Fall Means Topwater Fishing Time
Fall is by far one the best times of year to fish inshore. The cooler weather brings a more aggressive response from the fish, especially Redfish and Speckled Trout. That means it’s time to bring out the topwater lures and enjoy the show. The sight of a Redfish or Speckled Trout breaking the water’s surface to attack a plug is both shocking and exciting. It’s an image that you’ll never forget. Captain Kevin Blair of Charleston, South Carolina’s Charleston Rod Bending Company shares a few great tips to make your next topwater fishing trip one to remember.
When the fall mullet run gets in full swing that means it’s topwater fishing time. With that said you want to replicate a mullet as much as possible. Starting with Redfish, I prefer the Rapala Skitter Walk, topwater lure in the Mullet color. Using a short leader and a 7 or 7 ½ foot rod. The longer rods allow me to get the distance I need to reach the shallows and even the patchy grass areas. I look for feeder creeks or grassy edges and schools of scattering mullet breaking the water. This means the bait is there and the Reds can’t be far away. Casting in front of the schools, I start a somewhat slow retrieve. Using the “walk the dog” method of a series of sudden jerks on my retrieve allows the bait to look like an injured mullet and creates a water disturbance that will nearly always attract a feeding Redfish. When the fish hits, it’s somewhat shocking. The Redfish is both quick and aggressive. Now’s the time to be patient. Don’t yank the lure. Instead allow the fish to hit the bait and set the hook himself. Too many fish are lost when the angler tries to set the hook prematurely. This is one time with the fish will do that for you. Allow him to grab the back hook that’s there for that purpose. If he misses, don’t panic. He’ll be right back.
Fishing Speckled Trout is very much the same with a few exceptions. First is the bait. I like to use a Super Spook Junior. This lure is primarily for freshwater, but by changing the hooks to stainless it can easily be adapted to Saltwater fishing. I use a Spook with a white body and red head that’s about 3 ½ inches long. From that point the fishing is pretty much the same. Again, be patient when the fish hits and never give up. Many times the Redfish and Speckled Trout will hit the lure right at the boat. Now that really will take you by surprise. Start with a slow retrieve and change up if you need to. Just keep looking for that moving bait and be ready to reel.