Ask the Expert: “Where Do I Look?”

One of the questions that anyone who is new to flats fishing asks is “Where do I look?”

The answer is obvious: Look where you can see.  If that sounds deceptively simple, it is.  When an angler is standing on the casting platform or bow, they should be looking at all of those places where the person poling is not.  Most guides make a habit of scanning the medium to far distances–it enables them to get the boat in the right position and intercept moving fish.  But many fish are hard to see even in the near distance and some seem to pop up right under the boat.  That’s your job: finding the redfish or permit or bones that have been motionless and hard to see or that swam to the boat from up-sun, then announcing that you’ve seen the fish so that the guy in the back can stop or spin the boat, and making the cast as soon as you can.

No matter how good the guy in the back of the boat is at seeing fish, he can’t cover all the locations where fish might pop up.