Targeting redfish: I start around a shoreline lined with oyster beds. Mullet schools in the area are one of my favorite signs. Usually redfish will hang with the schools. Mullet foraging off the bottom for algae stirs up shrimp and crabs, creating easy prey for reds.
Approach: The No. 1 mistake in targeting redfish is making too much noise. Once you are in the area of the fish, take your time and move the boat as slowly as possible. A fast-moving boat creates a strong push and alerts the fish long before you see them. I use the lowest setting on the trolling motor to move the boat slowly. If I use a higher setting to go faster, motor noise spooks the reds. If a school is spooked, watch from a distance, let it settle and start over in arranging the boat to get within casting range.
Arrangement: Once in my favorite area, I arrange the boat upwind to make long casts and avoid getting too close to the fish. Redfish eat just about anything. If they are very finicky, I use shrimp. Shrimp are easy to get from a bait shop and land softly on the water. Pinfish, whitebait, threadfin herring and grunts work well when reds are not being spooked easily and are in the mood to eat anything.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit www.captainrobgorta.com. Rob Gorta