. Mark Nichols of DOA lures and guide Rob Glasser;
trophy speck photo by guide Mark Phelps.

Sight casting for fish is likely the most exhilarating way to try and entice a strike. The most powerful sense in this arena will always be vision, and the angler has to see the quarry before making any cast. The placement of that cast will largely determine if the fish will eat or not, and every move after that is like a back-and-forth ballet of strategic thinking. Stealth, knowledge of the terrain, accuracy and one’s approach are equally important in both hunting and fishing and these attributes add zest to the outdoors action.
Captain Ed Zyak of Jensen Beach, Florida is a full time fishing guide on the Indian River and is a veteran of sight casting for trout, snook and redfish. “Sight fishing begins with a good flow of moving water,” said Zyak. “You almost never see the whole fish, but rather you can at first pick up only a fin or a flash of color. If I don’t see bait in the area, then I don’t waste my time there. Just because a spot looks good doesn’t mean it is productive.”
“Sight-fishing really combines hunting and fishing and that’s why I love it,” said Zyak. “Deer like to use an edge for travel and will seldom break cover, and I find it’s the same thing for fish. I’ll pick out likely ambush points along edges that fish might be using and wait. When I see one then I cast with stealth in mind. Don’t make a full cast if a flip-cast will do. Keep your elbows in at your side, and don’t give them a bigger profile than you have to. Wear natural earth-tone colors and avoid white.”
“Fish may not always do what the text book says, so be ready to be observant,” said Zyak. Fishing with and working for Capt. Mark Nichols, founder of D.O.A. Lures, has helped Zyak appreciate how to land a bait with subtlety so as not to spook the fish, how to let the bait sweep in the tide going towards the fish naturally, and how to rig the 3-inch shrimp so that it is weedless. 

To view this feature article in the newspaper click on Charleston Mercury

For past blog entries about sight fishing click on TIDE magazine.

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