Matt Lewis of Redeye Bass Fly Fishing shares his insights on redeye bass and their vital conservation efforts in the Native Fish Coalition to preserve its native population. We will also uncover the unique characteristics of redeye bass, their habitat preferences, and the exciting pursuit of the Redeye Slam.
Show Notes with Matt Lewis on Redeye Bass. Hit play below! 👇🏻
(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)
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Episode Chapters with Matt Lewis on Redeye Bass
1:40 – Matt tells us how he got into fly fishing. Initially, his focus was to become a medical doctor. He spent decades doing cancer research, but his outlet has always been fishing.
3:15 – One of his friends introduced him to redeye bass fly fishing. He grew up in Alabama where the species is abundant. When his interest grew, he got frustrated that there were limited resources for that species at that time.
6:00 – That led him to write and release a book in January 2018 entitled Fly Fishing for Redeye Bass: An Adventure Across Southern Waters.
9:38 – We dig into the distribution of redeye and other similar species. They exist mostly in Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.
13:50 – He tells us what a fall line is.
16:00 – He talks about fishing redeye bass which he says are aggressive top-water eaters very much like brook trout. His favorite bug to use is chartreuse or yellow popper. Any kind of foam attractor like hopper patterns also works well.
18:23 – He mentions East Alabama Fly Fishing which offers guide services in Tallapoosa River for bass fishing.
19:50 – He shares some concerns about the population of redeye bass such as the moving of species to where they don’t belong and habitat disturbance. These would have long-term effects on their native population.
28:00 – He briefly talks about their spawning.
29:36 – I ask him about how he got connected with Dorsal Outdoors leading them to make a film called “A Slam That Saves”. The film features him and Mary Beth Meeks attempting to catch a “Redeye Slam” in one day.
38:46 – The biggest conservation group that he has worked with was the Native Fish Coalition, a national non-profit organization. He also has worked as an advisory board member for a local riverkeeper organization.
43:35 – He encourages everyone to educate themselves and others on the danger of moving fish around, and to get involved with conservation groups.
45:55 – We give a shout-out to Angler’s Coffee. Matt prefers dark roast coffee with bold flavors like the Muddler’s Blend from Angler’s Coffee. He also gives a shout-out to his go-to fly shop which is the Deep South Outfitters.
48:32 – Aside from redeye bass, the other top species you can fish in Alabama are smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, spotted bass, and panfish among others. He’s currently writing a fly fishing guidebook for Alabama.
52:36 – Matt says pursuing redeye bass fishing is growing the sport because it’s the easiest entry to fly fishing.
55:06 – He shares a fun fact about the species.
56:53 – I ask about the smallmouth bass distribution.
57:30 – He likes listening to podcasts when driving. Aside from listening to our podcast, he also likes The MeatEater Podcast and The Orvis Fly-Fishing Podcast wherein he was also interviewed last year.
58:48 – He gives a call to action to support the conservation of the redeye bass population.
You can find Matt Lewis on Instagram @RedeyeBassFlyFishing.
Join their Facebook group Fly Fishing for Redeye Bass.
Visit their website at RedeyeBassFlyFishing.com.
Resources Noted in the Show
Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below
Conclusion with Matt Lewis
We hope you enjoyed our episode with Matt Lewis. Matt shared his expertise, passion, and dedication to the conservation of native redeye bass populations, shedding light on the world of Alabama fly fishing, the thrilling Redeye Slam, and his collaboration with the Native Fish Coalition.
His commitment to preserving the species serves as a testament to the significance of environmental stewardship and the role each of us can play in safeguarding our natural heritage. To join Matt and his group in their conservation efforts, visit RedeyeBassFlyFishing.com.