A good angler can go anywhere in the world and catch fish. It might take a day or two to figure out the lay of the land or, to be more precise, the lay of the water, but some things, the "universal truths" of fishing, don't change from location to location.
The professional anglers who travel the redfish circuits know they can never compete with home water knowledge and experience. So they approach every new spot in the same thorough and conscientious manner.
The average angler can learn a great deal from these stalwarts of the tournament trail. Here are a few of the top tips I’ve learned from professional fishermen over the years:
Terrain: Many pros travel all over the United States to catch red drum, but most never have to look very far to find fish. It doesn't matter if you're fishing off Tampa Bay, the Mosquito Lagoon or Florida Bay, redfish love the grass flats.
Shrimp, crabs, pinfish and a variety of other forage species spend at least part of their life cycle in the grass. They have to conceal themselves from predators. So whereever you are, the first place you want to start looking for redfish is the seagrass.
Water clarity and depth also will play a critical role. Aquatic vegetation needs sunlight to survive. The clearer the water, the deeper the various species of sea grass will thrive. It helps if you can scout an area when it's calm. If the water is flat, you'ill be able to see the grass and perhaps even fish feeding. It helps to know what you're dealing with.