Capt. Ron Ratliff is a professional guide from Chauvin, Louisiana. He runs Marshdawn Charters in a Beavertail BTX with a Evinrude 50 ETec chasing redfish and the other shallow water species in the vast marshes of south central Louisiana. He is one of the few native fly fishing guides in Louisiana. He works out of Sportsmans Paradise, located in Chauvin, Louisiana.
The marshes of south central Louisiana have different eco systems as you change locations. The techniques differ from place to place, so do the flies. Locations with deeper banks and muddy bottoms, I usually lean towards heavier flies. Such as weighted baitfish patterns made up of EP materials, synthetic materials are less likely to retain water and have a more consistent sink rate. This is very important when fishing deeper flats, in order to get the fly eye level with the fish. Sometimes in a hurry, because redfish can pop up under the bow at any moment. Many videos portray big redfish taking poppers, this does happen but it has to be the right day, the right fish, the right tide and so on. This does not happen everyday. I tend to lean on light and dark colors for different situations.
Grass flats are another eco system , that I fish usually during the warmer months. They tend to have gen clear water, and this means you can spot fish from further away. The fish tend to be more cautious to shadows and sudden splashes. Lighter natural colored flies tend to bring better results in these situations. Most commonly used flies I use are seaducers, beadchain sliders, Chernobyl crabs, Kwans, and my Fiddelstick crab. Early in the morning the tailers pop up, and its game on!!!!!
The rods I normally use depend on the conditions. Most of the time my go to rod is an 8wt Loop Cross S1 accompanied by a Loop runner reel. I like this setup because its light enough for a light presentation, but strong enough to punch threw a stiff wind with a heavy fly. Usually when chasing the larger fish in the fall and winter months I step up to a 9wt or a 10wt, these help with casting the large and heavy flies needed for chasing the bulls of the south.
Other important items are the right clothing for the conditions you are fishing. Wintertime it is important to layer warmer than what you need. You may be warm at the dock, but when doing 30mph in a skiff for 30 minuets it gets cold quick. Summer months are hot, sun shirts work extremely well accompanied by buffs and sunscreen. When it comes to sunglasses, it is extremely important that you have good polarized lenses, the best color lenses that work for shallow water flats are amber, or copper colored. These help break the glare in the surface film, and produce a better color contrast when spotting fish.
Hook up with Capt. Ron Ratliff if you are looking to get in on some of the hottest fishing Louisiana has to offer:
Sportsmans Paradise for booking and Lodging call 985 594 2414
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