If you don’t mind a bit of heat and dodging boat traffic, summertime redfishing can be some of the best action of the year. Just make sure you have plenty of sunscreen and a cooler full of cold drinks. Now that you’ve got those boxes checked, the next step is making sure you have the right gear. We put together a collection of our inshore favorites that will have you catching fish all summer long.
GEAR UP ON REDFISH AND TROUT ESSENTIALS
Mid summer fishing ain’t all about soaking cut bait and sweating it out in the sun. There’s still plenty of action to be had on artificial lures. Some of the best action will happen on the extremes of the tides. Big incoming high tides are the perfect time to head into the mangroves or up along the grass flats. Fish may be heading into the shade of the mangroves to get out of the sun for a bit or up onto grass flats to take advantage of critters that they can only get to on certain tides. On the grass flats try tossing small mud minnow style soft plastics like the Salt Native Skelly Swims. If you end up sliding along the mangroves pound a top water against the bank in the morning and evening, you may run into an angry snook lurking in the shadows. Small rigged shrimp are never a bad option around mangrove edges.
On low tides head out onto the flats and look for tailing or waking fish. There’s not much better than sight casting to a school of reds in skinny water. Avoid twitchbaits when the water is warm and instead downsize to smaller paddle-tails and shrimp that are an easier meal. If the water is murkier, try out some brighter bolder colors and baits with more sparkle and flake. We like using jig heads in the 1/8oz - 3/8oz range on 4” Badfish Baddletails and working them gradually along the bottom. A gold spoon is always a safe bet when blind casting the flats as well. If you come across any “pot holes” in the flats, this is a great ambush point for speckled trout and flounder. Definitely try to jig your bait across any bare spots you find and see if any predators are lurking in the turtle grass. Popping corks are also a smart option when the fishing slows down and you need to bust out a secret weapon. Just rig a small swimbait or shrimp on the end and give it a couple pops every 10-15 seconds. Good luck out there and watch out for those damn jet skiers!
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