02 Apr Springtime redfish action on fire!
For the last months my clients have enjoyed a great deal of success targeting large schools of big, over slot sized redfish on the grassflats in and around Tampa Bay. Spring and fall are the best times of years to find these massive schools of big spawning fish, and right now it is as good as it has ever been. Anglers can expect to be fishing in no more than a couple feet of water as we stalk schools of big redfish.
(On a recent trip to the South Shore of Tampa Bay David Schonacher caught and released this big over slot redfish on a Slayer Inc SSB)
Artificial baits like Slayer Inc soft plastics, gold spoons and ‘walk the dog’ topwater plugs have been the best bet. Having a variety of different baits allows us to vary our presentation accordingly, depending on the area or situation we are fishing. When the bite is slow, or fish are too finicky to eat the artificial offerings, cut mullet or lady have been the best bet.
(Young Sebastian and Spencer with a huge over slot redfish he caught in Upper Tampa Bay recently)
Depending on the days tides, my trips have been starting at either first light or mid day. When selecting a launch time for my charters, I take into account many variables, with the most important being the day’s tides. Tampa Bay is unique in that, when the tides might be slow at the top of the bay (upper bay), they may be significantly better at the lower parts of the bay (Fort Desoto, Boca Ciega Bay, etc). Incoming tides are typically a more productive tide for redfish, but as long as the water is moving they will be feeding.
(Sam caught this big over slot redfish out of a huge school of fish tailing on a topwater plug – as good as it gets!)
Evening charters based around the new and full moon will provide anglers with the unique opportunity to targeting tailing redfish this time of year. There are few things more exciting than casting to a group of redfish tailing together on the flat in shallow water. This is also a great opportunity for fly anglers looking to check one off their bucket list! On top of the great fishing, anglers can also expect to see one of the world class sunsets that Florida is famous for.
(Spencer displays a big over slot redfish he sight casted too over a grass flat in Lower Tampa Bay on a Slayer Inc soft plastic SSB)
As we get further into Springtime and closer to summer the fishing will only pick up! We’re catching fish like the ones pictured every day! Kayak fishing for redfish in Tampa Bay is as good as it gets right now.
(Lexi is only 13 years old but she had no problem reeling in this nice top of the slot redfish that came home for dinner)
By Spencer Goodwin