Anna Maria Redfish Magic
If Chef Paul Prudhomme were fishing in Anna Maria Sound this week, he’d definitely experience some “Redfish Magic.”
That statement is exactly right. Schooling redfish are being herded like cattle into our local bays via the Gulf of Mexico. And there’s no shortage of redfish cowboys in tow of the herds. If you have a school of reds all to yourself, consider yourself lucky. If you feel the urge to tell your buddies, fight it. Put that cell phone away too. Many a spot has been cleaned out because of a quick cell phone call to brag.
Varying sizes of fish are making up these schools, although a school will typically contain mostly the same sized fish. For instance, you might hear a redfish junky woefully bragging, “we hit a school of reds but they were all over slot.” Or “every fish in the school was a rat, but we caught 50 of them.” Woefully bragging means he found the fish but still came home empty handed. Anyway, there seems to be a pattern there.
Catches this week are occurring on both live baits and artificials. I’m catching reds on live shiners either free-lined or fished under a popping cork. You can also use artificials such as Gulp shrimp, DOA Cal jigs, or the ever-infamous gold spoon. Even redfish like a little bling and that gold spoon does the trick.
Lastly, don’t forget to get the cast iron skillet seasoned up for a little blacked redfish — make chef Paul proud.