The best sight-fishing tool for redfish

A hard T-top makes a great sight-fishing platform, but you need a ladder to get up there.

Collapsible ladder can be stored, pulled out when needed

With rods and reels, tackle boxes, ice chests, life jackets and other gear requiring spots in your boat, space is always at a premium.

And, even though he fishes in a 25-foot Ranger, it’s no different for Capt. Bubby Lamy with In & Out Charters in Slidell, La. Not only does he have all of his own gear, he also brings along rods, tackle boxes and personal items for his clients.

So when he wanted to utilize the hardtop T-top on his new Ranger 2510 for sight-fishing reds in the marsh, he came up with a great way to access the spot — without sacrificing lots of valuable storage space.

“I use a 12-foot fully collapsible extension ladder with non-skid feet,” Lamy said. “The biggest thing is it stores in a front compartment, so it’s as if it’s not even there.

“I just leave it in there, and that’s it.”

Lamy said he purchased the ladder, which compacts down to about 20 inches by 2 ½ feet, at Sherwin-Williams for about $225. He estimated it weighs between 20 and 30 pounds.

“The hardtop T-tops I’ve seen in the past were smooth on top, but this T-top Ranger built has a non-skid surface, so it’s made for it,” Lamy said. “The reason I knew it was OK was I talked to the people at Ranger, and they said this was the exact T-top they build for a dual station.

“So it’s plenty sturdy enough, and that’s the reason they put the non-skid deck on top of it.”

Standing 6 feet tall, Lamy has a view of the marsh from about 15 feet above the water when he climbs up onto the T-top.

“The height is good, but sometimes you have to cast at a fish, and it’s like a missile coming at them,” he said. “If you’re a little lower, you can lay something past them.

“To be able to cast past them and then reel to them is really what you want.”

Towering over the marsh on a recent trip, Lamy had no problems picking out the redfish — and setting the hook from high up on the T-top.

But he did have one important bit of advice if you decide to get a ladder and enjoy the bird’s eye view.

“When I’m up there and I’m by myself, I rope it and tie the ladder down so it doesn’t fall off and I’m stuck on top of the T-top,” he said with a laugh. “I don’t want to end up in the marsh by myself when I can’t get down.”

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