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Wow do the reds love a crab fly!

PostPosted:Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:39 pm
by Prof. Salt
I'm exploring some new areas with mud bottoms and it's so nice not to need a weedless fly. After reds turned down my usual EP shrimp pattern, I tried a Merken crab pattern. Every red I pitched it to ate it aggressively. I landed eight reds from undersized to oversized and lost two more, and the stringer (24.5, 26, 27.5") was heavy on the paddle home. :D

I used to wonder why people were so attracted to catching redfish in nasty, muddy areas ...but now I get it.

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Re: Wow do the reds love a crab fly!

PostPosted:Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:51 pm
by kickingback
:clap: Well done Glenn and thanks for posting! :clap:

Re: Wow do the reds love a crab fly!

PostPosted:Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:26 am
by OldTownYakBoi
Prof. Salt wrote:I'm exploring some new areas with mud bottoms and it's so nice not to need a weedless fly. After reds turned down my usual EP shrimp pattern, I tried a Merken crab pattern. Every red I pitched it to ate it aggressively. I landed eight reds from undersized to oversized and lost two more, and the stringer (24.5, 26, 27.5") was heavy on the paddle home. :D

I used to wonder why people were so attracted to catching redfish in nasty, muddy areas ...but now I get it.

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Sounds like a hell of a day, congrats


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Re: Wow do the reds love a crab fly!

PostPosted:Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:47 am
by Prof. Salt
This trip got me excited about learning to tie a crab fly that is durable. I found a video of a guy making a crab fly that suits my tying style, so I knocked out three versions that need to be tested as soon as I can get back on the water. Results coming soon, I hope...

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Re: Wow do the reds love a crab fly!

PostPosted:Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:41 pm
by impulse
Just out of curiosity, has anyone tried one of those crab flies under a popping cork?

For our members that haven't taken the plunge yet into fly fishing from their kayak...

I do real well with a tiny crappie jig under a popping cork when the fish are chasing after minnows that are too small to cast with a baitcaster, or even a medium spinning rig.

Re: Wow do the reds love a crab fly!

PostPosted:Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:19 pm
by Prof. Salt
In shallow water, the fly rod is valuable because it can deliver a very light lure to fish that spook for anything that makes even the smallest splash. A popping cork in the flats would scare the fish when it hit the surface, unfortunately.

My advice is to find an old used fly setup at a garage sale, put on some new line (it wears out after a few years) and get started on the cheap. That's what I did, and believe me it's addictive! :D

Re: Wow do the reds love a crab fly!

PostPosted:Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:09 pm
by impulse
I don't disagree with that, especially if you're sight fishing in shallow water.

But there's another school of thought that the reason they invented popping corks is to draw the fish close enough to see your bait, especially in murky water. If you're casting randomly to cover a lot of water, I can see where a fly that sinks very slowly could be a hot bait, fished under a popping cork that sounds like game fish feeding on the surface. Which, for most of us opens up a lot of possibilities with longer casts that spook fewer fish. Let's face it, most of us don't see tailing redfish every day on the water.

I bought my starter fly rod when I was 12, which makes it 51 years ago. And I used to build my own in the winter when I lived where there were actually seasons. But I like fishing an UL spinning rod, too. Just different tools for different conditions. I guess I'm freely admitting I'm not a purist... But I do agree that fly fishing is my favorite way to catch them, on the days and in the places they can be caught that way.

Re: Wow do the reds love a crab fly!

PostPosted:Wed Oct 07, 2020 8:59 am
by Prof. Salt
Sorry, I didn't mean to come across as condescending. Without face to face contact it's hard to tell if someone is new to fishing or a seasoned angler just wondering about a new approach to a tried and true technique. Not sure why, but I was thinking about using a cork in the areas I have been fishing. You are probably right; flies under popping corks in the right conditions might work very well for exactly the reason you stated. Some flies with marabou or other "whispy" materials might even give a more realistic flowing movement to attract fish.

Re: Wow do the reds love a crab fly!

PostPosted:Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:35 pm
by impulse
And I apologize for seeming defensive- my post reads a lot different than I really intended.

I'm just wondering if anyone's tried them under a popping cork. I'm tempted to pick up a few next time I pass by FTU. I don't have the patience to tie my own.

To keep this thread on topic, I started another one about the skittishness of salty fish to noises...

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=252731

Re: Wow do the reds love a crab fly!

PostPosted:Wed Oct 07, 2020 6:44 pm
by shoffer
I think Impulse and Prof. Salt are two of the best TKF'ers out there. The prof. teaches everyone about offshore BTB kings, and Impulse not only gives great advice, but he posts cool time-lapse videos of the fish in his lights and freely tells us night stalkers when to hit them up. Both of you are class acts through and through.

Re: Wow do the reds love a crab fly!

PostPosted:Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:21 pm
by kickingback
I like the brown fly Glenn. I always had luck with one I tied like that. The muddler minnows are another good fly for reds as it catches trout and flounder but not as well as your brown crab fly. Got to love sight casting! I used the crab fly under the causeway and trout were loving it!
You guys keep posting the great info and I enjoy you lecturing at the Pack meetings. Love to see and hear about your gear and that SWEET kayak you haul ass around in.

Re: Wow do the reds love a crab fly!

PostPosted:Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:22 pm
by Prof. Salt
Thanks for the feedback guys. This morning I took the fast kayak out in the dark, got five miles into the lakes and caught five big reds before running back to the office for meetings (in one now, LOL). My crab fly design works! Every fish I put the fly in front of ate it without hesitation.

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Re: Wow do the reds love a crab fly!

PostPosted:Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:58 pm
by TrailChaser
That's awesome! It's a pretty good feeling when you catch them on something you made yourself.

Re: Wow do the reds love a crab fly!

PostPosted:Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:30 pm
by Prof. Salt
kickingback wrote: Love to see and hear about your gear and that SWEET kayak you haul ass around in.


This morning was busy! Paddled the 5 miles to the spot in the dark (thank goodness for Google maps on the phone to guide me through a few of the twists and turns), got there at first light and caught five good fish before paddling back for a morning total of 14 miles by 10:30, LOL. Got it all washed and put in the garage to dry, showered, and made a noon meeting at the office (barely). Had a large coffee for lunch. :D

Re: Wow do the reds love a crab fly!

PostPosted:Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:05 pm
by impulse
Prof. Salt wrote:This morning was busy! Paddled the 5 miles to the spot in the dark (thank goodness for Google maps on the phone to guide me through a few of the twists and turns), got there at first light and caught five good fish before paddling back for a morning total of 14 miles by 10:30, LOL. Got it all washed and put in the garage to dry, showered, and made a noon meeting at the office (barely). Had a large coffee for lunch. :D


Have you tried out the Navionics App (now called Boating HD)? I've got it on my Android phone and I use it as a backup for the boats' GPS's and also as a stand alone app when I'm kayaking. Also great when I'm a guest on someone else's boat.

The resolution of the maps is great, and it cost something like $25 for a year. (I paid in Thai baht and it was 700 THB, a little more than $20) Not free like Google Earth or Maps, but a lot more maritime details.

Here's a screenshot of my phone from a Sea Isle canal. You can see the Sea Isle fishing pier, and the channel markers going into the marina canal. That's the map as I downloaded it. I haven't added any POIs or waypoints.

Re: Wow do the reds love a crab fly!

PostPosted:Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:23 pm
by Prof. Salt
Thanks for the info - I'll check it out. The kayak is a fiberglass Stealth 555 and at 18'2" long it is designed for offshore but works in a lot of applications. I made a shallow rudder for it, and it floats in 4" of water without dragging. When I do a quick trip and need to cover distance, nothing compares to the speed this thing can maintain. For fly fishing I lay a small towel across the center hatch area and it covers up the straps and eliminates the danger of catching the fly line on anything. The kayak does require me to rethink what I take and how I store it, but I make it work! I even managed to put the redfish inside the hull on ice for a quick paddle back to the truck.

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