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Captain's Corner

Captain's Corner: Tides, water depth are key when stalking redfish schools

What's hot: Targeting large schools of redfish can be a challenge. During the incoming tide, the schools move slowly and feed well. When the tide starts to go out, they pick up speed. This makes it hard to place a bait in front of a school. Some days schools move as fast as a trolling motor set on high. If your boat is in that situation, you may keep up with the school, but the trolling motor will keep the school spooked and moving fast.

Tactics: In that situation, we switch to weedless lures that can be cast long. Next, move slowly to a spot where the school looks to be headed. If the tide is going to be extremely low, the school will swim off the flat. Stay close to the school to see where it goes. When the fish leave the flat, the school slows and starts to feed. When the tide is medium low, the school stays on the flat until the tide starts to come in. The school then moves back to the area where it was during the last high tide.

Tackle: The best lures have been gold or silver weedless spoons and jerkbaits rigged with a weighted worm hook. Keep the hook's point in the slot of the jerkbait and work it on the surface like you would a topwater plug. For live baits use a pinfish under a cork.

Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.

Captain's Corner: Tides, water depth are key when stalking redfish schools 08/26/11 [Last modified: Friday, August 26, 2011 6:20pm]
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