Just like last year, we are having record-low temperatures. Last year was devastating to our snook and baitfish stocks.
The only difference is that it’s a lot earlier in the season than last year’s freeze. We can only hope that after this week we don’t see another freeze for a while.
My buddy, Bruce, and I headed out Saturday to look for redfish, in Silver Lake. The air was brisk with a light breeze, making for a slight chop on the water. The sky was overcast. The latter two conditions made it difficult to sight cast in the clear shallow water, so we had to resort to blind casting.
As we worked the shoreline and oyster bars, we spooked a couple of lone redfish, but no hook-ups. We then came to an area that was blocked by the wind, and the water was calm: perfect conditions.
I placed a cast between two oyster bars and let the fly land. I felt the line tighten.
At first, I thought I was stuck on an oyster, but when my line started moving, I knew I was hooked up to a red. It felt like an undersized red at first because of the way it picked up the fly and put up very little resistance until it was about half way to the boat.
Once we had a visual on the fish, we could see it was about 25 inches; once the fish saw us, the fight was on.
Unfortunately, the fight only lasted about a minute when the hooked pulled out of the fish. Redfish 1, angler nothing. Winter is a great time of year to fish the shallows for redfish. This is when they school heavily. Normally you’ll find reds basking and feeding in the shallows a day or two after a cold front.
Gold spoons, Berkley Gulp on a jig head or live bait, such as mud minnows, live or cut mullet and shrimp will all work on wintertime reds.
Dress warm, pick a calm day and go wet a line.