Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Outdoors

Captains Corner: Active reds likely to gobble cut baits near oyster beds, mangroves

What's hot: Major tide levels this week will provide great action for redfish. Schools will congregate on top of oyster beds and underneath mangrove overhangs. These schools are sensitive to any kind of unfamiliar pressure, so use extra caution when approaching them. Use the lowest setting on the trolling motor when nearing a school. Set up the boat with the wind from the rear. This allows for longer casts and keeps the angler as far away as possible from the fish to prevent spooking them.

Bait: I use cut bait when the water temperature is above 80 degrees. The warmer the water, the less aggressive the fish are. Threadfins and pinfish make for good cut baits. Redfish forage on the bottom, so when they come across cut bait, they just seem to eat it every time.

Tackle: Long casts are necessary when redfish are spooky. I use 7½-foot-long graphite rods with smaller 30 series reels loaded with 10-pound braid. The light braided line combined with a longer rod with the wind at your back always produces casts that go farther. Tie on a 20-pound camouflage leader with a 2/0 circle hook to complete the terminal tackle.

Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.

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