Winter might seem like the time to put away the fishing rods and bundle up with a cup of hot cocoa, but for anglers on the southeastern coasts, winter is redfish season.
When the water gets cooler, redfish are still active; in fact, many people think that the winter months are the best time for catching reds, even choosing December through February over the productive fall season.
Want to catch your limit of redfish this winter? Then get started with these simple tips.
Target Shallow and Inshore Areas
During the winter, redfish like to frequent shallow areas where they can find food and stay warm, especially during the day. Shallow spots will warm up a lot quicker than deeper areas, so when the sun is shining on a cool Florida or Carolina morning, you can bet that the shallows are teeming with redfish.
And when we say shallow, we mean shallow. You’ll probably be surprised by just how shallow the reds will go, often hanging out in less than a couple feet of water. In the flats, redfish will find crab and shrimp, as well as protection from larger predators, making it a great place for fish (and you) to spend the day.
Use Poles Instead of Trolling Motors
Compared to highly skittish species like the bonefish, redfish are much easier to sneak up on, but that doesn’t mean you can go clunking right up next to them and expect an easy bite. You need to be quiet and stealthy if you want to have a good day catching winter redfish, so use a cane pole instead of your trolling motor.
While a trolling motor is relatively quiet, a long cane pole gives you nearly silent movement in the water, allowing you to sneak into position and cast the exact spot you want, without chasing away the reds.
Look for Schooling Redfish
While redfish do not usually gather in large groups during the rest of the year, they can often be found schooling together during the winter. This gives anglers a few advantages. First, you can use this knowledge to keep an eye out for schools in the relatively clear winter water.
Next, you can continue to target areas where you have been catching redfish. In other months, it might make sense to move on after you catch a few redfish in one location, but armed with the knowledge that redfish school during the winter, you can continue to hit the area with confidence.
Use Scented Baits in Winter
There is a lot of debate about scented lures, but many anglers find them very effective and worth every penny. Winter redfish, for whatever reason, seem to respond very well to scented baits. Bass are known to use more of their scent-hunting skills in cold water; perhaps redfish adopt a similar feeding style.
No matter what the cause, there are many anglers who love to use scented baits on redfish during the winter. You can find scented baits that mimic shrimp, crabs, and minnows, and this could give you the advantage you need during your winter redfish adventures.
Performance Fishing Apparel for Any Season
If you plan on fishing the shallows for reds, you need a performance fishing shirt that will keep you dry and protect your skin from the sun. The Redfish Long-Sleeve Half Graphic is a popular choice for redfish anglers.
With Breathe Like a Fish, you can have high-quality apparel that is comfortable, stylish, and durable, so check out our complete selection now!