Redfishing the Breakers From a Boat
With the winter driving the water temps down both in the creeks and estuaries the Redfish tend to move out the inlets in both large and small schools. Oftentimes Redfish will leave shallow water because the temperatures in these areas drop quickly based on the outside weather. As a result, almost all species of inshore fish will move to deeper water since these water temps will not drop as quickly as compared to shallow waters. These conditions make for what can be an exciting day of fishing.
I need to tell you that this tactic is only for experienced anglers and boat operators. I also highly recommend that you be very familiar with the underwater contour to not run aground and then be overturned with a breaking wave. Also, be aware of what the tide is doing. A falling tide can cause you to bounce bottom and lose power and lose control. Last, but not least, never fish alone and never fish from the bow due to the potential of falling off in the event of a stray breaker. Always have someone at the wheel while the other(s) fish from the deck.
Fishing just off the beach for Reds can be great fun on a cool winter’s day. It’s best when these water temps are in the 66 to 70-degree range. It’s as simple as heading out the inlet and beginning looking for gold in the water. Often you may find anything from a dozen or even hundreds of Redfish chasing bait into the shallows. Run parallel to the beach and keep a safe distance from the breakers. Try getting close enough to make a good cast. Check your depth finder making sure you’ve ample water under the boat. Begin looking for the baitfish breaking the water of that wonderful color of gold and when you see it, start sight casting.
My go-to lures include a curly tail plastic, a swimming mullet, or a jig with a shrimp. Just keep casting until they hit and, they will hit. Once you’re hooked up, have the boat driver slowly move to deeper, more stable water and land the fish. You’ll find in many cases that the Redfish are bigger than what you may have been catching in the creeks.
Grab a jacket on the next low wind and sunny day and head out the inlet and enjoy one of the best days fishing you’ve ever had. Who says fishing’s not great in the winter?