Reds and flounder filling time and the cooler
The arrival of redfish is a welcome sight to our local waters. Schools of reds are being reported from just about every body of water from Miguel Bay to southern Sarasota Bay. Most schools are containing at least a couple of fish which is encouraging to see. Any number of methods will work to catch these schooling reds but the most important part is in your approach.
You’d better be quiet in your pursuit or you can forget it. The fish will move before you can get within casting range. I like using a gold spoon or top water plug when fishing these fish. The reason is the castability. A spoon or plug combined with some 10- or 15-pound braided line equal being table to cast a “country mile.” A lot of times that’s what you’re going to need to do so you don’t spook the school of fish.
Live baits such as shiners and pinfish will work too, but you’d better have your push pole out to be able to quietly slide into casting range without alarming the fish. Once you’re in position, a little chumming doesn’t hurt to keep the fish occupied.
On my Southernaire Fishing Charters, we too are chasing schools of redfish. When trying to locate schools. We are usually able to see them moving across the flat. On other instances I’m seeing bull sharks and blacktip sharks patrolling the edges of the schools waiting for the prime opportunity to snatch an unsuspecting redfish out of the bunch.
So even though these sharks make the fish a little spooky, they are aiding in locating the reds. Most fish we are hooking into are on gold spoons. Sizes are varying from upper-slot to over-slot. Also, we’re hooking into big bluefish, jack crevalle and trout mixed in with the reds.
The real highlight of the week for me is the abundance of flounder that we’re catching. Yeah, they may not be the sportiest fish in our waters but what they lack in stamina, they make up for on the plate. Live shiners on a knocker rig around rock piles, wrecks, reefs and docks are resulting in flounder up to 24-inches. And the sheer numbers we’re catching are unequalled during other times of the year. Days of catching 30 flounder in a morning are not unheard of. That being said, founder are in my crosshairs this week.