Seeing Red! The Tampa Bay Redfish invasion is in full swing.
Over the years, Redfish have become one of the most sought-after inshore gamefish for many reasons. Whether it’s for a Redfish on the Half-Shell dinner or justthe unforgettable battle, these fish bring it all the table. For me personally, it’s the thrill of the hunt and a passion for chasing and patterning the fish. In fact, the main driving force that lead to me becoming a full-time fishing guide was spending several years fishing competitive Redfish tournaments throughout the gulf coast. I started my charter business with a primary focus on targeting Redfish year- round and to this day still consider it to be my favorite. In the past 10 years, I have had the pleasure of sharing some incredible experiences guiding anglers in search of just about everything that swims in Tampa Bay. In October – we Redfish.
Now is the time when large schools can be found and epic Redfish action takes place. At times, even the most seasoned anglers can be completely mesmerized when hundreds of bull reds come charging the boat. By the time you have casted and realized what you are witnessing, drag begins peeling of your line and the game is on! In a lot of cases, this action can last hours and leave you with a shoulder workout you won’t find at the local gym. Although the swelling will go down – the memories will last forever.
As we move through October, don’t expect to find the magic every time out. Throughout the moon cycle, larger aggregations will move and transition many miles over the next several weeks performing spawning rituals and combing healthy grass flats fattening up for the winter ahead. Pay close attention to mullet activity and any other schooling fish feeding activity. At times this can be the key ingredient to finding gold. On the lower tides, focus on the run-off points of larger flats where fish may gather to feed. Water flow and change of depth is something to pay close attention too.
As far as bait goes, although pretty much anything will work – you can’t go wrong with a live or dead pinfish. The key is finding fish and putting baits in the right area. In general, if you are fishing a single spot it will be best to use a traditional inshore setup and any live bait or dead bait selection. However, if you are covering ground either on the trolling motor or push pole – you will want to have some type of artificial rigged and ready. If you are lucky enough to find a school, chances are they won’t stop moving. Having a bait the can be casted time and time again without hang-ups will add to your success. For me, I prefer having a couple. My go to is a 1/4oz jig head with a 3-5” paddle tail in Gold. The other is a hard plastic to have something to easily work to upper portion of the water column for fast moving fish. The Sebile Stick Shad is a great choice. Whichever you choose, remember to lead to school with your cast and present the bait ahead of the fish. This will maximize your time in the strike zone.
Most importantly, be safe out there. The next few months will bring North winds. Coincidently, we will be faced with many days of less than favorable weather for fishing. If you decide to challenge mother nature, be prepared. It only takes one thing to go wrong and you could end up in a very bad situation.
Until next month, tight lines and following seas!
The Suzuki Repower Fishing Report is sponsored by Suzuki Repower and Mastry Engine Center.
Stay dialed-in to what’s biting in Tampa Bay! Capt. Travis Yaeckel, Capt. Jason Prieto, Capt. Ric Liles, & Danny Guarino bring you the full report each week. Listen every Sunday Morning 8-9am on 1040AM ESPN Sports Talk Radio. Watch LIVE on Facebook and YouTube every Wednesday 6-7pm. Or download the podomatic app on your phone or tablet and listen anytime. Search “ Tampa Fishing Outfitters Radio Show “ to follow us and find current and past shows.