Texas Means Redfish! E-mail
Written by Jeff Herman   
Saturday, 17 November 2012 00:02

jdh copy

 

“Things are bigger in Texas”, it’s a cliché as old as the state and in the case of Redfish it is definitely true. Whether you call them redfish, red drum, or just “reds” Texas kayak fisherman know the best pull in the bays is going to be behind the muscle of a redfish tethered to the other end of your fishing line.

Juvenile redfish spend the first 3 or 4 years of their lifecycle in the bays and inshore estuaries. The have a voracious appetite and can grow up to 30 inches in 4 years. (And they just keep getting bigger!) At which time they move offshore with the spawning population. Returning inshore after spawning there is nothing that compares to hooking a bull red (reds over the 28 inch slot) in a foot of water

Fishing in the shallow bays of Texas where the average water depth can be a mere foot or two makes redfishing even more exciting. An experienced angler will look for signs of feeding redfish. Tails and backs of big reds will stick out above the waterline making the endeavor more like hunting. Seeing a big tail out of the water can be heart stopping. Placing a fly or bait in front of a tailing fish can take practice and patience, but the pay off is always worth the effort. A good cast will result in a bone jarring strike. Then skinny water and mud explodes as line rips off your reel. It is one of the most exciting fishing experiences you can enjoy. In a word: Visceral.

You can target reds with almost any style lure. When they are on the feed they are pretty indiscriminate. Soft plastics, gold spoons, top-waters, all of them will work on feeding reds. Top water lures are an especially fun way to catch reds. Using a spook or top dog style surface walker seem to generate reaction strikes that are as thrilling as the fight.

clint2-1 copy

Other common fish in the bays of Texas include Speckled Trout (also a member of the drum family and not to be confused with freshwater trout), flounder, and sheepshead. Trout and flounder fishing are almost as popular as redfishing and trout fishing can at times be the so very similar to redfishing that distinguishing between the two can be unnecessary. Many of the same lures and techniques apply to trout, with the exception that you won’t see them tailing like a redfish. Trout fishing also differs from redfishing in the power department. Specks just aren’t as muscular. Still, specks are far more acrobatic than redfish and thus definitely fun and challenging in their own right.

Still, if you told me I could only chase one fish with my fly rod and kayak, I’d choose the good old Texas red without hesitation. Redfishing in Texas is as ubiquitous as oil wells, and cowboy boots. The clichés exist for a reason, and redfish seem to exist to get more anglers out on the Texas bays.

Catch and release!

 -Jeff Herman is a member of the Necky and Ocean Kayak Pro Staff. An ACA kayak instructor, and avid conservation minded fisherman. Jeff is the kayak editor of Gulf Coast Fisherman and a contributor to many national paddling and fishing publications.

 

You must be registered to post a comment.


Login

Newsletter

Subscribe here to receive FREE email issues of Kayak Fishing Magazine.

Most Popular

Choosing a Fishing Kayak
Like many kayak fisherman, my first fishig kayak was a mistake and I only used it a few times.  There wasn’t a lot of information available.  Things have...
Effective Trolling With Your Kayak
  While trolling is a mainstay of saltwater fishermen and also popular for targeting suspended fish in deepwater lakes of the northern US and Canada, it’s not the way most...
Kayak Fishing on a Budget
As we are all aware of we are in some tough economic times and even though kayak fishing is a pretty inexpensive sport relative to owning a boat or hiring fishing guides, it still...

Random

Baby Boomers and Kayak Fishing - Part 2
 Part II:  Loading, Unloading and Transporting your Yak Quiet lakes, lazy streams, saltwater marshes, tailing fish, porpoising dolphins and soaring eagles -- the visions...
Destinations - Everglades
  This series started off as an idea Joey had for an article he was going to call ‘The 5 Places you have to Kayak Fish before you Die’.  He was having difficulty narrowing...
Holiday Buyer's Guide - Offshore
Offshore anglers are a gear intensive lot, and this holiday season presents in its offerings no shortage of gift ideas. Our editorial staff chose from the array, however, a set of...

Latest Kayak Reviews

Pelican Castaway 100
 
4.0
Ascend FS10
 
4.0
Sun Dolphin Excursion 10
 
4.0
Santa Cruz Kayaks Raptor SOT
 
5.0
Old Town Predator 13
 
5.0
RTM Kayaks Tempo Angler
 
4.0
Hobie Mirage Revolution 13
 
3.0
Stealth Pro Fisha 575
 
4.0
Stealth Pro Fisha 475
 
4.0
Santa Cruz Kayaks Raptor SOT
 
5.0
Native Watercraft Manta Ray 14 Angler
 
5.0
Field and Stream Eagle Talon
 
5.0

Latest Equipment Reviews

Body Glove 3T Barefoot Max
 
5.0
Body Glove 3T Barefoot Warrior
 
5.0
Body Glove 3T Barefoot Warrior
 
3.0
Columbia Drainmaker
 
5.0
Sperry SON-R Sounder Shandal
 
4.0
Garmin VIRB Elite
 
4.0
Polaroid XS100
 
4.0
Backwater Paddles Assault Hand Paddle
 
5.0
Backwater Paddles Assault Hand Paddle
 
5.0
Stohlquist Piseas
 
4.0
Wheeleez Tuff Tire Kayak Cart
 
5.0
Boga Grip
 
4.0