Once again, the highlight of the week is redfish.
Schooling reds are arriving in our local waters wreaking havoc on baitfish, shrimp and any other flats inhabitants in their path. Most of these redfish are over-slot, although lucky anglers are managing to catch a random fish that is keeper-size. The pressure on these fish is a little extensive so if you’re an angler who don’t like being crowded by other boats, you may want to try going snook fishing instead. On one occasion recently I counted 16 boats on one school of reds. Needless to say, I kept going to find other fish. It was like Bean Point during tarpon season. This doesn’t mean the fish won’t bite, although they’re definitely not going to be easy. Typically, when I’m fishing these schools, there are usually 3 or 4 other boats in the mix. When we all work together, everyone seems to do all right. This means quietly approaching the school with a push pole or trolling motor. No outboards. Even the 4 strokes, as quiet as they may be, will spook these fish. Most anglers are casting live shiners to the fish and hooking up. I’m finding that fresh-cut ladyfish or pinfish is a sure fire bait. If everything works right, the fish will typically hang out for an hour or so which gives everyone to catch a few. Then the bite will slow down and eventually quit. That’s when the school has finally had enough and most to deeper water where they can recoup.
Now, if you’re going to fish these schools and other boats are present, I can’t stress enough on being courteous in approach. And by courteous I mean quiet. Running into the mix with your outboard on and spooking the school many not result in you having a great day on the water. This is can ruin the boat for you and everyone else and believe me, everyone else will let you know. And they probably won’t be very nice about it. I’ve seen it happen numerous times and it’s never a pretty sight. Put it this way, if someone made a video of it there would have to be a lot of bleeps before anyone could watch it.