Seein’ Red In December
As the year starts drawing to a close, we’re just trying to find time to get out to the marshes in this busy season. Between holidays, birthdays, parties, and work, finding time to fish has almost been impossible at times. In fact, the last time that I targeted redfish was before Halloween.
But the stars (and schedules) aligned on Wednesday! A day off from work and an invitation from some friends put me on the water! It was a little late of a start. The rest of the year you’ll find us out there at the break of dawn, but in the late fall and early winter we give the fish a chance to wake up first!
We were on the water by 10 and were almost immediately greeted by fish. The fist I spotted was a small black drum hanging near a bank. As I tossed a purple and chartreuse Vortex Shad to him, I noticed a 30+ inch redfish swimming up. Quickly reeling in and making another cast, I lost sight of the red. This situation got my blood pumping. At least I knew they were here!
I cruised down that shoreline a bit and started blind casting around an upcoming point. It didn’t take long before I felt that familiar “thump” and had a red on the line! After a short fight, he measured in at 20”. Not the nice one I had seen earlier, but a decent fish.
I continued cruising that bank for a couple of miles. I was trailing behind my friends who were at least a hundred yards ahead of me. As I headed into a canal behind them, I had to resist the urge to cast to a topwater hit I noticed out the corner of my eye. Normally I’d make a cast, but we were headed to “the spot”. I had been to “the spot” before unknowingly. It was one of the more challenging trips earlier this year, but proved to be worth it in the end.
We were soon portaging over a small piece of land, then making our way down a canal which opened up into a marsh. This marsh was the place to be! Within ten minutes all four of us had hooked up with redfish! And if we’d spot a fish that was too far to cast to, we’d let each other know where it was going so that someone else might have an opportunity.
After a while of sight-casting to reds and picking up many, we started the journey back to our launch. We came upon a barrier in one of the canals that had been busted through created a bottle-neck effect. Right here the water was around ten to eleven feet deep. Everywhere else, we were in four feet or less. I made a cast with a jig head into the bottle-neck and bouncing the lure on the bottom and up the drop-off, I hooked up with a black drum!
Soon after, while throwing a Skitterwalk, I hooked up with a speckled trout. Unfortunately, while I went for my net, he was able to shake the hook free.
The air temperature when we got on the water around 10am was near 52 degrees. The peak temperature was 63 degrees. Water temperature was around 56 degrees at 10am, and around 64 degrees at 3pm. It was partly-cloudy.
All of my rigs are spooled with FINS Windtamer; 12# on a Medium rod, and 20# test on a Medium/Heavy.