Red Drum Fishing E-mail
Sunday, 24 January 2010 07:09
Sciaenops ocellatus aka the red drum can be found in both the Atlantic Ocean and gulf of Mexico as far north as Delaware and as far south as Mexico. They are found in inshore waters and feed on fish and crustaceans.
They prefer water temps of 65-85 degrees but can be found and sometimes caught in their sluggish state in the winter.

Winter

As the water gets colder bait will become so hard to find that lures may become the only option that is unless you have access to a warm water discharge. But lures cover more water, which is better in the winter to find these scattered fish. When the water gets cooler it will also become clearer giving excellent sight casting opportunities to fish warming themselves on flats. When you see these fish they will not chase a lure down all the time. In this situation you want to throw the lure, preferably a jig head with some type of plastic, past the fish and drag it right past his nose, creating a puff of sand while dragging it. These fish will usually not turn up a good meal that sits right in front of them. Just think of it as if your sitting on the couch and a big mac plops on your lap. Are you going to just leave it there? No, you'll gobble it up like it was nothing. The other main type of fishing I will do in the winter is to fish mud flats. The fish will stack up on these flats because they retain heat in the winter. I fish the drop offs of these flats by fishing suspending jerk bait's such as a lucky craft or x rap. I use colors such as a Halloween candy(orange, gold, and black) or a natural mullet color. On these drop offs I also like to fish spinner baits with a large, gold, Colorado blade by slow rolling it off the shallow parts then letting it drop when it hits a ledge.


Spring

As the water starts to warm and bait starts to filter into the marshes the redfish come out in the marsh in full force gobbling up everything in sight. This is when I like to fish a combination of lures. I have two main luresI key in on in the spring my first would have to be a top water lure, my favorite being a rapala skitter walk with a bone colored back, chartreuse belly and silver sides, my second would be any spinner bait with a large, gold, Colorado blade. I will fish the top water on the slopes of oyster beds where redfish love to ambush the mullet cruising the beds. I will also fish it over grass beds and mud flats where fish are crashing bait hiding in the grass and cruising the surface of the water on the flats. I love using a spinner bait during this season the most, because I am able to fish it fast and constant therefore I cover a lot of water and coming across more schools of fish. Over the grass beds also love using weedless rigged flukes in white or albino colors to imitate the mullet. I either work them erratically or let it flutter into the grass and rip it out then let it fall back down rip out and repeat. This ripping out usually trigger a strike from fish waiting in the grass for a minnow to come swimming by. Another great tactic in fishing these grass flats is to use a recoil rig with a fluke and throw it right in the grass and just work the line with your finger so the lure dances in its place right above the grass imitating an injured minnow.

Summer

During summer the best times to fish will be the coolest times of the day; that being sunset and sunrise. During these two times I prefer to fish a top water because you will notice around these same times, mullet will skitter the surface fleeing schools of redfish cruising every square inch of the water looking for a good meal. Another great lure to fish at low light times is a spinner bait since these fish will not have that great visiblity at this time and they will key in on the vibration of the blade, but when they come in closer they will see the profile of the soft plastic which is what seals the deal. During the day I go to rip rap formations and jetties and throw deep diving crank baits such as a DT sure set rapala. I like to throw directly at the rip rap from open water and use a steady action working the lure down and most bites will come when the bottom changes from rocks to mud. I also fish backwater sand flats that are about 3-5 foot deep in water with little to no boat activity. These fish have had almost no interaction with a hook and are on these flats cooling off. On these flats it is usually very clear and this is where I do my sight casting in the summer. I rig up a ½ ounce jig head with a shrimp imitating plastic. I toss this past a school of fish then drag it right into their path. I land many upper slot and 30 inch redfish throughout the summer using this technique.


Fall

Fall is the complete opposite of spring. The water is cooling down and the fish are on their way out. I usually start fishing hard starting early September for this fall run of fish. I like to go into the backs of inlets and work gold spoons in grass flats and the marshes with a plastic trailer. I will let it flutter down then give it a few twitches then flutter and repeat. Most fish will come off the flutter of the spoon. I use top water baits paralleling the shoreline and use a Halloween color, very fitting to the time of year as well. In fall there are sight casting opportunities on sandy beaches where the fish are sitting in the sloughs and I cast a jig head rigged with a crab imitation and drag it right past them. It imitates a crab trying to bury itself in the sand. I setup parallel to a dock and cast directly down the line of pilings using a recoil rig with a fluke and work each and every piling waiting for a redfish to pop out of the dock to ambush my lure. I usually have amazing success doing this averaging 5-8 fish per dock. During the end of fall going into winter I fish along beaches casting towards the beach working a spinner bait, rapala sub-walk, or DOA shrimp working the slough picking up migrating fish headed south for the winter.



 

Comments  

 
0 #1 Guest 2010-02-10 16:24
Great article that covers the entire year.Keep the articles coming.
 
 
0 #2 NH Explorer 2010-02-10 17:25
Very nice article Kyle, even I could understand it ;-) . Looking forward to trying some of your tactics when I get down your way...probably for the TKAA Tourney.
Keep up the fishing and good writing. Roger
 
 
0 #3 Guest 2010-02-10 18:40
Roger, I'll be fishing the tournament as always, look forward to seeing you there!
 
 
0 #4 Guest 2010-02-10 18:42
Roger, thanks, and I look forward to meeting you there!
 

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