When fishing new areas or familiar areas after a major change (AKA Hurricane, not like we’ve seen one in a while…) there are a few things I’ve found helpful in finding redfish and trout.
Eyes up! That’s right, I am guilty of staring at the water above where I’m jigging or running a spoon like it’ll magically make that stud redfish eat. Instead, look around for bait, cruising fish, structure, or anything that might indicate action. Sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how much you notice.
Use search baits. When trying to locate fish and cover water, the spoon is my all-time go to. They can be thrown over grass, oyster bars or around rock piles on the east flats in St Marks National Wildlife Refuge. With the second largest sea grass beds in the world, our bay would take 100’s of years (not estimated, exact science) to cover every bar, drop off and limestone head using a slow popping cork and jig. My spoon of choice is Aquadream in their pinfish pattern, gold, copper or white.
Use technology. Google earth has been one of the greatest tools for scouting or learning your favorite areas more in depth. A certain captain from Louisiana taught me how to use this and other mapping programs when we were in Baghdad together, and we both still use it which success in our fishing careers. You can look for creeks, deep holes, and the best route to and from your targeted area. Looking at the water from boat level its hard to see most the depth changes, but you can see below the deeper cuts and holes in the creeks. TIP: Look at the bottom right corner… GPS coordinates to where the center of the screen is on the map (not shown in the picture.)
Keep moving. Remember, this isn’t about fishing areas you are confident in and know fish will be there at a given tide. Situation will dictate how long you stay in one area, but if I don’t see action or anything to make me want to stay, I don’t hang out and cast my day away. Run and gun till you find some action and pay close attention to where you are. In creek mouth? Deep or shallow? Grass or mud? Fast or slow retrieve?
My saying is if you can do something once, it doesn’t count. If can pull it off twice, you’re getting lucky. But hooking up a third time? That’s when you’ve figured out a pattern! Now in all honesty there are days where all it takes is that one redfish in a completely new area to make the trip worth it. But… three is usually more fun! If you need more information or have any questions contact me directly!