Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Grass Flats Redfish

Over the last couple of years, the redfish bite in Virginia has been nothing short of phenomenal! Last year showed great promise for a strong redfish population throughout the Tidewater region. The main difference in last year and this year is that larger overall average size of fish. Plenty of mid to upper slot sized drum are roaming the shallows in singles, pairs, all the way up to schools of 100+. I'm sure we can all agree, BIGGER is better!
"That's what she said!"
As usual, I hit one of my favorite spots in search of grass flats redfish with my good friend and fishing partner, Joe Underwood. Like I have said in the past about this spot, I know it like the back of my hand! The tide was coming in at sunrise so I knew what flat I wanted to hit first. Joe and I scratched out a plan and felt pretty confident that it would work.
We stopped off at a little point with current moving through to throw a few casts, like we normally do at this spot. Like clockwork, Joe picked up a nice trout on topwater, with me following up with a little striper. As we moved on to our first flat, you could see pods of bait everywhere as far as you could see. It was amazing!
Picture a shopping mall parking lot full of cars, and a certain cars alarm starts going off. You focus all of your attention on the loud noise and find that car.

Well, that was what it was like on the flat. The cars were the bait pods and the loud alarm was the schools of redfish reeking havoc on em...Yeah, it was heaven!

This 25.5" redfish pounded a PowerTeam Lures Swinging Hammer.

These fish were schooled up by the dozen and out to destroy everything in their path! They made it simple for us.
We hear them, we see them, we cast to them, we catch them, we repeat...
26.75" red

Joe had the hot hand of the day. He was doing more fan casting while I was hell bent on doing close quarters sight fishing. I have a crazy addiction of hunting down fish without alerting them, and making my presentation in a stealthy manner.

Bait of the day was the PowerTeam Lures Swinging Hammer. This lure has an over sized paddle tail which throws a lot of water around as it swims through the water. The low frequency combined with strong vibration of the Swinging Hammer calls fish in from afar. Pretty much, it's one bad@$$ paddletail and I WON'T fish for redfish without it.

If you find some time, do a little research and find yourself some grassflats near big water. I'm certain that if you find healthy grass, you will find some bait, which means you will find the redfish. Grab some medium tackle and an assortment of PowerTeam Lures and get ready to have a blast!

~See ya on the water!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Time Crunch Meat Haul

Is it me, or does it seem like time goes by faster and faster with the passing of each and every day?
Right now, the stress of the big move down the coast is pretty strong. I'm not going to get into details about it, but all I will say is that I can't wait for it all to be over with! With that being said, my job is experiencing a lot of changes in personnel. People are leaving and people are arriving. Old faces are being swapped out with new ones and the element of "change" is first hand. On this day, we were celebrating a co-worker's "going away breakfast" which pushed out my scheduled time for getting on the water. I planned on launching around sunrise, but the going-away took priority. The winds were forecasted to pick up around 11:00 so my window of nice weather was not open very long.
I was under a time crunch!

  My mission was quite simple:
Sight cast to redfish and haul em' back to the house for dinner!
The spot that I last tore them up in was a lot dirtier than the previous time. I saw a couple of reds, but only after I spooked them due to the bad water clarity. I hit another spot only to find the same thing; no fish and muddy water. Time was ticking and I needed to get on fish...FAST!
I decided to try out a huge flat that I have never fished before...

I was only standing for a minute or two when I came across the first school of around 10-15 fish. I knew that it was game over when I tossed out my texas rigged PowerTeam Lures 3.6 JP Hammer Shad. I threw at the outer edge of the school and made the bait dart erratically. It was awesome watching 2 fish fight for the lure.

Last trip, I noticed that most of the baitfish were very small. I used the 4.8 Hammer Shad and some fish would not jump on it like I hoped. I still caught plenty of fish, but I had the feeling that the 3.6 might entice them a little better. This trip, I packed a lot of 3.6's in different natural colors. I matched the hatch perfectly.

By the time I landed the first fish, the wind had already picked up and was continuing to get stronger. It was to the point that I said, "To hell with it", and decided to make my way back to the launch. Since the wind was blowing in the direction I was headed, I just stood up and scanned the flat. It was tough to see with the chop and grass, but I could see almost everything under the surface. The water was a little cleaner but it was still tough to see. No joke, the Maui HT lenses on my Maui Jim Peahi's made the difference in dissecting the the flat. Without a quality pair of sunglasses, sight fishing would have been impossible!

Now comes the time when it was daja-vu of the Eastern Shore. I was moving along the flat when I saw a disturbance coming straight at me, and it was not small. The surface ripples were different so I knew it was something. I was finally able to see below the surface and saw little red logs...everywhere!

Instincts kicked in and my 3.6 JP Hammer Shad was out and instantly in a reds mouth! I loosened the drag, put the rod in a rear rod holder, and grabbed another rod with a 4.8 JP Hammer Shad. At this time reds were everywhere! This was a school of 100+ fish, easy! I saw about 6-10 reds all excited with my fish that was hooked up. I threw the 4.8 about a foot or two behind my other fish and hooked up instantly! 


I wanted to keep at it but maintaining good boat position was impossible with the strong wind. It was pretty much pointless to stay out. When it was all said and done, I had my limit of redfish on the stringer. The time crunched meat haul was a success. Gotta love it!

~See ya on the water!