Fall has arrived with cooler weather and shorter days. But don’t put your boat away just yet because we’re about to have the best fishing of the year! Fishermen can continue to find success with live bait but artificial lures should become increasingly effective. Take time to get out on the water, you won’t regret it.
Redfish have been eagerly eating live and cut bait fished on the bottom. Mullet are pervasive in our waters and can be easily netted while frozen bait can be used as a second choice. We’ll rig the bait on a size 3/0 circle hook paired with a carolina rig. You can use this setup under docks as well as on the flats. Just put the rod in the holder and wait for the reel to start screaming as the fish hook themselves.
Artificial lures have begun to really work for trout and the traditional paddle tail design has been great. I’ll use a 1/4oz. jighead and tie a loop knot to give the lure even more action. Vary your rate of retrieve as you search for fish. To make your lure even more seductive, try putting a piece of shrimp on the hook. You can use pieces of frozen or live shrimp and it will put a scent trail on your lure that is hard to resist.
Even as artificial lures become more effective, don’t stop tossing those popping corks. Mud minnows, live shrimp and artificial shrimp have been working well when suspended about two feet below the cork. Redfish and trout alike will eat these baits as they pass by suspended in the water column. Corks have been most effective when fished along grassy banks at mid and high tide.
With the lower temperatures, redfish are beginning to form bigger schools. These large schools make for excellent sight fishing and happy fly fishermen. On clear days, you can see these packs of redfish swimming in circles with their golden backs flashing in the sun. Take your time when approaching the schools and when you make your first shot make sure to cast to the edges so as not to spook the school.
See you on the water!