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Captain's Corner

Captain's Corner: Uncovering redfish

Doug Hemmer

Doug Hemmer

Redfishing: Extreme low tides push schools of redfish and trout into large potholes. They normally stay in holes closest to oyster bars. As long as surrounding flats are less than 12 inches deep, the schools stay in the hole. When the water rises high enough to cover the oyster bars, the schools move out of the hole and feed around the oysters. Larger holes hold redfish schools, and small potholes usually have a few large trout. It's very important to approach those spots quietly. A running outboard or a trolling motor on high can push the fish out of the hole. The fish then hang over the grass and make sight-fishing much more difficult.

Tactics: Start upwind of the hole and fan cast a few free-lined jumbo shrimp on the edge and middle of the hole. If you don't hook up after 15 minutes, drift farther into the hole and recast. When you hook a fish, cast the other rods into the same area. Some of these schools will be spooky. It's good to have a few rods rigged with 8- to 10-pound mono, which is less visible and won't spook the school when it floats to the surface. Circle hooks produce more hookups. Don't jerk back on the rod when a fish picks up the bait. Wait until your line starts moving, then reel until the line gets tight.

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

Captain's Corner: Uncovering redfish 02/09/14 [Last modified: Sunday, February 9, 2014 7:37pm]
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