Don’t buy the ribbonfish lie!

It has happened on numerous occasions this year.

Gulls are diving as shad leap from the water in terror. There is no question a predator is under them and due to the location the highest likelihood (or hope) is that it is trout of the speckled variety. You make dozens of casts and don’t get hit, not even a bump.

Usually when trout are feeding under birds it is virtually impossible not to get at least a nibble with each cast but you are feeling nothing. Zippo.

Then you see a flash of silver in long, cylindrical form. It slinks through the water with great speed.

It’s ribbonfish!

These strange-looking predators will rarely take a hook but they will kick up baitfish just like specks do. If you see ribbonfish chasing baitfish make a couple of casts just incase trout are below them and then leave. You are wasting your time. The vast majority of the time when the big ribbonfish are in the bays like they are now, they don’t hang out with trout.

That is unless the trout are after them.

If you see smaller ribbonfish jumping out of the water, by all means stop and fish. Big trout love ribbonfish and will target them with great focus.

Marcus Heflin managed to catch a big ribbonfish on a soft plastic grub. They are hard to catch and will fool you into thinking trout are feeding in the area.

2 comments

Leave Comment
  1. Jim Foster

    I’m not sure who came up with the idea that Ribbonfish are hard to catch. I’ve caught dozens of them over my years of fishing, and have seen times at the Sabine Jetties when they became pests.

    They might prefer whatever natural prey they are feeding on, but are not usually hesitant to hit a similar sized artificial.

    • TFG Staff
      Author

      The problem is the fish stripping live bait off, tearing off Gulp! tails etc and effecting baitfish in much the same way trout do.