The Hunt for Red October

By: Eric Henson

Every year during the month of October… I like to call it “The Hunt for Red October”. The reason for this is because it is probably the best month in our area to catch not only lots of redfish but, you also have the chance of catching a trophy size redfish!! These fish are one of the coolest looking, hardest fighting species that you can catch inshore in SW Florida. Hence their reddish bronzy looking colors gives them the name redfish. They are a part of the drum family due to the drumming sounds that they make to communicate to each other.

These fish spend a lot of time in schools this time of year both spawning and feeding ferociously to fatten up on other smaller baitfish before winter arrives. Once the cooler months start to creep in, they will start to slowly switch over to shrimp and many other crustaceans like crabs and other shellfish. A redfish’s mouth is located on the bottom part of their face, which makes it easier for them to slurp their prey off the ocean floor.  Also, they are equipped with a row of strong crushers in the back of their throats which helps them to break down the crustaceans before digesting them. Nonetheless redfish are built to be an apex predator!

When searching for these fish, some days it can seem impossible because they can be anywhere from just a few inches of water to out in really deep waters. But once you’ve learned their patterns you can find them a lot easier and sometimes all you need is some good old fashion luck! Lol! I’ve been in areas this time of year when it’s nothing, nothing, and the BOOOOOOMMMM!!! The entire sea turns red, there are hundreds of redfish all around you, and they are in an absolute feeding frenzy!! Either way just stay patient and you will have success!

Well, with the red tide dissipating we all still need to do our absolute best to take great care of our fish and their habitat. I hope everyone is staying safe out there and look forward to catching up with you on the H20!