Capt. Mark Wright
In most of the country September is considered the beginning of the fall season. Not so much in Florida, however our slightly longer nights will slowly begin the cooling-off process. I for one am looking forward to some heat relief.
The big news in the northern region of the Indian River Lagoon is its redfish spawning season. Given the much improved water conditions this year I’m actually excited of the probability of an active, productive spawn!
It’s appropriate at this time to mention the absolute need of anglers who target these fish to treat them well. This is not the time to use ultra-light gear. I tend to use fifteen pound braided line with matching rod/reel. This gear can subdue a monster redfish in mere minutes ensuring the fish is strong enough for a quick photo and release.
Flattening the barbs of your treble hook will make the unhooking process much simpler and less stressful on your trophy catch. Replacing the trebles with inline single hooks are better yet. Single hooks work quite well and nearly eliminate snagging/foul-hooking the fish.
Let’s not be greedy either; catch a fish or two enjoying the hard fight these fish are known for then move on. Also, pack your patience and expect to fish amid a group of other trophy seekers. These fish will be grouped together and so will the fisherman.
Large top-water plugs are my favorite lures for the breeders. As mentioned earlier I modify the hooks to facilitate an easy release. On the rare day these fish refuse a surface plug I use an extra-large jerk shad on a 10/0 hook. My favorite Jerk Shad is the Z-Man Streakz XL on a Chinlockz SWS hook. Of course there are lots of other lures which will get the job done as will a juicy chunk of mullet. A live mullet, pogie or greenie will seldom be ignored either.
Capt. Mark Wright