At our first stop, Melissa let me know that she had never cast before much less caught any fish. On her first cast, her popping cork got hit and things just built up from there. After landing many trout, she proved just as skilled with the bigger fish making quick work of sharks too. Great start!
The warmest weather that I can remember has been terrific for our fishery. Higher than normal water temperatures have made for some productive fishing. I never thought I would say this but there has been a decent trout bite in February! With days filled with sun and 70 degree weather, anglers have to get out there to take advantage.
Having spent the last few months laying low and avoiding dolphins, redfish are transitioning from a period focused simply on preservation to now becoming predators again. With redfish still in big schools of up to hundreds of fish, the best fishing will be at low tide when you can sight cast to them. These fish are still spooky so stealth is of upmost importance when approaching a school. Oftentimes, it pays to anchor up when you find a school and wait for them to return to you instead of chasing them down.
With these reds being so wary, I try to disturb the water as little as possible and keep my casting to a minimum. When this happens, it’s time to soak some cut bait. I’ll put chunks of frozen mullet or blue crab on size 3/0 circle hooks and just let it sit on the bottom until the redfish swim over it. Put your rod in the rod holder and resist the urge (if at all possible!) to set the hook when you see a fish begin to eat. The circle hook will do all the work for you and when your reel starts to sing you are in business.
As trout become more active, popping corks cast along grass banks and over oyster beds will be a good bet paired with mud minnows. I usually use a 18”-24” leader and a size 1 circle hook. When working the popping cork, always try to keep slack out of your line and when that cork drops just reel to set the hook. You’ll find that the circle hook will rarely miss as long as your line is tight
See you on the water!
Three weeks of sunny weather have kept both fish and anglers busier than usual. Like most winters, the bite is best on bait fished on the bottom whether around structure or on the flats. A steady rotation of cut mullet, mud minnows and shrimp are producing well enough to keep the rods bent. Good times on the water!
Unseasonably warm weather has helped fishing in 2017 start off strong! With temperatures routinely reaching the 70s, the redfish are happy and a little more active than usual. The focus is fishing at low tide to the huge schools of redfish on the flats. Cut mullet has been working best with mud minnows producing as well. Make sure to take advantage of this awesome sunshine!
It was a gusty afternoon but the redfish were still happy! Needed to work hard to find places shielded from a heavy NorthEast wind but it paid off. Caught reds by structure with mud minnows and popping corks. Dotty produced the nicest fish of day, a 7lb red that fell prey to the old reliable blue crab.
I had hoped the bite would be strong in front of incoming storm system. Turns out it was on! We had our first hit within minutes of starting and it never slowed. The Spedick clan saw heavy action whether we put down whiting, bluefish or menhaden. By the middle of the charter, we had lost count of how many fish had been brought to the boat. Great family fun!
We had been working a dock for the better part of an hour but it had been twenty minutes since the last bite. We decided to sit down and have a drink and of course one of the rods immediately snapped over. John grabbed it and after several minutes the red had us wrapped around something on the bottom. I assumed we were done for but miraculously the fish came free! After another few minutes of tugging, John dredged up this slab of a redfish. Another victim of the newly available cracked blue crab.
We started the charter with one big redfish, a 9lb. beauty, and the trip just picked up from there. Our next stop produced several reds and a weakfish from under a dock. Moved to another dock and caught at least a dozen more reds with multiple double hookups. Everything caught on mud minnows either on the bottom or on jig heads. As we headed for home, we left them biting!
Gary, a regular client, loves to be casting as much as possible during his charters. After throwing artificials at hundreds of redfish only to see them sprint away, we agreed that putting out cut bait and waiting might be the best option. Boy, did it ever pay off! Our first fish was a huge 31″ redfish and was Gary’s biggest redfish ever. With this beauty in the bag, we switched back over to casting around docks with mud minnows on jigheads and caught smaller redfish for the rest of the charter.