As any experienced angler knows, the fall is an ideal time to target redfish. The fish actively feed as they prepare for winter, leading to great catches. In Tampa Bay, fall is prime time for redfish fishing. The fish are plentiful, and there is a good chance of hooking into a big one. Anglers fishing the Bay should take advantage of the fall season redfish bite. The fish are there, and they are ready to be caught.
Targetting Fall Redfish
While redfish can be found in many habitats, they tend to congregate in certain areas. The largest schools are usually found in the open grass flats or along mangrove shorelines. These areas provide an abundance of food and offer some protection from predators. Prime grass flats will usually be littered with sand holes or depressions. Redfish will drop into the deepest of these on the low tides and wait for the water to flush back onto the flats. It’s like fish in a barrel with multiple fish stacking up in one or two potholes.
As the tide returns, fish move shoreward into potholes closer to land or clean up into the mangroves. On the lowest tides, these fish can be seen tailing on the flats as they move towards the shoreline, dining along the way. As the fish stops to eat, it noses down into the grass, and its tail pops up. This is a telltale sign that there are redfish in the area. Understanding their habits and preferred habitats can increase your chances of landing a big one.
Tips to Get a Redfish on Hook
Redfish are notorious for being picky eaters. Just because hundreds of redfish swim around the boat doesn’t mean they will bite. The key to catching redfish is understanding their feeding habits. Redfish feed aggressively on the strongest tides around the new and full moon. Active can be caught with artificials and even top-water plugs when engaged. Surface strikes by big bull reds in shallow water will take your breath away.
There are days when redfish aren’t so willing to eat, refusing to bite even the most tempting baits. On those days, fishermen may use dead bait, such as blue crab. While it may not be the most aesthetically pleasing way to catch a fish, it can be surprisingly effective in enticing redfish to bite.
The key to success is understanding the redfish’s feeding habits and adjusting your presentation accordingly. With a little effort, you can have the day of your life catching redfish.
Get on the Water
Tampa Bay is world-renowned for its diverse and bountiful fishery, and redfish are no exception. Whether you’re looking to reel in a record-breaker or just enjoy a day on the water, Captain Phil Pegley of Fish Tamer Charters is your man. With over 25 years of experience and local knowledge, Captain Phil knows where to find the redfish and how to put you on them. He takes a unique approach to nearshore and light tackle sportfishing that will make your day on the water a success. So come down and book your trip with Fish Tamer Charters in Tampa Bay and see what all the fuss is about. You won’t be disappointed.