Monday, October 5, 2009

Red October

October is prime time for redfish in Southwest Florida. In addition to the perfect weather, low tides are giving us great tailing conditions for these fish. The best news of all is that most of these fish are within the legal slot limit if you decide to keep one for the grill.

This is Wisconsin angler Tom Morgan with his first redfish that we caught this morning just south of the Matlacha Pass bridge. Tom was casting a custom built 8 weight Sage rod, a Ross Canyon reel, and using a Lenny Moffo style Fleeing Crab pattern. This 24 inch fish was in a school of over a dozen reds tailing in just over a foot of water.

While they don't have the same explosive speed as a bonefish, redfish can be just as difficult to stalk with a fly rod. They are hyper alert in shallow water but will usually settle down a lot quicker if they're spooked. That makes them a bit more user friendly for most anglers. Even though we were fishing from my skiff, the reds we chased this morning were close enough to the ramps at Matlacha Park that any kayak angler could have chased them just as easily.