Redfish on Light Tackle
The name of my charter service Reelin & Chillin was to mean fishing like crazy, or just relaxing like "chillin out". However, the Chillin for the last week was more like cold, cold, and more cold. I guess it just depends on where you come from because while I had layered clothing on folks coming from 17 degree weather didn't mind our weather at all. The fish were in an up and down mood along with the fronts, however angler's still managed to catch many species including snook, redfish, trout, sheepshead, pompano, and bluefish to name a few.
Fish Tails aboard the Reelin & Chillin
Well the kids were here for Christmas break, and what a blast we all had.
Matt DeLuca and family had a blast catching several species - Kate who I believe is 7 years old caught sheepshead, redfish, and trout. I think Grandma Terry & Grandpa Wayne, along with Dad had more fun watching Kate than catching fish themselves. After a couple hours we dropped off Grandma & Grandpa so they could warm up a little and changed out with Mom (Chris) & Joey. Joey who my guess would be 4 years old showed off for Mom and caught a nice little redfish with four spots on one side.
John-Michael Albrecht brought four of his kids on a trip looking for dinner and dinner they found. All the kids caught fish including black drum, sheepshead, and pompano for dinner. As luck would have it we did get just enough for this crew to have a nice fish fry.
Well it wasn't all younger folks - Val & Adam Bilesky headed out for some light tackle action and they found it with big reds. Adam broke the ice with a nice little snook before we moved to a spot where some over sized reds were stacked up. We caught several to large to keep - a blast on 10lb test line. Also, a couple were in the slot for a nice blackened redfish dinner.
I had some tough days on the water - cold fronts, wind and extreme low winter tides all affected the bite. I new the fish wouldn't be super active with the 58 degree water temperature, but I new they would have to eat sooner or later. I just kept moving, spending no more than 10 minutes at one location - no bite - I was outta there. It sometimes took awhile but we always seemed to find fish somewhere. Pompano were found on the grass flats, in passes and a few around docks. Small hook, small shrimp and a split shot jigged slowly triggered some nice bites. Same outcome with small buck tail jigs tipped with shrimp. The redfish, black drum and sheepshead were found around areas with structure. Docks and oyster beds were prime locations to snag a few hungry fish. With the exception of the redfish small shrimp work better - I do like to have some nice select shrimp on hand for the big reds. It's time to start the new year right - get out there and get fishin...
Tight Lines & Good Times, Capt. Terry Frankford
Reelin & Chillin Charters Inc.
9lb red on 10lb test
Big red on light tackle
About The Author: Captain Terry Frankford
Company: Reelin & Chillin Charters Inc.
Area Reporting: Sarasota
Bio: Fishing experience in the Sarasota area for over thirty years - mostly salt water inshore and nearshore. Became a full time guide in November of 2003 after retiring from Verizon Communications as a Network Planning Engineer. U.S.C.G. licensed Master #1125021 – includes Commercial Assistance Towing. Completed Auxiliary boating Skills & Seamanship course. Certified in Senior Lifesaving, Advanced First Aid, CPR, and Open Water Scuba Diving.