Red Handed- A few tips to better your success rate when chasing tails in the marsh from Texas to Florida.
Born and raised in South Louisiana has its perks, like redfish. Nothing beats finding a place they hold thick where you can catch them cast after cast. On those days they will bite almost anything. It’s the other days that we will touch on. It’s not uncommon to find a bunch of fish, yet u can’t seem to get them to open their mouths.
Like lock jaw cool fronts. When the temperature drops it will put redfish off of their normal feeding habits. Unstable weather is sometimes tricky. It’s these days I recommend slowing down retrieves and paying attention to tackle details.
On these days I prefer to use soft plastics with smaller 1/16oz jig heads than the 1/4oz I would normally use. It allows the bait to fall slower, at a more teasing pace. Making sure to allow the lure to bounce off of the bottom, with short twitches of the rod, and simple pauses is key. The short trail of mud puffs the bait makes dragging bottom resembles a crab or shrimp fleeing and tempts second guessing redfish who are reluctant.
Slower presentations catch more redfish on lathergic days. Most people may view a cork as a tell tale sign of an amateur. The popping cork has been around about as long as the fisherman and the fish. But often when lures are refused it’s because they are simply fished too fast. In darker and deeper waters where reds can’t be sight fished, corks are very effective. Popping corks over a lure simulates feeding fish, and feeding fish attract hungry predators. That is why cork fishing attracts a lot of fish. Cork fishing is easy, and when reds show to the sound of a cork popping they see or scent the lure popping and almost can’t refuse to strike. Live bait is very effective but plastics also work great.
I prefer a Bomber Paradise Popper, with a 3″ D.O.A plastic shrimp, or a plastic cockahoe. Make a cast, then chug very hard 3-5 times, making the cork splash water. Pause about 10-20 seconds in between. When the fish strikes the cork will disappear, then u reel up slack and set the hook. Great way for children and beginners up to advanced fisherman to fish for redfish.
My personal favorite way to fish for reds is sight fishing. Moving across shallow ponds and bays using the wind as my motor to not spook uneasy fish and just bumping the trolling motor to get into casting position when I see fish. Making very long cast with light tackle is important. Sometimes you have to be patient for the right moment to make cast, and make your shots count as to not spook happy reds in shallow water. 10-20lb braid with a foot of fluorocarbon leader with long range presentations works great for clear water. Small lures like spoons, soft plastics, and small plastic jerk baits land softly, cast well, and come alive with minimal effort.
I think starting the morning with two different presentations between me and my fishing partner is important. It’s all about trying to figure out what the fish want. Often times a redfish will just swirl on a lure and that’s when your partner can come behind you with a quick second lure that hopefully results in a hook set. Also when a redfish bites a bait it generates a frenzy if there are more fish holding. The follow up cast by ur partner as you are fighting a fish sometimes results in a double header. It excites the other fish and now they want a quick snack too.
Marsh Mutt Pro Staff