With such a great early summer run on speckled trout, Captain Ryan and I decided to do a Memorial Day Weekend scouting trip to see if red fish would be an easy addition to the holiday grill menu. And they are!
Opting not to use live or dead bait, we threw spinnerbaits and chatter baits to land a limit of red fish ranging from 18 to 28 inches.
We found some clearer, but not really clear, water in a little trough between a marsh island and an oyster reef just east of American Bay.
We spotted the fish, some with their complete heads, backs and tails exposed while swimming across the trough from the grassy flats to the oyster beds.
The water wasn't clear enough to spot the submerged fish but occasionally their wakes gave them away and allowed us to put the baits in front of their noses.
Spinnerbaits, unlike the more popular gold and silver spoons, are better suited for this type of fishing since they allow you to ride up and over the structure as well as 'helicopter' them by starting and stopping reeling, to put them precisely in the red fish strike zone.
Of course, live or even dead shrimp under a cork will certainly catch redfish under these conditions, but spinner baits or just a soft plastic on a jighead will entice hungry reds too.
If specks are your target this weekend, you might want to keep an eye out for feeding seagulls on open bays. We noted several flocks and they are reliable indicators that fish are driving the shrimp to the surface. Be careful to cut off your big motor and either troll motor or drift into the flock to avoid spooking the fish.
Also, remember this is National Safe Boating Weekend and agents will be out in force to ensure boaters have the required safety equipment aboard and obeying the rules of the road. Keep in mind BUI is punishable just as DUI and can cause the revocation of a driver's license.
Finally, Memorial Day kicks off the Statewide Tournament Anglers Rodeo offering boats, motors trailers and tackle packages to winners of several divisions and categories as well as a new truck for the first angler and boats, motor and trailers for the next 9 who catch one of those 5O tagged redfish. To sign up visit any one of the 35 weigh-in stations or go to CCASTAR.com or call 877-4CCASTAR.
HOOK 'EM HARD!