Capt. David EdensFly fishing for redfish in Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island GA is a relatively unknown  fly-fishing destination on the coast of Georgia. These beautiful barrier islands offer anglers a variety of opportunities to catch redfish, a prized game fish that is known for its fighting spirit. Veteran Capt. David Edens, an Orvis Endorsed fly guide, offers his top tips for fly fishing  for the them.

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When to Go

In the summer and early fall, we have large tides that flood the Spartina grass flats. The reds invade those flats and tail aggressively while grubbing for fiddler crabs. The late fall and winter bring clear water and large schools of fish. Spring sees the big schools of winter breaking up. We see schools of 4-15 fish on the low tide at this time of year. Summer brings hot weather, and the fish are more active during the morning and evening.

Where to Go

Big redfishThere are many great places to fly fishing for redfish in Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island, GA. Some of the most popular spots include:
 The Marshes of Glynn
 The Frederica River
 The St. Simons Sound
 The Sea Island Causeway

These areas all have a variety of habitats that redfish like to live in, including estuaries, marshes, and flats.

What to Use

There are a few different things that you will need to fly fish for redfish in Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island. These include:

 A fly rod: A 9-foot, 9-weight fly rod is a good all-around rod for redfish.
 Fly line: A floating fly line is a good choice for most situations.
 Flies: There are a variety of flies that you can use to catch redfish. Check out the flies on my website: Best Red Fish flies

Praewns RevengeSome popular flies include:
o Clouser Minnow
o Shrimp Fly
o Crab Fly
o Deceiver
o Mud Minnow

 Tippet: 16–20 pound tippet is a good choice for most situations.
 Leader: A 9-foot, 0X or 1X leader is a good choice for most situations.
 Boots: When we wade for tailing fish in the flooded Spartina grass, flats booties or tightly fitting tennis shoes are essential.
 Sight fishing for red fish in St. Simons and Jekyll Island Georgia requires a small skiff that can be poled in very shallow water.
 Sun protection: The sun can be very strong in coastal Georgia, so it’s important to wear sunscreen, a hat, and quality, polarized sunglasses.

How to Fish

The best way to fly fish for redfish in Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island is to sight fish. This means that you are looking for fish in the water and casting your fly to them. When you see a fish, cast your fly in front of it and strip it back to make it look like natural bait. If the fish takes the fly, strip strike to set the hook,
enjoy the fight, take a quick photo, and release him to fight again.

Here are a few tips for sight fishing for redfish:
 Look for fish in shallow water (usually less than 3 feet deep).
 Look for fish that are feeding. You can often tell if a fish is feeding by how active he is.
 Look for fish that are near structure, such as oyster beds or sandbars.
 Cast your fly in front of the fish. He doesn’t have eyes in his tail!


Here are a few tips for fly fishing for redfish in Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island:
 Be patient. Redfish can be very finicky fish, so it’s important to be patient and keep casting.
 Don’t give up. Even if you don’t catch anything on your first trip, keep trying and you’ll eventually have success.
 Have fun! Fly fishing for redfish is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and catch some beautiful fish.

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Capt. David Edens

Spring is coming to the Golden Isles

With the advent of Spring, our waters begin warming.  68 to 70 degrees is the magic temperature.  The big winter schools of reds begin to break up and we are able to find them in more places.  Trout come up from the depths and gather around oyster beds and grass.  In May we expect the first "tailing" tides of the year where the reds get into the grass and tail aggressively grubbing for fiddler crabs.  Tailing redfish in the grass is classic, southern fly fishing for redfish.

In St. Simons we have an interesting fishery chasing free floating triple tail just 1-3 miles off of the beaches.  This is an unusual behavior because they are not floating close to structure.  They are simply free floating.  We look for these fish by idling around just off the beaches.  When I see one, I motor close to it and try put you in a good position for a cast.  The flies are generally lightly weighted or unweighted flies that mimic small shrimp or bait fish.  If you make a good presentation a little beyond and in front of the fish, you may come tight with a triple tail up to 20 pounds.  Triple tail are a hard fighting fish that jumps and runs.  I have said many times, if you can imagine how hard a 10 pound blue gill would pull, that is how hard a Triple Tail pulls.  This pattern runs from late March until June or July.  

At this time of year, I like to combine a red fish and Triple tail trip.  As in all sight fishing, a clear day with light wind makes for the fishing.  So, click the link below to inquire on booking a trip for a species I would bet you have never caught on fly.

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