It’s the ultimate accomplishment. Catch a trophy redfish, seatrout and flounder in one day. Scoring a slam takes more than luck. Each species responds to a different tactic. Flounder are ambush hunters.
Redfish search out a meal by scouring the bottom. Seatrout tend to look for prey suspended in the water or on the surface. To catch all three, you must target each species. These pros win tournaments by mastering the slam.
Benton Parrott Navarre | Hobie fishing and Bending Branches team member
Find the Fish: Look for shallow water grass flats or creeks lined with grass. On the flats, drift areas with potholes and ledges. In the creeks, drift parallel with the grass lines and fish the creek mouth.
Tactics: Topwater walk-the-dog worked fast or slow is a great way to cover water fast to find fish. Soft-plastics bounced or slow rolled along the bottom. Slash and pause a jerk bait. Make three hard pulls and then wait several seconds.
Tackle Box: St.Croix Legend Xtreme Inshore seven-foot, medium-action rod paired with a Shimano CI4 2500 reel. This lightweight combo allows me to cast all day with less fatigue. Eight-pound braid with 10-pound Yozuri pink fluorocarbon.
Tip: Anchor the kayak to work the lure in current. Trout often like a lure retrieved with the current.
Fish Story: I launched an hour before lines in and headed to the spot I wanted to fish. I poled the kayak silently into the hole and waited for the sun. At first light, I caught trout on every cast including a six-pounder, taking big fish in the event.
Rick Spillman Freeport, Texas | Viking Kayaks
Find the Fish: Look for fish in deep drains between the main bay or Intracoastal Waterway and the marsh on an outgoing tide.
Tactics: Cast a soft plastic into a creek mouth on an outgoing tide. Let the current sweep the lure while bouncing it slowly along the bottom. Fan cast the entire area.
Tackle Box: 1/8- to 3/8-ounce jighead and curly tail softplastic in chartreuse with a white tail or red with white tail. Medium-heavy, seven-foot casting rod with 30-pound braid and 30-pound fluorocarbon leader connected with a double uni knot.
Tip: When a flounder is close to the boat, keep its head underwater, then lift it with the net and into the boat.
Fish Story: I was sight fishing for reds when I saw small shad popping on top of the water. Bigger fish were chasing the bait. I made a cast and caught a flounder. Then we caught flounder the rest of the trip. I guess doormats aren’t always on the bottom.
Matthew Vann Pensacola | Hobie fishing team member, IFA Angler of the Year
Find the Fish: Redfish are attracted to oyster beds, bridges, docks, drop offs and edges on the grass flats. Look for clear water and current. Low tide will consentrate the fish in deep water. Overcast skies and a little wind texture get the fish moving.
Tactic: Topwater, change up the cadence, start fast then slow down. Slow roll a jig on the bottom. With a jerkbait, alternate between several sharp snaps of the rod tip and a long pause.
Tackle Box: Heden One Knocker, Slayer Inc. swimbait, Rapala Shadow Rap Shad. Seven-foot, medium-fast rod and Penn Clash 2500 spinning reel. 20-pound braid and 20-pound fluorocarbon.
Tip: Use a low profile FG knot to connect braid to the leader. It takes a while to tie, but it doesn’t snag the line guides to make a longer cast.
Fish Story: I was defending champion in the 2017 IFA Championship. On day one I landed in 12th place. Day two started with a 37-inch bull redfish on the One Knocker to win Angler of the Year.
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