There is an inherent difference between fishing and stalking fish. The latter usually involves shallow water and the need to make sure everything from your shadow angle to your leader size are in perfect harmony, because you might only get one shot at your target. I suppose one could argue that under certain conditions, all species lend themselves to stalking, but there will always be those favorites that just beg to be “hunted.”
In my mind, redfish (like the one pushing water above) are just not as fun to catch in deep water. Granted, some of the biggest reds I’ve caught have been in non-visual situations. But I’ll take a 15-pound red with a wake I can follow over a 30-pounder that eats a shrimp off the bottom in ten feet any day. I love stalking because I genuinely like when I have to plot, scheme, and think a lot on a fishing trip.
That’s why I love flyfishing for stream trout so much. You are always stalking; always thinking ahead before you make your move as if playing chess. Carp, tarpon, and pike consistently lend themselves to hunting, but they’re not the only ones.
One of the biggest largemouth I ever caught was in a foot of water, and I watched it swimming around some lily pads for an hour before making my move. Then there was the cobia cruising the surface in 180-feet. We followed it for 30 minutes before agreeing on how to position the boat without spooking it and getting a jig right in front of the cobe’s face.
Tell me about your most memorable “stalk.” – JC