Redfish Under the Trees

Photo by Jason Lam

By Greg and Bryan Watts

With water temps reaching the low 90s this time of the year, it makes it tough to catch redfish after the sun heats the water to bathwater standards. One technique that works very well for us is soaking Gulps under the mangroves. This is not a huge secret but one that deserves attention this time of year.

A couple things you have to pay attention to are the tide and deeper edges under the trees. You want the tide to reach levels that are deep enough to hold fish and far back beneath the mangroves. Usually 14 to 16 inches of water and a rising tide are best.

Look for deeper edges along the mangroves and pockets formed by the trees that break up the pattern. Points and pockets where these fish will cross while traveling are prime. The banks formed by the islands are also key features that hold redfish.

We step up the gear because oysters, branches and rough bottom comes into play. We recommend 50-pound Spiderwire Braid with 40-pound fluorocarbon leaders on baitcasters. For spinning gear, we drop down to 30-pound braid with a heavy leader.

Medium-heavy fast action rods should be fine for this application, as ¼-ounce jig heads or weightless 2/0 and 3/0 strong hooks are used. Gulp! 3-inch and 4-inch shrimp and the Gulp! peeler crabs work best for this kind of fishing.

Powerpole down at your location and cast as far under the trees as possible. A skip cast or a very low cast will get it back to the areas where the fish are going to be at this point. Don’t fish the bait back. Leave it sitting under the shade of the mangroves. Dead stick it. The strike might be in an instant or might take a few minutes. The Gulp! scent will lure the fish to the hook.

This technique has work for us more than not when we have to produce a redfish during those dog days when everything else fails.

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