When it comes to fishing for reds in the flats during the winter, I like to go gold, as in gold spoons — or, for that matter, any lure or fly that contains some gold color.
Gold puts out a reflection in the water that redfish just can’t resist. Add to that the vibration a gold spoon or spinner bait puts out, and you have an unbeatable combination for finding redfish.
With the gold spoon, I can cover a large area and quickly find out if there are any fish in the area. It casts a long distance with a 10-pound braided line and a light rod and reel.
Another advantage to a gold spoon comes on those windy days; if cast sidearm, it will cut through the wind and go farther than anything else you can cast. There are times when the reds just won’t eat it, but you’ll find maybe 10 of them will follow it back right up to the boat. That’s when it’s good to have another rod rigged and ready to go with maybe a Berkley Gulp that you can quickly pick up and throw to them.
Gold spoons are not just limited to redfish. I have caught plenty of flounder on them while I was searching for redfish.
The gold spoon has also caught me trout and snook in the flats. The first snook I caught here in Florida was on a gold spoon. That was a long time ago (wow), and it did teach me early on it’s a good tool to have in your arsenal.
A gold single-blade spinner bait rigged with a soft-plastic mullet imitation also works well in the flats. The biggest problem I find with them is casting them into a wind. Because they are bulky, they offer a lot of resistance traveling through the air.
If I use a soft-plastic jerk shad on a worm hook, I like it to have some gold specks in it. A rig like this allows you to work it very slowly, and if it is rigged weedless you can throw it up into grass where you can often find redfish feeding.
I also like gold in the flies I throw. I’ve been using a form of a Clouser fly that I tie that is black and has gold holographic flash tied into it. It’s been catching reds in the flats. If I switch to a sinking line while fishing deeper water, it’s been catching me reds, trout and flounder.
So do yourself a favor and go out and invest in some gold.
Capt. Rob Ottlein can be reached at 439-2636, or at www.flaglerfishingcharters.com.