What a week! While most seem to have been chasing the red snapper with our three-day season, I personally chose a different route and stuck to targeting redfish in the river to avoid the mass crowds and insane boat ramps.
With the recent rains and abundance of bait, the redfish bite has been nothing short of spectacular! Areas with a solid 1.5 to 2 feet depth with heavy mangroves, trees, and sandbars that have large black mullet lining the edges. Finding them has been the key! These mullet kick up lots of crabs, shrimp, and other crustaceans that larger predatory fish feed on.
Temperatures have been very warm lately, making the bite considerably better from sunrise to about 8:30/9:00am, and if you can dodge the afternoon storms, it picks up again between 6:00/8:00pm. Artificial baits such as the Rapala skitter walk, Gulp shrimp, or small paddle tails seem to be the best.
Around the mullet pods, I find the smaller baits from 2-4 inches are best this time of year, unlike the Spring and Fall. Another great option is cut bait; from mullet to ladyfish, pinfish and more — if it stinks, it’ll work, especially on those windy days where artificial is just a major headache. With the lagoon being a non-tidal estuary, a good heavy wind can definitely work to your advantage.
I strongly encourage everyone to catch and release in our lagoon system, there is much more better options and sustainable resources especially with the added fishing pressure within the last few years.