Small schools of redfish are starting to work their way back onto the flats. I finally came across a school on two charters last week. This hopefully marks the start of the redfish season. High tides in the afternoon will make it easier to get close enough to the schools of redfish. I have been starting out in the mornings on low tides by working the edges of sandbars and flats all around Pinellas point. Casting quarter ounce jigs rigged with soft plastic tails has produced many numbers of species. Trout, bluefish, ladyfish, pompano, and jacks have provided a lot of fast action. The key to success is to work as much water as possible. Once the tide gets high enough, I switch gears and will work my way onto the flats looking for redfish. I have had to take great care in my approach on schools of reds, clear water and lower tides can make reds very spooky. Slowly work onto a flat and wait for reds to come to you as the tide rises. If fish run into the bait on their own, they almost always eat what you have to offer. Once the tide is almost at its high point, I will move and start to target where I have caught them in years past.
Redfish will eat just about anything when the presentation is right. If the tide is low, I like to use shrimp. This bait will cast easy and will land soft on the water; this is key to prevent from spooking the fish. If the tide is high, pinfish, greenbacks, whitebaits, finger mullet, and creek chubs will all work.
Captain Rob Gorta