Crazy Redfish!

Before all this Pandemic craziness started, changing how and where we fish, I was on a learning journey chasing Redfish.

You see last year I had one of my best years ever fishing for speckled seatrout, I could catch them at will and not just the dinks;

I caught dozens of trout over 20 inches long and hundreds throughout last year, but redfish not so much.

So I made it my new year’s “fishing” resolution to up my Redfish game this year to match my trout game.

January went pretty well for me, I had started to identify typical areas that reds would hang and when in the tide cycle they would be there.

I built on that knowledge with what lures draw the bites in these colder winter months (hint, a Johnson Sprite gold spoon is money!) and which ones did not.

By February I had some patterns that were working for me and I was actually starting to catch redfish consistently!

Now in my experience Reds when hungry move around, they’ll chase the bait as it moves in and out of the tidal creeks.

Out one Saturday in February with the tide falling I came upon a small school reds moving to the back of a creek.

I had to nearly get out and drag my kayak over a fallen tree to get back to where these Reds were so I knew unless another kayak angler showed up, I had this school of Reds to myself.

The water got supper skinny as I came around a hair-pin turn in the creek and there was a small branch laying across the water, the creek couldn’t have been more than 10 feet wide at that point.

As the bow of my yak hit the branch I saw a dozen or so mud plumes and wakes as the reds I was chasing darted off further into the creek.

I thought to myself, “Those buggers set an alarm to alert them!”

Now I had been back in this creek before and about 15 yards past their trip branch alarm the creek made a 90 degree turn to the left.

In the outside edge of the turn was a hole about 3-4 feet deep, that’s where they would be, I was sure of it.

I sat just short of that turn for about ten minutes or so just waiting for those Reds to settle down.

I had already caught and released two reds out of this school earlier, both measuring on the low 20’s but I knew there were bigger ones.

So I cast up into the outside corner of the turn in the creek and let the lure sink then gave it a twitch twitch…THUMP!

My line went tight immediately and started to leave my reel faster than I could pick it up as a Red made a strong run away from me and I was going to lose this fish if I could not get to the corner quick.

Then the damnedest thing happened, that Red turned over 90 degrees and started coming towards me.

I was still good, I had the line tight on him until that darn fish jumped out of the water and head butted a mud bank right in front of me!

The moment the Red hit the bank my spoon popped free from its mouth and came zipping past my head, hitting the water behind me!

I sat there in disbelief for a good 5 minutes chuckling to myself as I relieved that moment in my mind’s eye.

That Red porpoised and struck that bank head-on to throw that lure! Whether it was purposeful or not, it happened right in front of me and was amazing to see.

I went on to catch three more out of that school before it was time to get back to my launch before the tide got too low to return, but my entire paddle back to the launch all I could think was “Crazy Redfish!”

Tight lines, Social Distance!
Mike Kohler
LKA Tournament Director

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