The Fort De Soto area is great for redfish action. For the past few years, monster schools have been absent. To start the day out, I find a shoreline where mullet are jumping and start there. This time of year when water temperatures are high, mullet let you know a couple of things: There is enough oxygen in the water, and they’re over a good grassy area. Redfish forage in the grass looking for crabs and shrimp. Redfish are probably the most wary fish in our area. If you use a trolling motor, use the lowest setting possible to get close to the school. A high setting will spook any fish that is around and make them hard to find. I’ve seen schools break up and disappear in a blink of an eye. I take my time and figure out what reds are concentrating around and any paths fish are traveling. Once the area looks fishable, I spread out four rods with cut bait. I like to use 10-pound braided tackle. The braided line allows me to set up with the wind at my back and make long casts. The farther away from the fish, the better. Twenty-pound camouflage leader with a 2/0 circle hook provides a high hookup ratio. A circle hook is designed to slowly set itself when using cut bait. When the line comes tight, don’t set the hook, just reel.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.