Fall Redfish Along Florida’s Forgotten Coast

The dry brisk November morning air is a welcome change to Florida’s Forgotten Coast residents, but not just for the obvious reasons. The summer heat has lifted, and the mighty red drum is hungry and looking to fill her belly with whatever kind of crustacean or finny fish she can get close to.

As you move stealthily along the marsh, you search for the signs: a wake along the grass line or a tail piercing the water’s surface. Either one is worthy of a cast and, if presented properly, can result in the silence of the morning stalk being broken by the crash of a topwater plug being engulfed, the scream of a reel’s drag and some enthusiastic expletives.

Stalking the skinnies of the marsh can be a challenging experience. Reds spookeasily, so stealth is a must, as is accurate and purposeful casts; all this is what makes the hunt so rewarding. The waters of Franklin County are teeming with reds, making the chance of fooling, fighting and releasing a mighty red an extremely attainable and rewarding experience.

If you come to this area to chase reds, any shallow-drafting boat will put you in a position for success, but some are better suited than others. Ideally, the ability to pole, paddle, or scull your vessel will give you the advantage of stealth, but a trolling motor and a well-planned use of tides and wind also works well on the flats.

Franklin County TDC is giving away a free red fishing excursion this month, so enter for your chance to win and make your redfish dream a reality. The reds and so many other fish are abundant in some of the most beautiful places on earth, right here. Don’t let another fall go by without experiencing this amazing time of year along Florida’s Forgotten Coast.

For more details or to sign up, go to: www.floridasforgottencoast.com.

Randy Cnota is co-publisher of the Panama City/Forgotten Coast edition of Coastal Angler Magazine.