Redfishing the Summer Pattern with Captain Lee Parsons
The hot days of summer have a definite impact on fishing for Redfish. The increased water temps create a change in fish behavior and requires a change in your Redfishing tactics. This is known as the “summer pattern”. Due to the hotter conditions in addition to the increased amount of baitfish, the Redfish change their feeding habits.
The first thing to consider is the bait. The Reds will tell you the best bait to use when fishing for them. As you drift in the shallows and marshy areas look for Reds crashing the surface and then check out what they are chasing. Is it shrimp or mud minnows or menhaden. This will tell the type of bait you should catch and fish within that area. If you’re unable to reach the bait then try to duplicate the bait with an artificial lure that you have in your tackle bag. If they are hitting on shrimp then try a plastic-like Gulp Shrimp. If it’s menhaden, then try a paddle tail plastic.
Next thing is to consider is the location based on where the bait is. Many times anglers head toward the deeper water believing the Reds will be hold up in the deep due to the cooler water. However, the more important factor is the bait will be near the surface. That’s where the Redfish will be looking for them. Your best bet is to look around the marsh grass areas in about 18 inches of water or less. But, this could change in the even of recent rains or strong winds that could suddenly change the salinity of the water. Remember muddy, murky water makes it hard for Reds to process oxygen and they seek cleaner water. This is when they move to deeper water. A large downpour can create conditions for them to move out of those shallow areas.
Even in the summer patterns, you can still find the Redfish around the docks and other types of structures. However, the best results around these structures will be found near the inlets. This is largely due to the moving water and the movement of bait coming in and out of the nearby inlet. Finding the fish in the shallows tailing is also a common occurrence. Make sure to keep your eyes open and your rod and reel ready. When the water is flat, topwater will be your best bet. Lures like various MirrowLures that can bring good action on the surface can make for a great morning of Redfishing during the summer pattern. When using the topwater lures for an extended period of time, you’ll find they will become dirty and discolored. A great tip is to carry diaper wipes in your tackle bag. Just wipe down your lure and leader and you’re ready to go again.
These few changes will make the hot weather fishing more productive until the weather starts to cool in a matter of weeks. Until then, fish smart.