Topwater Reds in February


red with paddle


A few friends and I made plans about a week ago to meet up on February 1st for a fishing trip. It was the first day of Kayak Wars and Grant and I had high hopes of piling on some points to start the month off right. Temps had dropped below 30 degrees only a few days before so we were all a little unsure of what that might do to the reds that normally roam this area during the colder months.

Six of us launched shortly after day break and split into three small groups to try and locate some fish. Grant and I went down a small channel that led to a few small back lakes but the falling tide had emptied the lake. After about 2 hours with no luck, Grant and I decided to pick up and move locations while the others would grind it out in the original location. If either group got on some fish the plan was to call the others.

We launched at our second location a few miles down the road but quickly realized this area would be nearly impossible to fish. We were on the north side of the lake with a 20+ mph wind blowing out of the south that had the water looking more like a washing machine. After less than an hour at this spot we decided to try one more spot on the south side of the lake in hopes of finding some protected waters and fish.

We launched at our third location of the day around 1:00 pm to check out a small marsh drain. We saw pelicans diving around the area with a few mullet flipping across a mud flat around 2 feet deep. The bottom was covered with moss so soft plastics were out of the question. With the tide falling like it was and the wind blowing over 20 mph, suspending twitch baits had a hard time getting below the surface. This left topwaters as our best option. The key was locating multiple mullet that were flipping in close proximity to one another. It was difficult to move around or drift with the wind so we were forced to anchor up near the mullet and hope the fish that were spooking them would move our way. Grant hooked up first throwing a pink skitterwalk. A few minutes into this fight he realized that he had to pull anchor to land this fish. He’d lost a lot of line and wasn’t getting much back. The fish drug him around for about 10 minutes before he finally landed a nice 32 inch red.


photo 2


We moved about 50 yards from our original spot towards more fleeing mullet where I hooked up next throwing a black/chrome she dog towards the most recent mullet I had seen jump. After a couple of twitches my she dog was smashed by a nice 28 inch red putting me on the board for Kayak Wars 2014.


photo-16


IMG_4084


After releasing that red I hooked in to another that went 23″ inches and on the stringer it went. I had been wanting to try blackened redfish for a while and this one was the perfect size. We fished for another hour but the mullet and reds seemed to disappear. We decided to call it a day and be thankful that we both avoided the skunk. We got back to the truck and talked to the others and they had scratched out 4 slot reds. Looking back now, I wish I had my popping corks with me on this trip. Gulp on a popping cork with a 1 foot leader would have been a great way to call in the fish on a day like today. We only caught a few fish, but at least they were on topwater which always helps.

The blackened redfish turned out great. I’ll post the recipe soon in case anyone is interested in giving it a try. Be sure to cook this outside because when the fish hits the white hot cast iron a ton of smoke and a few flames will occur.


photo 4



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