Well it is fall and along with pumpkins, redfish are here and chewing like there’s no tomorrow. Getting out for that early morning bite has been awesome! Schools of big redfish are plowing through our waterways. If you’re watching and know what you’re looking at, they are kind of unmistakable when you happen on a school of reds. Now for this kind of fishing placement is everything. What I like to do is have a number of rods ready. One or two with live or cut bait that I have some range with and one with a topwater or jig. Now they move pretty quickly so try to anticipate where they are headed and get in front of them. Pitch that heavy bait first and let it soak. As the school approaches that bait, time it so the second and third baits hit as they take the first. Once you hook one it will spook the rest of the school. That’s why timing is key if you wanna have multiple hook ups. But you’ve got to find the big schools of reds and then position yourself up current and place some cut bait on 7\0 - 8\0 circle hooks, stick that rod in the rod holder and crack a cool beverage and chat with your fishing buddy until that rod bends over and the drag screams like a banshee.
I’m seeing quite a few trout break the 20” mark and they will hit that cut bait the same as the reds. For the reds, look for them along bars and up on the grass flats. You’ll want to fish the grass flats with lots of mullet. If you’re quiet and have a little patience they will show you where they are while they’re feeding. There’s a distinct difference between a mullet tail and a red’s tail, mullet are constantly moving and for the most part will not have their whole tail out of the water (only a tip or a bit more) reds barely move their tail and will range from just the tip to whole tail out as they root around in the grass for food. This is the fun part because you can stake the boat and sneak up on them and pitch a bait… and boom! Fish on! Extra caution is in order if you plan on getting into the back country (or any of our waterways for that matter) the water has been really shallow lately and with winds out of the NE they will be even more shallow!
I do think it’s a great time of year for all of your favorite outdoor activities. First a very hearty “welcome back” to all of our seasonal residents. It’s always a definitive point in the season when you see all of the different state tags on roadways and if I may, one simple request, if you happen to notice a vehicle traveling next to you at the exact same less than posted speed limit, press that peddle on the right just a bit harder. Pass that car or truck and give folks a chance making that appointment or getting to work on time. All in good humor my friends. So having said that lets get into the heart of the matter and that is, say it with me, Boohyah! Because that’s the sound of a topwater bait being crushed!! Fishing this time of year is my favorite! We have such a wide opportunity of fishing available to us it’s almost hard to decide what to fish for. For instance you could run offshore for bottom fish like grouper and snapper while keeping your eyes peeled for Bonito, Cobia, King and Spanish mackerel on the run out. On the other hand Tarpon are not uncommon around the passes and bridges or upper Charlotte harbor regions.
If you’ve got your eye on landing a few, give us a call and we’ll “hook you up”. If you’re ready to get out and see how Kelly and I do it, give us a jingle, find us on Facebook, Instagram or our web page.
Tight lines & y’all stay safe!!
Capt Jesse McDowall