I woke up with redfish withdrawals yesterday, so I went out to get my fix. I left at first light to a new kayak launch I found that leads to an area that always holds redfish. I’m always trying to find a better way to get to the fishing spot because it’s a LONG paddle which means more time paddling and less time fishing. It took me forever to pull my kayak through some knee high mud but I finally got in and started the journey. I picked off a runt along the way that I spotted cruising a skinny shoreline.
I saw several other Tampa Bay bonefish (redfish) but couldn’t get any others to eat a fly. I had several investigate then promptly spook or I would just cast right on top of them. It still amazes me that I can make perfect casts to a fishy looking stick or grass bed but when it’s the real thing I mess up sometimes.
I finally got to the redfish hole and it did not disappoint. I was greeted by about 200 daisy chaining mostly overslot redfish. I tried several different flies and could not get them to commit. They would charge my fly, see it, and remember that they hate flies. When the tide was completely high and started to trickle out, they settled down. I found them again on a sand flat, laid up and motionless. I changed tactics and went from a baitfish fly to a crab fly. After that, it was game on, I stayed in one spot and pulled several fat and healthy reds to the kayak.
All the fish caught were carefully released.
Those fish ate for about 45 minutes and the bite shut down in an instant. I made the paddle back to find that getting a kayak out of this new launch was a bit harder than putting a kayak in. I was not prepared for the mud and got several new slices on the bottom of feet from oysters. I then got my car stuck in the mud and had to get it pulled out by a tow truck.
You live and you learn. It was worth the long paddle, sliced up feet, and getting my car stuck to get on some quality redfish – my favorite fish.