How To See (And Catch!) More Fish When Sight Fishing
Fish with your eyes open.
That sounds pretty obvious if you’re sight fishing, right?
Well, you’d be surprised at how many times I’m out fishing with people and they miss fish that are right in front of us.
And because they don’t see these very catchable fish, and instead are looking somewhere else, they don’t catch as many fish as they could when they’re sight fishing.
Does that sound familiar?
In this video, I’m going to share some tips on how to see, and catch, more fish when sight fishing.
- How to tell if what you’re seeing is a log or a fish
- The weird (but effective) way to actually see more fish
- The main reason why people miss out on fish they should see
- And much more
Check it below.
How To Find More Fish When Sight Fishing [VIDEO]
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The first rule of sight fishing is to look at what you can see.
If you’re looking 50 or 100 yards ahead, you won’t be able to see fish unless they’re tailing or hitting bait above the surface.
But if you look closer to you, you’ll be able to see fish swimming under the water and see way more fish.
So be sure to scan up and down and left to right.
When I was a lifeguard in high school and college we were taught not to look at individual people, but to just generally scan an area and look for anything out of the ordinary.
That’s exactly what you’re doing here.
The goal is not necessarily to see the fish, but to spot movement with your peripheral vision as you’re quickly covering ground with your eyes.
And then once you see movement, give it a closer look.
Now, if you’re having trouble deciding if something is a log or a fish, here’s a trick:
Look at something stationary near it, like a tree limb or a pot hole, and notice the thing in your peripheral vision.
If it’s moving, it’s most likely a fish, but if it’s stationary, it might not be.
This trick helps because if you stare straight at something, it can be hard to tell if it’s moving or not.
And finally, here’s one last tip: don’t overlook the fish right in front of you.
Sometimes the fish will be right below you, unspooked and willing to eat, so be sure to glance near your feet every now and then.
To catch more fish when sight fishing, keep your head on a swivel, look for movement, and don’t forget to look right in front of you.
And as far as lures go, I’ve caught loads of fish sight fishing with both the Slam Shady paddletail and the Alabama Leprechaun jerk shad.
You can get a free pack of Slam Shady paddletails here, and a free pack of Alabama Leprechaun jerk shads here.
Have any questions about sight fishing?
Let us know in the comments below!
And if you know someone who is missing fish they should be seeing, please TAG or SHARE this with them!
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Hey Tony, Great info! I have a question. The soft jerk shads are my favorite lures to use, I love finesse style baits. Can it be used as a search bait? I know you use them a lot, 😂 almost every video you got a gulp jerk shad or Alabama leprechaun on. Thanks for all the info man tight lines
Hey Tony, great video and awesome footage of those redfish. I have spent the last few weeks strictly dedicated to trying to find reds in the flats here in my hometown of St. Augustine. Do you have any tips or suggestions on telling the difference between large mullet wakes and redfish wakes? Ive been able to locate lots and lots of mullet of all sizes in the flats but very few reds, I think. At least I’m not catching any reds and not seeing any tails. With all the showers the water isn’t really clear enough to see them in the water but there are wakes everywhere so I think I’m in the right spots. I’m going to flats with birds, finding lots of bait and occasional boils. Just trying to figure out which of the wakes are reds and which are those giant mullet.
great points. The water is so nice and clear in this video. We don’t get much of that up here in JAX. Where is this?
Thanks Ferdinand! Don’t let it fool you, this area is completely brown and dirty now just a few weeks after filming this. Central Florida east coast.
I can see a lot of fish but my problem is where to make the best cast to catch that fish.
A few things to consider are whether or not the fish is moving, which direction they’re moving, and how finicky they may be. Some fish I can drop a lure right on their head and they’ll strike it. Others I have to cast about 10 feet away from them and let them slowly cross paths with my lure. Typically the cleaner the water, the farther away you want to cast from them. In dirty water you want to get your lure very close to their face.
Hi Tony. As always, I enjoyed your commentary. I’m glad you shared this! I have spent years developing my peripheral vision or as I call it; “Soft Eyes” It applies to so much more than fishing. Hunting, bird watching, star gazing to name a few. A day almost never goes by when out of the corner of my eye I spot a big fish or an alligator or Manatee. Bald eagles, Swallow Tailed Kites, meteors and UFO’s.
Thank you for the great feedback!
Thanks Tony. You make it look so easy.
Tony, what type of sunglasses lens do you recommend? I know polarized but is there a preferred color?
For inshore you’re going to want a bronze or amber lens. The mirror finish on the outside isn’t really necessary.
Here is an article I made on that very topic:
I also agree scanning your surroundings does wonders and your chances as well…im also very observant but my question will be…in your experience what makes you confident that you’re in the actual right spots? I get that it has to do with the trends and weather conditions…but at times I feel heavy current makes the best of us when you try to toss lures with light weight and becomes unsuccessful at times. Winds and strong current becomes very disappointing that I feel you have to use heavier weight and lines which makes it less stealthy.
you know Tony…no worries…i learned a lot with the approach mastery course which is answering my questions…I’m sure its very variable at times. But if you want to give your input by all means as well. I really enjoy your style!
Activity in the area is going to be the determining factor if I feel it is a good spot or not. I look for bait rippling on the surface and how the bait is acting. If they seem pretty nervous, that is a good sign there is a bigger fish nearby stalking them. I avoid areas with strong current because like you said, it just makes it tough to fish. Look for spots that have areas that break the current (oyster bars, islands, points, etc.) and fish the calmer sides of those areas. In stronger current, I actually prefer to use lighter (thinner) line. Thin line will cut through the water better and have less drag against the current, but yes you will have to go a bit heavier on the weight.
Hey Tony I always enjoy and learn from your videos. Good job. I have a question. Luke likes the TFO seven six medium action. Have you tried the rod and what do you think? What is your go to rod?
I’ve actually never used the TFO rods. For a while I was just using All Star Classic Inshore rods from Academy Sports and Outdoors. 7’6 Medium Heavy Power. However, now I am currently using Century rods that are custom made. A friend of mine convinced me to try them out, and I’ll say I don’t think I could use any other rod now. I have a Century 7’6 Weapon Jr. which is a medium power fast action rod, and a Century 7’10 Weapon which is a medium heavy fast action. They are a pretty penny, but once you use one you’ll understand why. If you’re looking for something at lower cost, the TFO would definitely work for you. Me and Luke have very similar taste when it comes to rod length/action/feel.
If you are interested, here is a link to a review I did of the Century rods I had made from Black Pelican Custom Rods:
Can anyone recommend a few guides for fishing the everglades on the west coast. Also, a charter captain that targets snappers out of Lake Worth?